CLAUDE SICARD (1676-1726)
A French Jesuit missionary in Egypt (1712-1726), where he was dedicated to the service of lepers. He was particularly interested in the monasteries of Wadi al-Natrun as well as those of Saint Antony and Saint Paul on the Red Sea. On account of his apostolic mission, which took him all over the country, he was able to accomplish considerable archaeological work in the regions of Thebes, Abydos, Idfu, and Philae. In 1718 he founded in Akhmim the first Coptic Catholic community.
He refused to separate the practice of the sacraments by Catholics from that of their original Coptic community and fought long with the Roman authorities in defense of his view.
Sicard’s works were reproduced in the Lettres édifiantes et curieuses, Vol. 5 (Paris, 1905). A critical edition of his writings was published by the Institut français d’Archéologie orientale: Oeuvres (3 vols., Cairo, 1982).
- Honigmann, E. Trois mémoires posthumes d’histoire et de géographie de l’Orient chrétien préparés pour l’impression par Paul Devos, pp. 127-207. Brussels, 1961.
- Sommervogel, C. Bibliothèque de la Compagnie de Jesus, 2nd ed., Vol. 7, pp. 1185-89. Brussels, 1896.
- Streit, R., and J. Dindinger. Bibliotheca Missionum, Vol. 17, pp. 9-141. Münster, 1916-1955.
MAURICE MARTIN, S.J.