Gabr’el (D. C. 1458)

GABR’EL (d. c. 1458)

Gabr’el (Gabriel) arrived in Ethiopia in 1431 of the Ethiopian calendar (A.D. 1438-1439) with another metropolitan, Abuna Mika’el III. They had both been consecrated together by the Coptic XI (1427-1452) and were the successors of Abuna Bartalomewos.

According to tradition, only one bishop could be appointed metropolitan of Ethiopia. Consequently, it is probable that Gabr’el and Mika’el III were supposed to exercise this duty in succession (i.e., one after the of the other). In reality, they reigned jointly by dividing their territorial jurisdiction. By order of the negus, Gabr’el took charge of Shewa and Mika’el of Amhara.

For the most part, the information available is the same concerning these two metropolitans (see the biography of Mika’el III, above). It must be added that it was Abuna Gabr’el who conferred the priesthood upon the monk Abakerazun, disciple and successor to the monk Estifanos, head of the heretical and political Estifanosite movement that shook the during the fifteenth century.

After the of Abuna Mika’el III, Gabr’el was the sole metropolitan until his death around 1458. The of Ethiopia then remained without an abun for approximately twenty-three years, until the arrival of Abuna Yeshaq II in that country.

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