Born in the early 7th century in the region of Qatar on the western shore of the Persian Gulf, Isaac chose the monastic life from a young age. He was ordained a bishop of Nineveh (modern-day Mosul, Iraq) but requested to be relieved of his duties only five months later to live in solitude.
Saint Isaac moved to the wilderness of Mount Matout, a region known for its ascetic hermits. Here he devoted himself to prayer, fasting, and writing. His works, primarily composed of spiritual instructions, discourses, and homilies, tackled various themes, from divine love and humility to prayer and the inner struggle against passions.
His writings, marked by a profound sense of God's love and mercy, are still widely read today. They continue to inspire and guide those seeking to deepen their spiritual lives.
Saint Isaac reposed around the end of the 7th century. Although little is known about his later years, his writings have cemented his legacy as one of the most significant ascetic writers in the Christian tradition. His ability to articulate the depths of Christian spiritual experience with clarity and depth is unparalleled.
It is noteworthy that Saint Isaac's works were not initially embraced by the Church due to his association with the Nestorian Church. However, the spiritual richness of his writings transcended these barriers, and he is now venerated as a saint in the Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, and Roman Catholic Churches.
Saint Isaac the Syrian's legacy lies in his profound spiritual insights and the timeless wisdom contained in his ascetic writings. His teachings, emphasizing the transformative power of divine love and the importance of inner stillness, continue to illuminate the spiritual path for countless believers.
For those who wish to delve into the rich spiritual heritage of the Orthodox Saints, we invite you to explore our collection here. Experience the wisdom of a saint who dedicated his life to articulating the depths of Christian spirituality.
The revered homilies of Saint Isaac the Syrian delve into the tranquil realm of prayer and hesychasm—a lifestyle cherished equally by monastics and laymen. This comprehensive volume includes not only an enlightening introduction about Saint Isaac's life and in-depth exploration of the homilies' manuscripts and their various translations, but also supportive materials such as maps and appendices. The appendices feature unique homilies from Saint Isaac exclusive to the Syriac, along with a helpful glossary of distinctive terms. This edition encompasses all the homilies from the first publication and introduces two more, freshly translated from the Syriac, that were absent in the first edition.