John, Hegumenos Of Scetis (C. 585-675)

JOHN, OF SCETIS (c. 585-675)

Born at Jepromenesin (Shubra Mansina) in the nome of Arwat and a monk at the age of eighteen. It is not known when and why he came to Scetis (Wadi al-Natrun). He was three times made prisoner by the Maziques in the course of their raids in the area. When the imperial officer came in the name of the to demand the submission of the monks to the in 631, John had gone off to the inner valley to hide the church’s sacred vessels, and it was there that the barbarians made him prisoner for the third time (Evelyn-White, 1932, pp. 275-78).

Some years later he met SAMU’IL OF QALAMUN, and it seems that John was only released at the time of the ARAB CONQUEST OF EGYPT (Van Cauwenbergh, 1914, pp. 87-88, 110-12).

He appears to have become hegumenos about 641. He took part in the translation of FORTY-NINE MARTYRS OF SCETIS (de Ricci and Winstedt, 1910, p. 348). He assisted the patriarch BENJAMIN I in the restoration of the monastery of Scetis, although his name does not appear in the book of the consecration.

He is known as the master of several saints and important personages and shared with them his hermitage of Bajij outside the enclosure of the monastery of Saint Macarius (DAYR MAQAR).

  • Cauwenbergh, P. van. Etude sur les moines d’Egypte. Paris and Louvain, 1914.
  • Evelyn-White, H. G. The Monasteries of the Wadi ‘n Natrun. Part 2, The History of the Monasteries of Nitria and Scetis. New York, 1932.
  • Ricci, S. de, and E. O. Winstedt. “Les quarante-neuf vieillards de Scété.” pp. 323-58. Notices et extraits de manuscrits de la Bibliothèque nationale et autres bibliothèques 39. Paris, 1910.

RENÉ-GEORGES COQUIN