John the Iberian

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Saint John the Iberian
Sabinin. St. Ioane, Gabriel and Eqvtime Hagiorits.jpg
John the Iberian, Gabriel the Iberian and Euthymius of Athos
Born Georgia
Died ~1002 AD
Mount Athos
Venerated in Roman Catholic Church; Eastern Orthodox Church
Feast July 12

John the Iberian (Georgian: იოანე, Ioane; died c. 1002) was a Georgian monk, who is venerated as a saint. His name refers to the Caucasian Iberia, not to the Spanish peninsula, and he is also known as John the Georgian, John the Hagiorite, and John Iweron. A member of the Georgian nobility, he was married and served as a military commander. However, he later became a monk in Bithynia and then traveled to Constantinople to rescue his son, Euthymius the Illuminator (Euthymius Opplyseren). Euthymius had been held as a hostage by the emperor.

John and his son attracted many followers, so they both retired to the monastery of Saint Athanasius on Mount Athos. They founded Iviron monastery with the help of John’s brother-in-law, John Thornikos, a retired general. John served as the first abbot of Iviron.

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