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St. John was born around 675 to a wealthy Christian family in Damascus. He spent all his life under Mohammedan rule. A brilliant monk named Cosmas, provided his education. Cosmas was captured in a Mohammedan raid on Sicily and John’s father, Mansur, purchased him. John defended the practice of venerating images and soon became a leading champion of Catholic position. This earned him the enmity of the Byzantine Emperors because they couldn’t molest him physically because he was under the caliph’s rule and protection. He was ordained in Constantinople by Patriarch John V. John spent his life defending the faith. In his writings, he influenced theologians of both East and West. He died at Sabas, probably on December 5 and was made a Doctor of the Church by Pope Leo XIII in 1890.
FEAST DAY: March 27