Maronite Archbishop Samir Nassar had gone to the bathroom when the bomb hit

The Maronite Archbishop of Damascus escaped death by a matter of seconds after a bomb crashed through his bed while he was preparing for a nap.

Archbishop Samir Nassar said he was in the bathroom when the shell hit, adding that his bed is now “riddled with shrapnel”.

In an email to supporters, seen by the Catholic Herald, the archbishop said his priests cried with joy when they saw him emerge from the rubble unharmed. “Providence watches over his poor servant,” the archbishop said.

[Maronite bishops: ‘Christian presence in Middle East must be preserved’]

He added that he is now “exiled like 12 million Syrian refugees” as the bombing has forced him to leave his home.

“Thank you Lord for this new beginning. My life belongs to you,” he said.

Several nuns in Damascus also reportedly escaped in a similar incident.