ABD AL-MASIH SALIB AL-MASU‘DI
A monk at the monastery of the Virgin (DAYR AL-BARAMUS in Wadi al-Natrun), ‘Abd al-Masih (1848-1935) was ordained a monk by his uncle, ‘Abd al-Masih al-Kabir, in 1874. His prolific writings covered linguistics, ritual, and history. He mastered Hebrew, Syriac, Greek, and Coptic. His best-known work is his interpretation of the Epact, in the Arabic version of al-Abukti (reckoning of the derivation of feast days in the Coptic, Syrian, Armenian, and Greek churches).
His most significant works include Kitab al-Khulaji al– Muqaddas (i.e., Kita al-Thalath Quddasat; The three masses, Cairo, 1903); Kitab al-Tuhfah al-Saniyyah (Theology, Cairo, 1925); Kitab al-Durrah al-Nafisah fi Hisabat al-Kanisah, Cairo, 1926; a small and concise treatise on dates of the church developed in a much more detailed work of more than 617 pages entitled Al-Tuhfah al- Baramusiyyah fi Sharh wa–Tatimmat Qawa‘id Hisab al-Abqati lil- Kanisah al-Qibtiyyah al–Urthudhuksiyyah, Cairo, 1925); Kitab al- Karmah (Theology, Cairo, 1927); Kitab al-Asrar (Coptic and Arabic terminology of the church defined, Cairo, 1926); and Tuhfat al- Sa‘ilin fi Dhikr Adyirat Ruhban al-Misriyyin (On Coptic monasteries, Cairo, 1932).
He was summoned by Patriarch Cyril V to serve in the central administration of the church at the patriarchate in Cairo. He died at the age of eighty-seven in 1935.