272. Patriarch Masud of Zaz (d. 1512)

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Patriarch Masud of Zaz
(d. 1512)

Patriarch Masud is son of Shimun (Simon). He was born at the village of Zaz in 1431. In 1453 he resided at the Monastery of the Cross in Bethel where he lived a strict ascetic life. At the beginning he was an illiterTo update this app, you need to accept it on the Account page in the App Store.ate but when he took to ascetic life in some caves he was enlightened through divine providence, and began to dictate to his companions wonderful spiritual treatises without his knowledge. Later he studied the Syriac language and was ordained a priest. In 1464 he was made the superior abbot of all the monks of Tur Abdin and trained more than a hundred men in the ascetic life, to follow strictly ascetic rules. For this reason, Patriarch Masud is considered an innovator of monasticism in his time. In 1481 he was ordained a metropolitan of Zarjal and Hisn Kipha under the name Basilius. Through his efforts the number of monks increased in Tur Abdin and its monasteries which were either built or renovated until they numbered more than two hundred by the end of his life. In 1493 he became the patriarch of Tur Abdin. But he made a mistake by ordaining a maphrian for Tur Abdin and twelve bishops, most of whom had no dioceses. As a result he was opposed by the incumbent bishops as well as by the dignitaries who paid allegiance to the Patriarch of Antioch. He shut himself for a time in a monastery in Kharput but later resumed his church affairs until his death on February 11, 1512.595
He wrote a book consisting of seven hundred pages entitled The Spiritual Ship, in a smooth style, into which he incorporated several treatises on asceticism, and worship. The original copy of this book is in the Sayyida (The Virgin) Monastery.596 It was completed in 1481, but is slightly imperfect. It has also a new copy597 and fragments as well.598 We found in Amid five odes composed by him: three in the twelve-syllabic meter and two in the heptasyllabic meter,599 as well as an ode in Paris.600 We read at the church of Qellith in 1909 his long liturgy beginning with “O Lord God who art the fountain of blessings and the sea of beneficence.” This liturgy consist of thirty-five pages, transcribed in 1615. It is preceded by a husoyo beginning with, “Praise and thanks to the Holy Trinity,” which was lost during the World War I. His biographer and some of his contemporaries mentioned that he had written several husoyos and two liturgies, one short and the other of medium length.