This week in Christian history: John of Damascus, St. Columba, St. Paul's Cathedral opens

Saint John of Damascus dies - December 4, 749

John of Damascus
Saint John of Damascus (circa 675-749), a notable figure in the Eastern Orthodox Church. |

This week marks the anniversary of when Saint John of Damascus, a monk and theologian who had a prominent influence on the Eastern Orthodox Church, passed away.

Initially a tax official for a Muslim ruler, John became a monk and was the author of a treatise that argued in favor of the veneration of sacred images, putting him at odds with the Iconoclast movement.

“The Iconoclasts obtained a condemnation of John at the Council of Hieria in 754 that was reversed at the second Council of Nicaea in 787,” noted Britannica.

John wrote around 150 works, including Pēgē gnōseōs, or “The Source of Knowledge”, an influential theological work in both the Western and Eastern Churches.

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