Marutha of Tikrit
|Marutha of Tagrit|
|Maphrian of the Syriac Orthodox Church|
|Church||Syriac Orthodox Church|
|Archdiocese||Maphrianate of the East|
by Athanasius I Gammolo
Shawarzaq, Sassanid Empire
|Died||2 May 649
Tagrit, Rashidun Caliphate
Marutha was born in 565 in the village of Shawarzaq, near Beth Nuhadra in the Sassanian province of Arbayistan, and was educated at the local Monastery of Mor Samuel. From here he moved to the Monastery of Nardas near Balad where he became the assistant of the Bishop of Beth Arbaye, Mor Zacchaeus. At the Monastery of Mor Zacchaeus, near Raqqa, Marutha studied theological sciences, Syriac and Greek for ten years. He later completed his studies in calligraphy at the Mountain of Edessa, under the monk Thomas.
In 605, after finishing his studies, Marutha began teaching theology at the Monastery of Mor Mattai. Not long after, he was called to the court of the Sassanian Shah Khosrau II to serve as chaplain of the convent near the palace, founded by his favourite wife, Shirin. Upon Khosrau II's downfall in 628, persecutions against Monophysite Christians began and Marutha was forced to the convent of Beth Rabban Shabor, before returning to the Monastery of Mor Mattai.
At the end of the Byzantine–Sasanian War of 602–628, John of the Sedre, Athanasius I Gammolo's secretary, was sent to the court of Khosrau's successor, Kavadh II. Whilst returning from Ctesiphon, John invited several bishops and monks, including Marutha, to join him on his return to the patriarch. Upon his arrival, John held a synod to organise the Syriac Orthodox Church within the Sassanian Empire under the authority of a single metropolitan. Marutha was chosen by the synod to become the new Metropolitan of the East or Maphrian and was consecrated by Athanasius I Gammolo in late 628.
Afterwards, he held a synod at the Monastery of Mor Mattai where he issued twenty-four canons and began organising thirteen existing dioceses into the Maphrianate, based at the Jacobite majority city of Tagrit. He also later created four more dioceses after the fall of the Sassanian Empire, as the new Rashidun Caliphate allowed the Syriac Orthodox faith greater freedom in Persia.
As maphrian, Marutha founded the monasteries of St. Sergius near Tagrit and the nunnery of Beth Ébhré as well as a new cathedral in Tagrit. He administered the maphrianate until his death on 2 May 649.
His works include an extensive commentary on the Gospels, several supplicatory prose hymns and festal homilies and a polemical treatise against the Church of the East. Marutha also wrote a liturgy.
- "88- Marutha of Takrit (d. 649)". syriacstudies.com. Retrieved August 20, 2012.
|Syriac Orthodox Maphrian of the East