John of Damascus (676-4 December 749) came from a Christian family which served the Caliph of Damascus. His father found a Christian tutor for him, and John received a well rounded education, and served the Caliph in a high position as well from a young age. His name was forged to a document implicating him in an invasion of Damascus. As a result he lost his post, and had his right hand severed. The hand was miraculously restored after a night in prayer.
He retired to Mar Saba Monastery near Jerusalem after this. He was ordained presbyter and wrote several hymns still used in the west, and many hymns still used in the east. He was a defender of icons in the iconoclast controversy, and his writings addressed many of the theological controversies of his time including on the Jakobites, Nestorians, the Monathelites and the Manicheans and of course the Iconoclast controversy.
Collect: El Shadai, you raised up your presbyter, John of Damascus to defend the faith, and write hymns. So raise up in this and every generations men and women who will defend the church against heresy and who will stand up for the faith. This we ask in the name of Yeshua haMoshiach, who stood against the false teaching of his time, and who lives and reigns with you and Ruach haKodesh, one God in shekina glory everlasting. Amen. (white)