Tekle Haymanot or Takla Haymanot (Ge'ez ተክለ፡ ሃይማኖት takla hāymānōt, modern tekle hāymānōt, "Plant of Faith"; known in the Coptic Church as Saint Takla Haymanot of Ethiopia) (c. 1215 – c. 1313) was an Ethiopian monk who founded a major monastery in his native province of Shewa. He is considered a saint by both the Coptic and Ethiopian Churches. His feast day is August 17, and the 24th day of every month in the Ethiopian calendar is dedicated to Tekle Haymanot.
His father gave Tekle Haymanot his earliest religious instruction; later he was ordained a priest by the Egyptian bishop Qerilos.
During his youth, Shewa was subject to a number of devastating raids by Motalami, the pagan king of Damot. As a result, the morale of Christians in Shewa had weakened, and the practice of paganism increased. There are a number of traditions, some of less historical value than others, that describe Tekle Haymanot's interactions with Motalami.
Eventually Tekle Haymanot left Debre Damo with his followers to return to Shewa. On his return route, he stopped at Iyasus Mo'a's monastery in Lake Hayq, where tradition states he received the full investiture of an Ethiopian monk's habit. The historian Taddesse Tamrat sees in the existing accounts of this act an attempt by later writers to justify the seniority of the monastery in Lake Hayq over the followers of Tekle Haymanot.
Once in Shewa, he introduced the spirit of renewal that Christianity was experiencing in the northern provinces. He settled in the central area between Shilalish and Grarya, where he founded in 1284 the monastery of Debre Atsbo (renamed in the 15th century Debre Libanos). This monastery became one of the most important religious institutions of Ethiopia, not only founding a number of daughter houses, but its abbot became one of the principal leaders of the Ethiopian Church called the Echege, second only to the Abuna.
Tekle Haymanot lived for 29 years after the foundation of this monastery, dying in the year before Emperor Wedem Arad did; this would date Tekle Haymanot's death to 1313. He was first buried in the cave where he had originally lived as a hermit; almost 60 years later he was reinterred at Debre Libanos. In the 1950s, Emperor Haile Selassie constructed a new church at Debre Libanos Monastery over the site of the Saint's tomb. It remains a place of pilgrimage and a favored site for burial for many people across Ethiopia.
Many traditions hold that Tekle Haymanot played a significant role in Yekuno Amlak's ascension as the restored monarch of the Solomonic dynasty, following two centuries of rule by the Zagwe dynasty, although historians like Taddesse Tamrat believe these are later inventions. (A few older traditions credit Iyasus Mo'a with this honor) Another tradition credits Tekle Haymanot as the only Abuna born in Ethiopia until the church was granted autocephaly in the 1950s.