Ignatius Hidayat Allah

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Ignatius Hadayat Allah (died 1639) was Syriac Patriarch of Antioch from 1597 until his death. His death caused a some controversy in the church hierarchy, as subsequently Ahatallah, Bishop of Damascus and a convert to Catholicism, claimed to be his rightful successor. Unable to assume the post, Ahatallah went to Egypt and then to India, where he advanced the claim to the Saint Thomas Christians.

Early days and ordination[edit]

The monastery of Mar Hnanya, also known as Deir Zaʿfaran, the 'saffron monastery'

Hadayat Allah was born in the Tur ʿAbdin. In 1586 he became a monk in the monastery of Mar Hnanya (Deir Zaʿfaran) near Mardin, and was ordained a deacon in 1587 by the Syriac Orthodox Patriarch Ignatius David II Shah. He became a bishop in 1595. In 1597 he was consecrated maphrian of the East by the patriarch Ignatius Pilate I. He was consecrated patriarch of Antioch later in the same year, on Pilate's death.

Death and succession controversy[edit]

Ignatius Hadayat Allah died in 1639, and was succeeded in 1640 by Ignatius Simon I.[1] Simon's succession was contested by Ahatallah, a former Syrian Orthodox bishop of Damascus who had converted to Catholicism, who insisted that he was Hadayat Allah's rightful successor. Unable to secure his claim, Ahatallah went to Persia and then to Egypt, and eventually to Portuguese India where he claimed to have been sent by the pope as a new Patriarch for the Saint Thomas Christians. The Portuguese claimed he was an impostor and sent him to Rome, but not before he had influenced the Saint Thomas Christian clergy. He died on his way to Rome before any of his claims could be validated.


  1. ^ Fiey, POCN, 36


Preceded by
Ignatius Pilate I
List of Syriac Patriarchs of Antioch from 512 to 1783
Succeeded by
Ignatius Simon I