May 20th is the commemoration of the dukhrono of St. Gregorios Dodo +609 according to the Liturgical Calendar of the Syriac Orthodox Church.
Mor Dodo was born in Sidos, a village in Iraq. His parents Simon and Helen were wealthy & well known for their strong faith. They were childless for a long time. Their faith led them to a monastery in Mt. Tabriz, Iraq. They stayed with the abbot Mor David spending their days & nights in prayers. Dodho was born because of their fervent prayers. Mor David baptized him & then the family returned to their village.
His parents wished for him to get married, but Dodo refused, saying he wanted to dedicate his life for the Lord. He carried the Bible always with him, read & meditated upon it. After the death of his parents, he distributed all their earnings and wealth among the poor. He followed literally, what Jesus had taught. “If you will be perfect, go and sell all that you have and give it to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me” (Matthew 19:21)
Dodo went to Mor David’s monastery. He observed rigorous penance. He desired to serve God leading a virtuous life. On Mount Tabriz, he lived a solitary life for twelve years. The Abbot saw in a dream that Dodo’s life was in danger and set out in search of him. He was brought back to the monastery severely ill.
After regaining his health, he visited the Holy land. Upon his return he departed to a different place, to a scary valley known as "ܪܓܘܠܐ ܕܓܗܢܐ Hell Valley" overlooked by the village of Esfes, 7 Kilometers South West of the town of Azekh (now Idil, Turkey). It was called "Hell Valley" because of the depth of the valley and it was an area fill of thieves and outlaws who robbed every person passing through that location. Dodo called upon his uncle and forty hermits and stayed with them. With everyone’s cooperation, he could construct a church there. The village soon became a beautiful place to live.
When the metropolitan of Tigris passed away in A.D. 589, the Patriarch Peter III (A.D. 581 – 591) nominated Dodo as his successor. Mor Gregorius Dodo passed away in A.D. 609. His burial service was conducted at Tigris Cathedral. #syriac