Ignatius John XIV

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Ignatius John XIV bar Shay Allah
Syriac Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and All the East
Church Syriac Orthodox Church
See Antioch
Installed 1483
Term ended 1493
Predecessor Ignatius Chaleph of Maʿdan
Successor Ignatius Noah of Lebanon
Personal details
Birth name John bar Shay Allah
Born 1442
Mardin, Aq Qoyunlu
Died 1493

Ignatius John XIV bar Shay Allah was the Patriarch of Antioch, and head of the Syriac Orthodox Church from 1483 until his death in 1493.


John was born in 1442 in the city of Mardin, where he would go on to study Syriac literature under Simon of Amid, a priest at the Church of the Forty Martyrs in Mardin, and John of Mardin. John also studied astronomy, dialectics, philosophy and theology in Mamluk Syria and Egypt. According to church documents, John was ordained Bishop of Sawro and Amid, the capital of the Aq Qoyunlu, in 1471, however it has been argued that John was ordained in 1474.[1]

As bishop, John immediately began restoring dilapidated churches and monasteries throughout his diocese. Upon the death of Patriarch Chaleph in 1483, popular support for who would succeed him was divided between John and the former patriarch's nephew, the Maphrian Baselios Philoxenus. However, few bishops attempted to bribe the governor of Mardin, Ibrahim Beg, to acquire the patriarchal seat. Despite this, Ibrahim Beg, apparently influenced by the fact that John was heavily in debt to him as a result of his reconstruction efforts as Bishop of Amid, gave John his seal of approval as well as a fine garment.

During his tenureship as patriarch, John continued to restore churches throughout Aq Qoyunlu territory, such as in Harput, Se'ert, Mardin, Amid, Nisibis and Mosul. John's success in achieving permission to restore the Church of Mor Batlo in Nisibis, a Nestorian majority town, caused uproar amongst the Nestorians who then sent a delegation to the Emir, protesting the project on the basis that Christians had not been permitted to build new churches under Muslim rule before. John was summoned to Mardin where he provided evidence of the former foundations of the Church of Mor Batlo and convinced the governor to continue the project.

After the completion of the church in Nisibis, John installed a bishop at the church, despite the small Jacobite congregation that resided in Nisibis of a total of four families. Baselios Philoxenus' death in 1487, shortly after the completion of the church, caused John to travel to Mosul to prevent reprisals by Nestorians and subsequently restored the Monastery of Mar Behnam. In 1489, John ordained Noah of Lebanon as Maphrian of the East.

John ordained a total of fourteen metropolitans and bishops before his death in 1493.


Preceded by
Ignatius Khalaf
Syriac Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch
Succeeded by
Ignatius Nuh of Lebanon