The Apostle of Mesopotamia

The Syrian acts of Mar Mari, from the sixth/seventh century… credit Mar Mari with the first complete evangelization of Mesopotamia. He serves as the apostle to Mesopotamia, whose two major rivers, the Euphrates and the Tigris, according the Genesis, flowed out of paradise (Gen 2:14) According to the acts, Mar Addai sent him from Edessa to the east. He first taught in Nisibis and then moved on the Arbil, the capital of the principality of Adiabene in modern Iraqi Kurdistan, where he cured the king of leprosy and cast out a demon the from the son of an officer. On the way south, he, like Jesus, healed the afflicted, cast demons out of the possessed and even raised the dead. In Seleucia-Ctesiphon he encountered resistance; the citizens wanted nothing of the Good News. Only a successful demonstration of divine judgement, in which the apostle remained unharmed in a blazing fire, enabled a few conversions, after which Mari destroyed a pagan temple and erected atop its ruins a chapel – the future cathedral of Kokhe. He then followed the Tigris south, reached present-day Basra and concluded his journey in Khuzistan and the province of Persia. The acts close with the extolling of Mari, who, like a ‘pillar of fire’, led believers through the desert of ignorance into the kingdom of the Gospel.

Baumer, The Church of the East, pp. 19-20

Photo by โ€๐ŸŒธ๐Ÿ™Œ ุฃุฎูŒโ€ŒููŠโ€Œุงู„ู„ู‡ on Unsplash

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