Priest. Leader of a group of twelve 6th century Syrian monks who evangelized Georgia, and introduced the monastic life to the region. Said to have befriended the bears that lived near his hermitage, and to have found them friendlier than most of the natives!
His companions were Abibos Nekreseli, Anton Martmkofeli, David Garejeli, Zenon Ikaltoeli, Tadeoz of Stephantsminda, Ise of Tsilkani, Ioseb of Alaverdi, Isidore of Samtavno, Miqael of Ulompo, Piros of Breta, Stephane of Khirsa, and Shio of Mgvime, and the group was known as the Fathers of the Church in the region.
- at Mesopotamia near Antioch
My sons, why do you stand idle? Do you not know that the Lord Jesus Christ has sent and guided us here for the benefit of this country? For this is a virgin land. Now it is time for you to go away separately and strengthen our brethren to walk in Christ’s ways. - Saint John to his disciples
- “Saint John Zedazneli“. CatholicSaints.Info. 31 October 2010. Web. 28 March 2015. <>