Ignatius Noah of Lebanon

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Ignatius Noah of Lebanon
Syriac Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and All the East
ChurchSyriac Orthodox Church
Term ended1509
PredecessorIgnatius John XIV
SuccessorIgnatius Yeshu I
Personal details
Birth nameNoah
Baqufa, Mamluk Sultanate
Died28 July 1509
Hama, Mamluk Sultanate
ResidenceMonastery of Az-Zannār

Ignatius Noah of Lebanon,[1] also known as Nuh the Lebanese,[2] was the Patriarch of Antioch, and head of the Syriac Orthodox Church from 1493 until his death in 1509.[2]


Noah was born in 1451 in the village of Baqufa, near Tripoli, into a Maronite family originally from Damascus.[2] At an early age, Noah and his brother converted to miaphysitism, the doctrine of the Syriac Orthodox Church, as a result of missionary work led by Mor Dioscurus, the metropolitan bishop of Syria. Noah undertook a pilgrimage to Jerusalem and was subsequently ordained as a priest by Dioskoros Isa ibn Daw, metropolitan bishop of Jerusalem, at the Monastery of Saint Moses the Abyssinian. Whilst at the monastery, Noah studied the Syriac language and religious sciences under Thomas of Homs.[2] He was later sent by Dioskoros Isa ibn Daw to preach amongst the Maronites in the Lebanese mountains.

In 1480, Noah was ordained metropolitan of Homs by Ignatius John XIV, Patriarch of Antioch, upon which he took the name Cyril.[2] Noah continued his work amongst the Maronite communities of Lebanon and converted many priests and their congregations.[3] He was later ordained the Maphrian of the East by Ignatius John XIV in 1489, thereafter assuming the name Basilius, and held this office until his election and consecration as Patriarch of Antioch, the head of the Syriac Orthodox Church, in 1493.[2] Noah adopted the name Ignatius, after St. Ignatius of Antioch, thus following the tradition established by Ignatius Behnam Hadliyo, Patriarch of Antioch.[2]

As patriarch, a dispute emerged between Noah and Ignatius Mas'ud of Zaz, Patriarch of Tur Abdin, over the consecration of a certain Abraham as the metropolitan bishop of Ma'dan.[1] Both Mas'ud and Noah had consecrated their candidates as metropolitan bishop of Ma'dan despite the location of Ma'dan, which was outside of the jurisdiction of the patriarchate of Tur Abdin.[1] Pope John XIII of Alexandria, the head of the Coptic Orthodox Church, joined Noah in condemning Mas'ud, however, advised conciliation and unity in a letter to Noah.[1] During his tenure as patriarch, Noah ordained thirteen bishops before his death at Hama on 28 July 1509.[2]


Noah is known to have also been a writer and poet and several surviving works are attributed to him.[2] He produced a 92-page anthology containing a number of odes and a eulogy to Thomas of Homs, his former tutor.[2] The patriarch is known to have written a very brief history of the church as well as theological works in Arabic and Syriac.[2]


  1. ^ a b c d Swanson (2007), p. 126
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Barsoum (2003)
  3. ^ Salibi (1959), p. 86


  • Barsoum, Ignatius Aphrem I (2003). Matti Moosa, ed. The Scattered Pearls: The History of Syriac Literature and Sciences
  • Swanson, Mark N. (2007). The Coptic Papacy in Islamic Egypt: The Popes of Egypt. Cairo, Egypt: American University In Cairo Press.
  • Salibi, Kamal Suleiman (1959). Maronite historians of mediæval Lebanon. Beirut, Lebanon: American University of Beirut.
Preceded by
Ignatius John XIV
Syriac Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch
Succeeded by
Ignatius Yeshu I