St. Isaac of Syria
Saint Isaac the Syrian (613 – c. 700), also known as, Isaac of Nineveh and Isaac of Qatar, was a 7th-century ascetic, Christian bishop and theologian best remembered for his written works on monasticism and asceticism. St. Isaac was born in Eastern Arabia in the region of Qatar on the western shore of the Persian Gulf. When he was young, he entered a monastery with his brother. Here he became an expert in theology which lead him to teaching throughout the region. His fame grew as a holy man and teacher and eventually caught the attention of Church authorities. He was subsequently 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 in the Orthodox Church is celebrated on January 28.