“Twenty Thousand Nuns” The Domestic Virgins of Oxyrhynchos

“Twenty Thousand Nuns” The Domestic Virgins of Oxyrhynchos Historia Monachorum in Oxyrhynchos The Historia Monachorum in Aegypto contains a literary testimony of Chris­tians in the city of Oxyrhynchos.[1] Its anonymous author, an eyewitness from Palestine writing at the turn of the fifth century, boasts that this city in Middle Egypt abounds with monasteries, both within […]

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Anba Isaac, Bishop of the Fayoum, al-Bahnasa, and Giza, 1834-81

Anba Isaac, Bishop of the Fayoum, al-Bahnasa, and Giza, 1834-81 Anba Isaac, the bishop of the Fayoum, holds a unique place in the history of the Coptic Church during the mid-nineteenth century. This standing is due, in part, to his massive diocese, which included three Egyptian gover­norates: Giza, the Fayoum, and Beni Suef. It is […]

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John of Shmoun and Coptic Identity

John of Shmoun and Coptic Identity After the Council of Chalcedon in ad 451 and in particular after the Arab conquest of Egypt in ad 641, the need to demonstrate Coptic self­ identification became more important than before.[1] Usually, there is the need to stress one’s identity and define or form its features when one […]

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John of Lykopolis

John of Lykopolis As Sebastien Lenain de Tillemont observed over three centuries ago, among all the solitary saints in Egypt “there is after St. Antony no one whose renown is greater than that of St.John of Lycopolis” (Tillemont 1732, vol. 10:9). Tillemont also observed that,besides the principal accounts of john of Lykopolis found in the […]

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St. Mary The Model Of Virgins

ST. MARY THE MODEL OF VIRGINS The Fathers of Alexandria represent two Mariological trends: the theological and the ascetical. Every time the waves of martyrdom were calmed, ascetism was favoured by the Egyptians in its place, the men usually preferring to live in the desert, while girls lived in the houses of virgins in the […]

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St. Mary In The Coptic Rite

ST. MARY IN THE COPTIC[1] RITE It is too difficult to give an account of the prominent place of St. Mary in the Coptic Church in this short treatise. For St. Mary is commemorated and invoked in every daily hymn and liturgy, and even in every canonical hour, day and night. Various Marian feasts are […]

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Sisoes (Jijoi)

SISOES (Jijoi) An anchorite (fourth-fifth century). In the APOPHTHEGMATA PATRUM some fifty items mention Sisoes or Tithoes, which is another form of the same word. But it is proper to distinguish at least two if not three persons with this name. The earliest and most renowned lived with Or and MACARIUS at Scetis; he left […]

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Shukrallah Jirjis (Mu‘Allim)

SHUKRALLAH JIRJIS (Mu‘allim) A Coptic contemporary of the French Expedition to Egypt and a close friend and colleague of General YA‘QUB. Though the particulars of his early life are unknown, we must assume that he was born in the first half of the eighteenth century. During French rule in Egypt, he is known to have […]

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