DAYR MAR JIRJIS (Dimiqrat)
A monastery dedicated to Saint George on the left bank of the Nile, halfway between Luxor and Isna on the edge of the desert, 2½ miles (4 km) to the west of the village of Naj‘ al-Dimiqriyyah, which occupies the site of the ancient al- Dimiqrat.
The name al-Dimiqrat is attested by a colophon of 960, in the form “Tmikra, in the nome of Armant” (Lantschoot, 1929, Vol. 1, p. 204), which Winlock and Crum (1926, Vol. 1, p. 122) proposes to identify with the bishopric of the same name, which is mentioned in certain geographical lists (Munier, 1939, p. 216).
The name is also attested to in a miracle that benefited a monk of this monastery, dating after the thirteenth century; the neighboring village is called al-Dimiqrat (Crum, 1926, p. 205). It is mentioned again in connection with a bishop of Armant who is named in the council held at Cairo in 1086 under the patriarchate of CYRIL II (1078-1092). The village is also known as the birthplace of the Patriarch BENJAMIN II (1327-1339).
Since the beginning of the nineteenth century, the village has been called Naj‘ al-Dimiqriyyah. It is also mentioned under the name of al-Dimiqrat by ABU AL-MAKARIM at the end of the twelfth century.
This monastery is still a place of pilgrimage much frequented from 1 to 7 Hatur, ending with the feast of Saint George.
- Lantschoot, A. van. Recueil des colophons des manuscrits chrétiens, Vol. 1: Les Colophons coptes des manuscrits sahidiques. Bibliothèque du Muséon 1. Louvain, 1929.
- Meinardus, O. Christian Egypt, Ancient and Modern. Cairo, 1965; 2nd ed., Cairo, 1977.
- Munier, H. Bulletin de la Société d’archéologie copte 5 (1939):201-43
- Muyser, J., and G. Viaud. Les Pèlerinages coptes en Egypte. Bibliothèque d’études coptes 15. Cairo, 1979.
- Winlock, H. E., and W. E. Crum. The Monastery of Epiphanius at Thebes, 2 vols. New York, 1926.
MAURICE MARTIN, S.J.