St John of Damascus (St John Damascene) was a Catholic monk, priest, hymn composer, and apologist. He is the last or one of the last of the Eastern Fathers and is the Doctor of the Assumption in the Catholic Church.
Why is St John of Damascus Important?
John of Damascus was born in 675 AD.
Saracen pirates raided all around Damascus, but John, through his intellect and wisdom, made even the Saracens respect him. He was ordained a priest but in which year it is not known.
During this life, icons (religious sacred art) were under attack, with the iconoclasts claiming they violated the commandments of God.
But St John Damascene refuted those arguments, writing three treatises defending the veneration of images, even against the errors on the Eastern Emperor on this topic.
Saint John Damascene became a monk at Saint Sabas monastery and survived persecutions by the Muslims of the Metropolitan bishop of Damascus, as well as Peter, bishop of Majuma.
He is known both as the Doctor of Christian Art due to his defense of the veneration of images against the iconoclasts, as well the Doctor of the Assumption for his defense of Our Lady’s Assumption to Heaven.
He died around 754 AD.
St John Damascene is the patron saint of pharmacists, icon painters, theology students.
St John of Damascus was declared a Doctor of the Church by Pope Leo XIII in 1890.