Yohanni, Abba, was Abbot of Däbrä Damo, the celebrated monastery in Tegré, probably in the first half of the 13th century. From the Gädlä ‘Iyäsus-Mo’a we learn that Abba Yohanni was in his youth a great dignitary of the realm, second only to the Emperor himself, who had bestowed upon him his own daughter in marriage and appointed him to high office. A time came, however, when Yohanni vowed to renounce all his worldly honours and possessions in order to embrace the monastic life. In spite of the Emperor’s remonstrances, he retired to Däbrä Damo and there lived in perpetual prayer and fasting until the end of his days. There also he is said to have received and instructed both Abba ‘Iyäsus-Mo’a and Abba Täklä-Haymanot, instilling in the former the qualities of humility and rigorous asceticism for which he became renowned.
S. Kur (ed. and trans.),* Actes de Iyasus Mo’a, *Corpus Scriptorum Christianorum Orientalium, Scriptores aethiopici, t. 49 and t. 50.
This article is reproduced, with permission, from The Dictionary of Ethiopian Biography, Vol. 1 ‘From Early Times to the End of the Zagwé Dynasty c. 1270 A.D.,’ copyright © 1975, edited by Belaynesh Michael, S. Chojnacki and Richard Pankhurst, Institute of Ethiopian Studies, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. All rights reserved.