Mar Oraha Monastery

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Mar Oraha Monastery
Mar Oraha.gif
The monastery during the 1960s
Basic information
Location Batnaya, Nineveh,  Iraq
Geographic coordinates 36°32′41″N 43°08′44″E / 36.544722°N 43.145556°E / 36.544722; 43.145556Coordinates: 36°32′41″N 43°08′44″E / 36.544722°N 43.145556°E / 36.544722; 43.145556
Affiliation Chaldean Catholic
Country Iraq
Completed 6th century

Dayra d'Mar Oraha (Syriac: ܕܝܪܐ ܕܡܪܝ ܘܪܐܗܐ‎) (Saint Abraham Monastery) is a Chaldean Catholic monastery in northern Iraq close to the town of Batnaya.

The monastery is traditionally attributed to Mar Oraha, who was forced to abandon his hermitage in Mount Alfaf due to a draught, and descended to the plains of Nineveh, where he built his monastery during Ishoʿyahb I's patriarchy (581-596).[1] It was occupied by monks of the Church of the East until 1719, when it passed to the Chaldean Catholic Church. The monastery was completely destroyed and its monks were killed at the hands of Nadir Shah during his campaign in the region in 1743. In 1921, it was rebuilt with the help of the Dominican Order.[2]

The feast of Mar Oraha is held twice at the monastery: the first Sunday of the Great Lent, and the second Sunday after Easter.[3]


  1. ^ F. John Fiye, 'Assyrian Christianity', Chapter 2 , p.265.
  2. ^ F. John Fiye, 'Assyrian Christianity', Chapter 2 , p.533.
  3. ^ Sulaiman Al-Saigh, 'The Nineveh Villages', Al-Mashriq magazine, Issue 21, 1923 , p.422.