Abraham the Great of Kashkar
Saint Abraham the Great
|Founder of Abraham's Monastery on Mt. Izla|
|Venerated in||Assyrian Church of the East|
|Feast||6th Friday after Epiphany|
Monasticism was very popular in early Syrian and Mesopotamian Christianity. Some held the view that only a life of celibacy could lead to salvation. Initially, all monks and nuns were hermits, but in about 350 Mar Awgin founded the first cenobitic monastery of Mesopotamia on Mount Izla above the city Nisibis, patterned upon the Egyptian model. Soon there were many monasteries.
But at the synod of Beth Lapat the Assyrian Church of the East decided that all monks and nuns should marry. Obviously, this was in order to please the Zoroastrian rulers, who held family life sacred. The decision severely weakened the church. The decision was reverted in 553.
In 571 Abraham founded and governed a new monastery on Mt. Izla. This became the famous monastery called the "Great Convent". The rules he established in 571 were published with those of Dadisho, his successor (588-604).
Abraham died in 586.
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