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Isaac of Syria

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St. Isaac was born in the region of Qatar on the western shore of the Persian Gulf. When still quite young, he entered a [[monastery]] with his brother. His fame grew as a holy man and teacher. He was subsequently [[Ordination|ordained]] [[bishop]] of Nineveh, the former capital of Assyria to the north, but requested to abdicate after only five months. He then went south to the wilderness of Mount Matout, a refuge for anchorites. There he lived in solitude for many years studying the [[Scripture]], but eventually blindness and old age forced him to retire to the monastery of Rabban Shabur, where he reposed and was buried. His [[feast day]] is [[January 28]].
He is not to be confused with the other St. [[Isaac the Syrian (abbot)|Isaac the Syrian]], Abbot of Spoleto, who lived during the mid-sixth century ([[April 12]]).
Much has been made in some circles that St. Isaac is fully accepted as was a saint in member of the Orthodox Church, though during his lifetime, he was of Persia (known today at the [[canons (law)|canonically]] a member of the Assyrian Church of the East]]), a church that which has been associated with the [[Nestorianism|Nestorian heresy]]. The first edition (1984) of the Orthodox English translation of St. Isaac's Ascetical Homilies contained an extensive Epilogue entitled "A Brief Historical and Theological Introduction to the Church of Persia to the End of the Seventh Century, although that charge is widely doubted today" written by Syriac scholar Dr. Dana R. His writings nevertheless came to be extremely popular Miller of Fordham University, which has been summarized thusly in Orthodox monastic circles the new (2011) more compact second edition: "Saint Isaac was and still is commonly called 'Nestorian Bishop of Nineveh' and are well-known for their Orthodoxythe Church of Persia of his day, 'Nestorian'. The [[Venerationfirst edition]] for him grewEpilogue endeavored to demonstrate that the teachings of Nestorius did not inform the theology of the Church of Persia; that the writings of Theodore of Mopsuestia known to her were partial and imperfect translations, and he came that the controversy his writings caused in the Greek-speaking world were mostly unknown to be incorporated into the Orthodox calendar Church of Persia, cut off by linguistic differences and political boundaries; that in some cases it was extremism on the part of saints. His inclusion is thus an indication the Monophysites that led the Church does not regard [of Persia to take a stance that might seem to lend itself to a Nestorian interpretation, such as the cautious avoidance of the term Theotokos to avoid Monophysite Theopaschism, though she professed the Virgin's Son to be perfect God and perfect man; that the fraternal relations with Byzantium remained open: no general and hardened opposition to the Fourth [canonical territory|canonical boundaries]Ecumenical] Council created a final division between the Church of Persia of Saint Isaac's day and the 'Chalcedonian' Church, as being it did with the litmus test Monophysites, for whom the rejection of Orthodoxythe Council of Chalcedon became a defining element of their identity.Its aim, in a word, was to show that the Church of Persia to which Saint Isaac belonged was neither heretical in theology nor schismatic in confession." (pages 74-75, "Ascetical Homilies of Saint Isaac the Syrian", Revised Second Edition, translated and published by Holy Transfiguration Monastery, Brookline, MA, 2011)
"Why do you increase your bonds? Take hold of your life before your light grows dark and you seek help and do not find it. This life has been given to you for repentance; do not waste it in vain pursuits."
*''The Ascetical Homilies of Saint Isaac the Syrian'', by Holy Transfiguration Monastery (1984). ISBN 978-0913026557.
*''The Ascetical Homilies of Mar Isaac of Nineveh'', by Paul Bedjan (2007). ISBN 978-1593333898. (Texts of the homilies are in Syriac.)
*''The Ascetical Homilies of Saint Isaac the Syrian'', Revised Second Edition, by Holy Transfiguration Monastery (2011). ISBN 978-0943405162
*''Mystical Treatises by Isaac of Nineveh'', by A. J. Wensinck (1923). Reprinted by []
*''Isaac of Nineveh (Isaac the Syrian) 'The Second Part', Chapters IV-XLI'', by Sebastian Brock (1995). ISBN 9068317091
*[[Hilarion (Alfeyev) of Vienna|Hilarion Alfeyev]], ''The Spiritual World of Isaac the Syrian'' (2004). ISBN 978-0879077754.
==Sources and external links==
* []: A collection of resources on St. Isaac
* [ Pearls from Saint Isaac of Syria]
* [ PEARLS of Saint Isaac from Syria]compiled by Fr. Pius Sammut
* [ OCA - Lives of all saints commemorated on January 28 (including St. Isaac the Syrian the Bishop of Nineveh)]
* [ St. Isaac of Nineveh]
[[Category:7th-century bishops]]
[[Category:Syrian Saints]]
[[Category:7th-century saints]]
[[ro:Isaac Sirul]]

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