George I of Antioch

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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.

Patriarch St. George I of Antioch is a father and saint of the Syriac Orthodox Church and the Malankara Orthodox Church. Renowned for his knowledge and able leadership of the Church of Antioch, he is commemorated on December 7.


The future patriarch was born in B'altan in the region of Homs in western Syria. As a young man he mastered the Greek and Syriac languages as well as theology and jurisprudence and joined a monastery, leading a virtuous and ascetic life. His renowned learning and piety lead to his election and consecration as Patriarch George I of Antioch in 758. In 766 the patriarch was imprisoned in Baghdad by the Abbasid caliph Abu Ja'far al-Mansour and remained imprisoned there until the caliph's death in 775.

After his release St. George was received back with joy by the Syriac Orthodox Church, journeying to Antioch to put the affairs of the Church back in order and consecrating ten new bishops over the following year. In 785 he presided over a synod of the Syriac Orthodox Church in Kfar Nabu near Serugh, where twenty-two canons were enacted. After his repose on December 1, 790, St. George was buried in the Monastery of St. Barsoum in Melitene. Among his surviving works are hymns, poems, and part of a two-volume commentary on the Gospel of St. Matthew.

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