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Addai and Mari, Ss.


According to Syrian Christian legend, Addai (Thaddeus) and Mari were two of the Lord's 72 Disciples, and were sent by Christ to establish the Church in Syria and Persia. Addai is named in the Acta Edessena, partly preserved by Eusebius (Hist. eccl. 1.13), which recounts the legends of abgar and part of the "Doctrine of Addai." The Doctrine is a fourth-century apocryphal account of the founding of Christianity in Edessa; it gives the story of the finding of the holy cross by Protonica, describes the Emperor Tiberius as punishing Jews for the crucifixion of Christ, and mentions Palut as one of the earliest bishops of Edessa. The Edessan portrait of Christ attributed in the account to Ananias, the messenger of King Abgar V, must be later than 394 for it is not mentioned by Aetheria in her Peregrinatio ad loca sancta.

Mari is considered the disciple of Addai and one of the 72. He is said to have founded the Persian Church in Kōē near Seleucia-Ctesiphon, and the monastery at Dair Qunnā. The Acta S. Maris was written probably in the ninth century. The Nestorians trace the foundation of their liturgy to SS. Addai and Mari.

Feast: Aug 5.

Bibliography: labubnĀ bar sennĀk, The Doctrine of Addai, ed. and tr. g. phillips (London 1876). h. rahner, Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche 1:136. j. assfalg, ibid. 7:24. a. baumstark, Geschichte der syrischen Literatur (Bonn 1922). b. botte, "L'Anaphore Chaldéene des Apôtres," Orientalia Christiana periodica 15 (1949) 259276.

[f. x. murphy]

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