The monastery was built in the 4th century by an Assyrian king named Senchareb as a penance for killing his son Behnam and daughter Sarah after they converted to Christianity.
The monastery, after its establishment continued its work and contributed greatly to the Christian world under the care of the Syriac Orthodox Church. Sculptures in the church show that renovations were done in 1164 and between 1250-1261. Records show that the monastery suffered greatly during the period from 1743-1790 which was due to attacks carried out by Nader Shah, the then-muslim ruler of Persia, against the Christians in the region.
In 1790 the monastery was taken over by the Catholic Church and was managed for eight years until the Syriac Orthodox church took it back. For some unknown reason, the monks abandoned the monastery in 1819. The monastery changed hands again to the Syriac Catholic Church in 1839, which has cared for it to the present time.