Anba Ruways (C. 1334-1404)

ANBA RUWAYS (c. 1334-1404)

A saint and monk known for his holiness (feast day: 21 Babah). He was born at Minyat Yamin in the Gharbiyyah province. His original name was Ishaq Furayj, but he is known in Coptic as Ruways, a diminutive Arabic pseudonym referring to the young camel that was his constant companion.

After a short time as a farm laborer, Ishaq Furayj devoted himself entirely to a life of prayer, asceticism, and self-abnegation. He used to fast for long periods, as testified by Patriarch MATTHEW. He was also blessed with the power of clairvoyance that earned for him the epithet of Theophanius (the beholder of God).

Anba was buried with four patriarchs in the crypt of the small church now named after him, but previously known as the Church of Saint Mercurius (Abu Sayfayn) in the ground of Anba Ruways Monastery, at one time known as DAYR-AL-KHANDAQ, in the Abbassiyyah district of Cairo.

In recent history a cemetery arose around the Church of Anba Ruways. But this cemetery was later transferred to the Red Mountain (al-Jabal al-Ahmar) region north of Cairo, and all that was left behind was the small Church of Anba Ruways. However, on that vast terrain that automatically reverted to the patriarchate, a number of stately buildings arose, including the Anba building that accommodates the INSTITUTE OF COPTIC STUDIES and its library, as well as some episcopal and patriarchal offices. The same grounds also contain the CLERICAL COLLEGE, the patriarchal residence, and the new majestic of Saint Mark.