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]]).
is fully accepted as a saint in the Orthodox Church , though during his lifetime, he was [[canons ( law)|canonically]] a member of the [[Assyrian Church of the East|Church of the East]], a church that has been associated with the [[Nestorianism|Nestorian heresy ]], although that charge is contested today. His writings nevertheless came to be extremely popular in Orthodox monastic circles and are well-known for their Orthodoxy. Most contemporary Nestorians rejected St. Isaac's three theses, which , although they are not known in their exact form, were Orthodox and incompatible with the Nestorian heresy.[ http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08176a.htm] One of his extant prayers to Christ makes it difficult for one to maintain that the holy monk was a Nestorian .[http: //www.newadvent.org/cathen/08176a.htm] [ [Veneration]] for him grew, and he came to be incorporated into the Orthodox calendar of saints. His inclusion is thus an indication that the Church does not regard [[canonical territory|canonical boundaries]] as being the litmus test of Orthodoxy.
*''Ascetical Homilies of Saint Isaac the Syrian'' (
1985). ISBN 978-0913026557. *''The Ascetical Homilies of Mar Isaac of Nineveh'' (2007). ISBN 978-1593333898. (Texts of the homilies are in Syriac.)