This monastery, of which nothing remains but the church rebuilt in the sixteenth century, is situated on the right bank of the Nile about 3 miles (5 km) north of Abnub, in the direction of DAYR AL-JABRAWI. It is dedicated to Saint VICTOR (Buqtur), a soldier in the fort of Shu who was martyred at Musha on the left bank, where he was thrown into a bathhouse furnace.
The church of Buqtur of Shu is to the east at the edge of the village called Dayr Shu (Ramzi, 1953-1963, Vol. 2, pt. 4, p. 6, mentions the village but not the church). The SYNAXARION at 5 Kiyahk refers to the fort of Shu where Victor was a soldier and to Musha where he was martyred, and where a church was erected. It is perhaps this monastery which ABU SALIH cites; he also mentions its relics. Al-MAQRIZI (d. 1441) mentions the monastery but adds that it is already abandoned (1853, Vol. 2, p. 503). He also notes the church at Musha, and writes that it is constructed over a bath (pp. 518-19).
It was in the monastery of Saint Victor that in January 1597 Patriarch GABRIEL VIII signed the Act of Union of the Coptic church with the Roman church, which was presented to Pope Clement VIII by a delegation of Coptic priests, (cf. Buri, 1931, and Rabbat, 1905); but it is not clear whether this refers to Dayr Buqtur of Shu or to Dayr al-Jabrawi.
J. Vansleb in 1673 saw only the church at “Musie,” but curiously adds that it is that of Victor of “Sciu which was near Abnub and today ruined” (1677, p. 366; Eng. trans., 1678, p. 210). S. Clarke mentions the church, but in his list in English the titles of the churches of Dayr Buqtur of Shu and Dayr al-Jabrawi must be inverted (1912, p. 210, nos. 24-25). O. Meinardus describes the present state of this church (1965, pp. 278-79; 1977, pp. 387-88).
- Buri, V. L’unione de la chiesa copta con Roma sotto Clemente VIII. Orientalia Christiana 23, pt. 2. Rome, 1931.
- Clarke, S. Christian Antiquities in the Nile Valley. London, 1912.
- Meinardus, O. Christian Egypt, Ancient and Modern. Cairo, 1965; 2nd ed., Cairo, 1977.
- Rabbat, A. Documents inedits pour servir a l’histoire du christianisme en Orient, Vol. 1, pp. 194-314. Beirut, 1905.
- Ramzi, M. Al-Qamus al-Jughrafi lil-Bilad al Misriyyah, 3 vols. Cairo, 1953-1968.
- Vansleb, J. M. Nouvelle relation en forme de journal d’un voyage fait en Egypte en 1672 et 1673. Paris, 1677. Translated as The Present State of Egypt. London, 1678.
RENE-GEORGES COQUIN MAURICE MARTIN, S. J.