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Saint Ioasaph of India

About Saint Iosaph of India

Saint Ioasaph of India, also known as Saint Iosaph or Joseph of India, is a lesser-known but deeply revered figure in the Eastern Orthodox Church. As a convert from Buddhism and a King who later embraced the ascetic life, his story embodies the transformative power of the Christian faith.

Feast Day

November 27

Birth Place



Saint Ioasaph of India

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Early Life and Education


Early Life and Education

The legend of Saint Ioasaph, largely inspired by the life of Buddha, is presented in the "Barlaam and Ioasaph" tale—a Christianized version of the Buddha's life story. Ioasaph was born a prince, the son of King Abenner, who ruled over some part of India. Fearing a prophecy that his son would abandon earthly riches for religious life, the king isolated young Ioasaph in a splendid palace, away from the harsh realities of the world.


Ecclesiastical Career

Despite the King's efforts, Ioasaph met with Saint Barlaam, a Christian hermit, who introduced him to Christian faith. Profoundly impacted by Barlaam's teachings and the message of Christianity, Ioasaph converted and was baptized.

Following his father's death, Ioasaph assumed kingship and ruled wisely and justly, implementing Christian values and principles. His reign saw the spread of Christianity, and many of his subjects converted to the faith.

Ecclesiastical Career

Later Life and Canonization


Later Life and Canonization

After many years as a Christian king, Ioasaph felt a deep desire for solitude and prayer. He abdicated the throne and retreated into the desert to live as a hermit, dedicating his life to prayer, fasting, and contemplation.

The date of his repose is not definitively known, but his life continues to inspire believers with its testament to the transformative power of Christian faith and the spiritual richness found in asceticism.



The legacy of Saint Ioasaph is not tied to great theological works or miraculous wonders but rather his personal journey of transformation—from a sheltered prince to a Christian king, and ultimately, a desert ascetic. His life serves as a compelling testament to the profound impact of Christian faith and the joy of embracing Christ.

Those who wish to delve into the inspiring life of Orthodox Saints are invited to explore our collection here. Experience the spiritual journey of a king who found his true kingdom in the heart of Christian faith.



Where are the relics of Saint Ioasaph of India

There is no widely recognized set of relics for Saint Ioasaph or a specific location where they are venerated, primarily because the story is a Christian adaptation of the Buddha's life, and the historicity of Ioasaph as a distinct individual separate from Siddhartha is not established. Thus, no relics are attributed to him in Orthodox Christian tradition.

Other Saints from this region

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Works written by Saint Nektarios

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History of Orthodoxy in India

Eastern Orthodoxy in India: Thriving Amidst Spiritual Diversity, Rooted in Ancient Apostolic Tradition

Embark on a journey through the intriguing world of Eastern Orthodoxy in India, where the faith has blossomed in the midst of the country's rich spiritual diversity. Although Christianity is a minority religion in India, its impact and presence are significant, and Orthodoxy forms a vital thread in this intricate religious tapestry.
Orthodox Church

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