Mar Qardagh

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Saint Qardagh
Born Persia
Died 4th century
Arbil, Adiabene
Venerated in Chaldean Catholic Church, Assyrian Church of the East, Syro-Malabar Church
Major shrine Church of Mar Qardagh, Arbil, Iraq
Feast Friday of the 14th week after the Pentecost

Mar Qardagh (Syriac: ܡܪܝ ܩܪܕܐܓ‎), was a Sassanid prince who was martyred for converting to Christianity.[1]


Qardagh was born to a pagan noble family in the Sassanid Empire during the 4th century. When Qardagh was 25 years old, Shapur II visited his parents’ estate and was impressed with Qardagh’s handsome appearance and athleticism. Qardagh was appointed as a governor for a large region in northern Persia, there he met the Assyrian hermit Abdisho (ܥܒܕܝܫܘܥ) and converted to Christianity.[2]

Upon returning home Qardagh was rejected by his family and under pressure from the religious elite, Shapur sentenced him to be stoned. Qardagh fled with a small army to the mountains where he was able to repel the Persians for months. One night Saint Stephen appeared to him and told him that it was better to give his life for his faith than to continue fighting. He surrendered to the king and it was his own father who threw the first stone.[2]

He was buried in Arbil, Adiabene where a church holding his relics was later constructed.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Joel Walker (25 March 2006). The Legend of Mar Qardagh: Narrative and Christian Heroism in Late Antique Iraq. University of California Press. ISBN 978-0-520-93219-7. 
  2. ^ a b c Mar Qardagh, St. Peter The Apostle Catholic Diocese for Chaldeans and Assyrians