|Mor Yuhanon (John), Metropolitan of Mardin, July 12|
St. Yuhanon (John) of Mardin (d. 1165)
He is Yusuf (Joseph) of Edessa. He became a monk in the Mountain of Edessa and in 1125, for his virtuous life was ordained a metropolitan of Mardin and its environs: Dara, Khabur, Kafar tut and Tallbasem. At his ordination he was given the name Yuhanon (John) and worked hard to improve conditions in his diocese. He renovated the Monastery of Mor Hananyo IDayr ul-Zafaran) together with twenty-four more monasteries and churches, some of which were newly constructed. He filled the monasteries with monks and enacted for them canons in a council he convened in the former monastery presided by Mapheryono (Catholicos) Ignatius II in 1153. He was distinguished for his proficiency in architectural engineering and he spent his life following the most commendable principles of architecture. He became focus of attention and left behind a praiseworthy record. He died on July 12, 1165. Patriarch Michael instituted a day in his commemoration and eulogized him in a poem.
When Zangi conquered Urhoy (Edessa) in 1144 and calamities afflicted its inhabitants, John wrote a book in which he maintained that these calamities have afflicted the city for temporal reasons. He argued that if there was an army in the city nothing would have happened to it. Therefore, the will of God has nothing to do with these calamities. He reached this conclusion arbitrarily and for this reason it was refuted by four of his contemporary learned men.
He enacted forty canons in the formerly mentioned council and followed them by forty-one more for the monks of his own diocese. Shortly before the year 1155 he composed a treatise about the mystery of the Holy Chrism and its composition, addressed to a certain Yeshu. In this treatise, which covers thirty-six pages, he discussed some ritualistic subjects. His style is mediocre and he himself is considered a mediocre writer. Some Orientalists have erroneously attributed to him the anaphora of Iwannis Jacob Shakko, dated 1231.
(History of Syriac Literature and Sciences, Patriarch Ignatius Ephrem I Barsoum, Presseggiata Press, p 142)