John VII the Oxite
John VII the Oxite was the Patriarch of Antioch from 1090 to 1155. His patriarchate was beset with attacks upon and occupation of the city of Antioch by Seljuk Turks and forces of the first Crusade. He was patriarch-in-exile in Constantinople during the latter part of his patriarchate.
Little is known of the early life of John. As a monk before he became patriarch he wrote an eulogy of Anna Dalassena, the mother of Alexius I Comnenus. He was elected patriarch of Antioch in 1090 during the time the city was held by the Seljuk Turks. . John VII endured the siege of Antioch by the crusader army in 1097 during which he was imprisoned by the Seljuk Turk governor Yaghi-Siyan, who upon occasions had him hung from the walls while his feet were hit by iron rods. After the crusaders took Antioch in June 1098, Patr. John was reinstated as patriarch by the papal legate who wanted to maintain good relations with Constantinople.
Shortly after the city was taken by the crusaders the crusaders established a Latin patriarchate. A Latin patriarch, Peter of Narbonne, was consecrated by Patr. John, The two patriarchs existed together for a short time before the first crusader prince of Antioch, Bohemund, found John's presence politically inconvenient. Bohemund then accused Patr. John of conspiring with Constantinople, an old enemy of Bohemund and his Norman family. In 1100, Bohemund further added insult to emperor Alexius I Komneno of Constantinople and the Orthodox Church when he appointed Bernard of Valence as the new Latin Patriarch and expelled Patr, John VII, who fled to Constantinople.
After John's exile, the Orthodox Christian populace came under repression as Bohemund favored the Latin Church,
In Constantinople, John entered a monastery in Oxia, where he wrote anti-Latin treatises. Patr. John reposed in 1155. His successors as Orthodox patriarchs of Antioch continued to reside in Constantinople after their election until it was possible to restore residency in Antioch later in the twelfth century.
John VII the Oxite
|Patriarch of Antioch