Mar Jacob Baradaeus (d. 578)

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Mar Jacob Baradaeus
(d. 578)

One of the most famous Church Fathers for his godliness and piety, the greatest Apostolic fighter in support of the true faith, he attained the summit of religious and austere asceticism. He was born at Tal Mawzalt, the son of a priest named Theophilus bar Manu. While still young he became a monk at the Monastery of Phsilta in the neighborhood of his homeland. At this monastery he mastered the Syriac and Greek languages and penetrated deeply into religious books and theological science as well as asceticism. In 528, he journeyed to Constantinople, where he was consecrated a metropolitan for Edessa, the country of al-Sham and Asia, by the laying of the hands of Theodosius, patriarch of Alexandria in 543 (or as has also been related, in 544), at the request of the Arab king al-Harith ibn Jabalah al-Ghassani and the Empress Theodora. Then he went to Alexandria and with the assistance of some of the bishops, ordained two bishops. From Alexandria, he traveled incognito into Syria, Armenia, Cappadocia, Cilicia, Isauria, Pamphilia, Lycaonia, Lycia, Phrygia, Cana, Asia Minor and the islands of Cyprus, Rhodes, Chios and Mitylene, and also into Mesopotamia, Persia and Alexandria, instructing and encouraging the Orthodox believers. Authorized by the patriarch, he consecrated twenty-seven bishops and ordained a few thousand deacons and priests, not forgetting to return quite a few times to his monastery. He continued this work for thirty-five years, indefatigably fighting the good fight for the Church of God, which he supported in the time of adversity until he died at the Monastery of Romanus or the Monastery of Cassian on July 30, 578 and was commemorated by the Church.233
Jacob drew up a liturgy in fifteen pages beginning with “O Lord, the most holy Father of peace,” and several letters, four of which were published in the Syriac Documents234 – three addressed to John of Ephesus and others,235 and a general letter to the bishops and priests which is mentioned in his lengthy biography.