Shaliṭa, Mar (fl. 4th – early 5th cent.)

Syriac sources count Mar Shaliṭa among the traditional seventy disciples of Mar Awgen. An Egyptian from Alexandria, he too went out, took the habit, and spent time in the Monastery of Pachomius. With Mar Awgen and his disciples he went to Nisibis. Later, he moved to the village of Penek in Beth Zabdai, where he spent the rest of his life working miracles, destroying idols, healing, and converting the heathen. He also built a church there and was buried in it when he died at the age of ninety-two. The Chronicle of Siirt claims that he went at the end of his life to Balad where he was buried in a cavern, over which a large monastery was built. A Syriac Life of Mar Shaliṭa adds the detail that while in Nisibis, he went with Yaʿqub of Nisibis to Mt. Qardu where the Ark of Noah rested, and there they built a church.

An earlier Armenian source, The Epic Histories, however, knows nothing of Shaliṭa’s connection to Mar Awgen or to Yaʿqub. Here, he is rather a disciple of the Syr. bp. Daniel, and he lived in the desert as an anchorite. After the death of the Armenian Patr. Nerses, he went to the Armenian district of Kordukʿ where he lived among lions and performed numerous miracles and healings. This source also attributes the story of the healing of a wounded lion’s paw, traditionally associated with Jerome, to Mar Shaliṭa.

No study has made any attempt to reconcile these divergent sources.


  • P. Bedjan, Acta Martyrum et Sanctorum, vol. 1 (1890), 424–65.
  • J.-B.  Chabot, Livre de la Chasteté (1896), 3 (Syr.), 5–6 (FT).
  • N. G.  Garsoïan, The Epic Histories (Buzandaran Patmutʿiwnkʿ) (Harvard Armenian Texts and Studies 8; 1989), 90, 205–6, 405.
  • A.  Scher, Histoire nestorienne inédite (Chronique du Seert), Première Partie (I) (PO IV; 1907), 259.

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