Abba Yem'ata

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

Abba Yem'ata was one of the Nine Saints credited in Ethiopia with enculturating and spreading the Orthodox Faith in the country following its official conversion by St. Frumentius of Axum.

Life

It is said that the Nine Saints arrived in Axum, the first great capital city of Ethiopia, in 480. They came from various parts of the East Roman Empire, having fled the persecutions of the Orthodox who remained faithful to the teaching of St. Cyril of Alexandria after Chalcedon. In the account of his life preserved by the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church Abba Yem'ata is said to have come from Qusyat.

After spending some time in Axum learning and language and culture of Ethiopia, Abba Yem'ata left the city to preach the Gospel. He is credited with founding the Monastery of Ger'alta in Tigray's Inderta district.

Commemoration

Abba Yem'ata is commemorated on 23 T'iqemt (2 November).

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