Rabban Hormizd

Mar Hormizd
Born 6th or early 7th century
Beth Lapat, Persia
Died mid 7th century
Rabban Hormizd Monastery, modern day Iraq
Venerated in Chaldean Catholic Church
Assyrian Church of the East
Syro-Malabar Catholic Church[1]
Feast 2nd Sunday after Easter

Rabban Mar Hormizd (Syriac: ܕܪܒܢ ܗܘܪܡܙܕ ) was a monk who lived in the seventh century in modern northern Iraq). Rabban is the Syriac term for monk. "Rabban" is also the Aramaic word for "teacher".[2] He founded the Rabban Hormizd Monastery, named after him, which has served in the past as the patriarchate of the Church of the East prior to the Chaldean schism. It is now inhabited and served by monks and priests of the Chaldean Catholic Church.

In the Church of the East and its schismatic branches, Rabban Hormizd is commemorated on the second Sunday after Easter.[3]


According to The histories of Rabban Hormizd the Persian and Rabban Bar-Idta, a text written by his disciple Simon[4] before the 12th century,[5] Hormizd was born at the end of the sixth or beginning the seventh century at Beth Lapat (in Sassanid ruled Assyria) from a rich Assyrian Christian family, and at the age of eighteen he started to travel towards Scetes to become a monk there. On the way he met three monks of the Church of the East monastery of Bar Idta who urged him to become an inmate of their monastery, and he did so. He lived a hard, stern life. Hormizd lived in and near the Monastery of Bar Idta for thirty-nine years and in the monastery of Abba Abraham of Risha for six or seven years.

When Hormizd was sixty-five or sixty-six, he left the monastery and passing out of the country of Marga went and settled down in the mountain of Beth 'Edhrai near the Assyrian town of Alqosh. When he had been there some little time the people in the neighbourhood offered to build him a monastery, the present Rabban Hormizd Monastery. The following part of the life of Rabban Hormizd is marked by episodes in which the saint opposed the monks of the Mar Mattai Monastery (which belonged to the rival Syrian Orthodox Church), charged of immoral life and of idolatry.


  1. Fr. Varghese Pathikulangara CMI (2011). Divine Praises in Aramaic Tradition (PDF). Kottayam: Denha Services. p. 48. ISBN 978-93-81207-02-4.
  2. "New Testament Aramaic". Studylight.org. Retrieved 28 September 2016.
  3. Fr. Noel Gorgis. "Memorial of Rabban Hormizd". Kaldaya.net. Retrieved 2009-11-15.
  4. Leroy, Jules; Collin, Peter (2004). Monks and Monasteries of the Near East. pp. 166–167. ISBN 978-1-59333-276-1.
  5. Budge, Ernest Alfred Wallis, ed. (1902). The histories of Rabban Hormizd the Persian and rabban Bar-Idta. London.
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