John of Damascus, St.

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John of Damascus, St.

John of Damascus, St., Green theologian and hymn writer, also known as Johannes Damascenus and Johannes Chrysorrhoas; b. Damascus, c.645; d. near Jerusalem, Dec. 4, 749. Around 730 he became a monk at the Mar Saba monastery near Jerusalem. He was honored as a theological doctor of both the Greek Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches. He was the author of various “canons” or hymns for Greek liturgical use, and prepared a revision of the Octoēchos, the hymnbook of the Greek Orthodox Church.

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire