Maruthas of Martyropolis

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This article is about 5th century Christian saint. For other uses, see Marutha (disambiguation).
Saint Maruthas
Saint Maruthas, Bishop of Martyropolis in Mesopotamia (Menologion of Basil II).jpeg
Maruthas portrayed in the Menologion of Basil II
Father of the Syrian Church[1]
Born 4th century
Died ca. 420
Honored in
All Christianity
Feast 4 December (Roman Catholic Church)[1]

Saint Maruthas or Marutha of Martyropolis was a monk who became bishop of Maypherkat in Mesopotamia (Meiafarakin) for a period beginning before 399 through 410. He's believed to have died before 420. He is venerated as a Saint by Catholics, Greek Orthodox believers and Copts, his feast being kept on 4 December.

Chaldean Rite Martyrs prayer - Monday Vespers, attributed to Maruthas.

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He brought into his episcopal city the relics of so many martyrs that it received the surname Martyropolis.

He was a friend of Saint John Chrysostom.

He acted as an ambassador between the East Roman Emperor and the Persian Emperor.

In the interests of the Church of Persia, which had suffered much in the persecution of Shapur II, he came to Constantinople, but found Emperor Arcadius too busily engaged in the affairs about the exile of St. John Chrysostom. Later Maruthas was sent by Emperor Theodosius II to the court of Persia, where, notwithstanding the Magi, he won the esteem of King Yazdegerd I of Persia by his affability, saintly life, and, as is claimed, by his knowledge of medicine. So Marutha managed to negotiate a peace between the two empires.

He was present at the general First Council of Constantinople in 381 and at a Council of Antioch in 383 (or 390), at which the Messalians were condemned. For the benefit of the Persian Church he is said to have held two synods at Ctesiphon. A great organizer, he was one of the first to give a regular structure to the church, helped in his mission by the catholicos Isaac.

His writings include:

  • Acts of the Persian Martyrs (these acts remember the victims of the persecution of Shapur II; ample portions of this work have survived, though perhaps written by someone other than Maruthas)
  • History of the Council of Nicaea
  • A translation in Syriac of the canons of the Council of Nicaea
  • A Syrian lytugy, or anaphora
  • Commentaries on the Gospels
  • Acts of the Council of Seleucia-Ctesiphon (26 spurious canons of a synod held in 410)

He also wrote hymns on the Holy Eucharist, on the Cross, and on saints died in Shapur's persecution.


  1. ^ a b "St. Maruthas". Retrieved August 21, 2012. 


 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainHerbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "St. Maruthas". Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company.