Aragawi or Zamika’el – ETHIOPIAN SAINTS

Aragawi or Zamika’el

His names are Ge‘ez, the first meaning “The Elder” and the second “of Michael,” an indication that his native name has not been preserved. According to tradition, Aragawi was the leader of the group during the journey from Egypt to Ethiopia, a position that befits his name. The founding of the celebrated Dabra Damo is attributed to this saint. It was at this monastery that Iyyasus Mo’a of Hayq Estifanos in Amhara and Abuna Takla Haymanot of Dabra Libanos in Shewa were clothed with monastic habits at the hands of Yohanni, a spiritual descendant of Aragawi.

The saint was said to have used a long serpent to ascend the impregnable summit of Mount Damo, where he built his monastery. Today people use rope to reach it. It is also reported that the saint’s mother, Edna, followed the group to Ethiopia and established there a nunnery for virgins. Aragawi is commemorated on 14 Teqemt (Babah).

GETATCHEW HAILE

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