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[[Image:Mar Jacob Church--Nisibis.jpg|right|thumb|The newly excavated Church of Saint Jacob in Nisibis.]]
After leading a severe life in the mountains of Kurdistan with St. [[w:Mar Awgin|Eugene (Augin)]], the founder of Persian monasticism, he became the second bishop of Nisibis in 309. Upon the vacancy of that see, which was his native city, Jacob was compelled by the demand of the people to become their bishop. He was then forced to exchange his desert life with life in the city. Although he moved to the city, he changed neither his food, nor his asceticism, nor his simple clothing. In his new position, he worked especially to help the oppressed, those in need, orphans, widows and the poor, for he greatly feared [[Jesus]], the Lord of Hosts.