- Friday, 04 December 2009 11:08
Saint John of Damascus spent most of his life in the monastery of Saint Sabas, near Jerusalem, under Muslim rule, indeed, protected by it. Born in Damascus c. 676, John received a classical and theological education, and followed his father in a government position under the Muslims. He resigned after a few years so that he could go to the monastery of Saint Sabas. Saint John is considered the last of the Greek Church Fathers (his writings)
Three points to remember about the Damascene:
1. he is known for his opposition to the iconoclasts, who opposed the veneration of images. Paradoxically, it was the Eastern Christian emperor Leo who forbade the practice, and it was because John lived in Muslim territory that his enemies could not silence him.
2. he is famous for his treatise, Exposition of the Orthodox Faith, a summary of the Greek Fathers. It is said that this book is the Eastern equivalent of Aquinas’ Summa.
3. he is known as a poet, one of the two greatest in the Eastern Church (the other being Romanus the Melodist). His devotion to the Theotokos (the Blessed Virgin Mary) and his sermons on her feasts are well known.
- Thursday, 04 December 2008 06:15
Like a tree planted by streams of water,’ Ps. 1:3 the soul is irrigated by the Bible and
acquires vigor, produces tasty fruit, namely, true faith, and is beautified with a thousand green leaves, namely, actions that please God. (The Damascene)
Almighty and eternal God, Who did imbue blessed John with heavenly doctrine and wonderful fortitude of heart for defending the veneration of sacred images; grant that through his intercession and example we may imitate the virtues, and experience the protection of those whose we venerate.
Saint John Damascene was an 8th century Syrian monk, a polymath, hymn writer, author and Doctor of the Assumption. He’s known to be the last of the Greek Fathers.