John of Sedre

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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 Sedre, also known as Mor Yuhanon d'Sedraw and as John II of Sedre, is a father and saint of the Syriac Orthodox Church who served as Patriarch of Antioch and All the East in the 7th century. St. John of Sedre is commemorated in the Syriac Orthodox Church on December 14.


St. John was a prominent and energetic son of the Church of Antioch, being tonsured a monk at the Monastery of Ousebuna before becoming the secretary of Patriarch Athanasius I of Antioch, whom he succeeded as John II in 631. He was known throughout the Church for his piety and intelligence and is called after elegant supplicatory prayers ('sedre') that he composed.

It was during St. John's patriarchate that the Arab Muslims conquered the Jazirah (modern day eastern Syria and western Iraq). He also had to contend with the popularity of the Phantasiast heresy, which taught that the Christ had only appeared to have taken on flesh. Despite the difficulties and hardships endured by the Church during his patriarchate St. John served his flock with patience and diligence.

It was with St. John's blessing that the Gospels were translated from Syriac into Arabic for Emir Umayr ibn Sa'id ibn Abi Waqqas al-Ansari of the Jazirah. (This translation has unfortunately not survived to the present day.) John's dialogue with Emir Umayr about the teachings of the Orthodox Faith was preserved by one of his secretaries and survives to this day.

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