Joseph Of Tsenti, Saint


The life of Joseph is summarized in the recension of the SYNAXARION from Upper at the day of his death, 5 Hatur (Basset, 1907, pp. 283-86; Forget, 1954, Vols. 47-49, pp. 295-96 [text]; 78, 1953, pp. 120-21 [trans.]).

A native of Faw, Joseph was an only son. His parents reared him with the child of neighbors named Patasius. When the two children had grown up, they went to the monastery of Tsenti founded by Saint and asked to be received as monks. Joseph decided to live as a and established himself in the mountain of Tsenti (al-Asas) in the nome of QIFT.

His friend Patasius was the first to die, after predicting his own death. Joseph accomplished and also built a church in the name of the apostles where Patasius was buried. The church was situated, according to the Synaxarion, “in a cave in the mountain.” Nothing more is known of Joseph of Tsenti than what is recorded in the Synaxarion.

This Joseph of Tsenti should not be confused with another saint, JOSEPH OF BISHWAW, who lived and died on the mountain of Tsenti to the west of Qift, more precisely in the southern part called al-Bishwaw (the Persea). Joseph of Bishwaw is mentioned in the Synaxarion only within the notice devoted to his master ELIAS OF BISHWAW. His name is written “Yusab” in the Synaxarion, but Winlock and Crum have shown that this is a transliteration of the Coptic way of Joseph.

  • Winlock, H. E., and W. E. Crum. The Monastery of Epiphanius at Thebes, 2 vols. New York, 1926. Reprinted 1973.