Thursday, August 03, 2006

Commemoration of Mar Mari the Apostle - August 4th

August 4th marks the Commemoration of Mar Mari the Apostle. Here's a brief background information on Mar Mari:

The Assyrian Church of the East traces its origin to the Apostle Thomas along with Mar Addai and Mar Mari, who were among Christ's seventy disciples (Luke 10:1) and who preached in Mesopotamia between AD 37- AD 65. After the martyrdom of Mar Addai two of his disciples, Mar Agai and Mar Mari continued his work.Mar Mari was the disciple of Mar Addai, who was dispatched by Mar Addai from Edessa to the East. The Acts traces Mar Mari’s itinerary and preaching in Mesopotamia until his arrival in Babylonia, where he subsequently went on to find a church in Seleucia-Ctesiphon, on the Tigris River near Baghdad. By the early fifth century, the birthplace of Christianity in Babylonia became the patriarchal seat of the Church of the East (currently, Assyrian Church of the East), whose ecclesiastical jurisdiction and cultural influence extended during the early medieval period as far as China. Mar Mari's missionary activity reaches its peak in the end of the 80’s of the first Christian century. According to the Acts, Mar Mari founded over 300 churches or communities. He was later buried at Deir Qunni, which was known as one of the foremost pilgrimage sites and ‘basilicas’ of the patriarchal see.

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