St. Jacob of Serugh

April 20, 2022

In the fifth century, St Jacob of Serugh was an early Byzantine Christian monk and priest. His name comes from his birthplace in Syria. His feast day is celebrated on 29 November in many churches in the Syriac tradition, and other churches. Although the year is unknown, he was also declared a saint by the Catholic Church.

A Brief History

Saint Jacob of Serugh, better known as Saint James or simply Jacob, was born in the year 451 and died in 521. He was a priest and monk in Christianity who is believed to have been martyred by beheading. A leading theologian during his lifetime, he is sometimes referred to as Jacob of Serugh, and/or by variants on that name, after his place of birth. He is considered to be among those named in Matthew as a witness to Jesus Christ’s ministry and resurrection. While there are no surviving records concerning his life or death, what has survived from him are several theological works that were influential for both Eastern and Western Christians for centuries after his death.

Fun Facts About Jacob of Serugh

He was believed to be an Armenian. He served as a bishop for about five years. After his death, he was considered to be a saint by many throughout Christendom and he was particularly revered in Armenia and Syria. In addition to being venerated in Christianity, he was also honored by followers of Islam and Judaism. There are several different accounts regarding how Jacob died but one thing is certain: he was martyred for his faith during a time when Christians were often persecuted due to their beliefs. He spent all his life in asceticism, preaching Christianity in Mesopotamia where he converted a great number of pagans to Christianity. He passed away at the age of 70 and is recognized as a saint and scholar of the Syrian Church.


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