Confessor, Doctor of the Church, born Damascus, Syria, 676; died 770. His father, though a Christian, was esteemed by his Saracen countrymen, and was chief financial officer for the caliph. John was educated by the monk Cosmas; after his father’s death he was made chief councilor of Damascus. He vigorously opposed the Iconoclast persecution propagated by Leo the Isaurian, and retired to the monastery of Saint Sabas, near Jerusalem, where he was ordained priest by John V, Patriarch of Jerusalem. He was the last of the Greek Fathers. His contributions to theology are encyclopedic rather than original; he is considered by some the precursor of the Scholastics, by others the first Scholastic. He is regarded as the first theological encyclopedist, and as the prince of Greek hymnodists. Feast, Roman Calendar, 27 March.