DAYR AL-‘ADHRA’ (near Bayad al-Nasara)
A monastery of uncertain origin, first described by G. Wilkinson (1843, Vol. 2, p. 19). The monastery is not mentioned by the ancient authors, and neither J. Vansleb nor C. Sicard spoke of it, although they must have crossed the Nile from Bani Suef and landed not far from Bayad al- Nasara to go to the Monastery of Saint Antony on the Red Sea.
Wilkinson (1843, Vol. 2, p. 19) is the first to speak of a dayr at this place; Clarke (1912, p. 206, no. 6) mentioned only a church dedicated to the Holy Virgin, and not a dayr (monastery). The present church dates only from 1963 (Meinardus, 1965, p. 254; 1977, p. 357); it contains some ancient elements, including a Greek inscription engraved on a granite column above the baptistery (Van Rengen and Wagner, 1984, pp. 348-53). These elements probably came from an excavated ancient kom adjacent to the church.
This monastery is the object of pilgrimages by the Copts of the region (Viaud, 1979, p. 44).
- Clarke, S. Christian Antiquities in the Nile Valley. London, 1912. Meinardus, O. Christian Egypt, Ancient and Modern. Cairo, 1965; 2nd ed., 1977.
- Van Rengen, W., and G. Wagner. “Une Dédicace à Valerius Titinianus, fils du préfet des vigiles Valerius Titanianus.” Chronique d’Egypte (Brussels) 59, fasc. 118 (1984):348-53.
- Viaud, G., after the notes of Jacob Muyser. Les Pèlerinages coptes en Egypte. Cairo, 1979.
- Wilkinson, G. Modern Egypt and Thebes: A Description of Egypt, 2 vols. London, 1843. Repr. Wiesbaden, 1981.
MAURICE MARTIN, S. J