Apa Nob

APA NOB

A third-century saint mentioned in the SYNAXARION of the Copts at 23 Ba’unah. A more complete Life is given by several Arabic manuscripts (Coptic Museum, Cairo, History 469, fols. 348r, 353r; National Library, Paris, 154, fols. 53r-64r; Arabe 263, fols. 128r-38r; University, 1067, fols. 202r-4v).

Nob was a native of a village called al-Bilad (Bilanas according to Forget’s editions of the Synaxarion). He lived in a monastery in Upper Egypt in the time of DIOCLETIAN (284-305). He was brought before Arianus, prefect of the Thebaid, and called upon to offer incense to Apollo. On his refusal he was subjected to torture and exiled to Pentapolis, where he was left in a pit for seven years, until the death of Diocletian (313).

The Synaxarion reports the following legend. When Constantine had liberated the confessors, he wished to see seventy-two of them and receive their blessing. Among the four most illustrious, the Synaxarion names Zachariah, a native of Ahnas, Maximian of the Fayyum, Agabi of Dahna, and Apa Nob of the town of Bilad. Apa Nob, however, on his return from Pentapolis had withdrawn to the mountain of Bishla (markaz or district of Mit Ghamr). He was ordained priest against his wishes. He went with the seventy-two before Emperor Constantine and accepted as presents only some vases and vestments for the church. Then he returned to his monastery, where he died.

  • Graf, G. Catalogue de arabes chrétiens conservés au Caire. Studi e Testi 63. Vatican City, 1934.
  • Troupeau, G. Catalogue de arabes, Vol. 1. Paris, 1972.