One of the greatest theologians of the early church, John of Damascus is often viewed as the last of the church fathers. Born in Syria as Yuhanna ibn Mansur ibn Sargun, John of Damascus was one of the earliest Christian thinkers to live and write under Muslim rule. He wrote extensively in theology, law, and philosophy, but is probably best known for his defense of religious icons on the face of those who wanted to eliminate all icons from Christian churches (i.e. the “iconoclasts”).
The details of his life are hard to come by, and even the date of his death is questionable. But the traditional date of his passing in December 4, 749. So today’s prayer comes from him.