John of Mardin

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Note: This article or section represents an Oriental Orthodox (Non-Chalcedonian) perspective, which may differ from an Eastern Orthodox (Chalcedonian) understanding.

St. John of Mardin, more commonly known as St. Yuhanon of Mardin, was a metropolitan of the Syriac Orthodox Church in its upper Mesopotamian heartlands in what today is southeastern Turkey during the twelfth century. St. John of Mardin is commemorated by the Syriac Orthodox Church on July 12.


St. John was born Yusuf (Joseph) in the city of Edessa (modern day Urfa). He eventually became a monk near Edessa and in 1125 was consecrated Metropolitan of Mardin, being given the name Yuhanon (John) at his consecration. The Saint served his diocese with diligence, renovating Dayro d'Mor Hananyo (the seat of the Syriac Orthodox patriarchate) together with 24 other monasteries and churches. During his episcopacy the monasteries were filled with monks and a council was held under Maphrian Ignatius II of the East to enact additional canons for their guidance.

When Edessa was conquered and put to the sword in 1144, John wrote a treatise refuting claims that the city's destruction was a divine punishment. He argued instead that the city was destroyed for the obvious reason that it had no army to protect it. The Saint also wrote a treatise on the mystery of the holy chrism and its making.

Metropolitan Mor Yuhanon died on July 12, 1165 and was glorified as a saint by Patriarch Michael of Antioch.

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