A town in the province of Gharbiyyah. ABU AL- MAKARIM, in his description of the churches and monasteries of Lower Egypt, situates at Naqzah a monastery, the lofty buildings of which could be seen from Damietta. He indicates its position as “near the salt sea, to the east of Nastarawah [al-Burullus].” He adds that a monk named CHRISTODOULUS lived there secluded in a cell, and in it was the body of Saint THECLA, the disciple of the apostle Paul. This recluse became the sixty-sixth patriarch of Alexandria (1047-1077).
This last remark is certainly borrowed from the HISTORY OF THE PATRIARCHS where we read it almost word for word. However, Abu al-Makarim’s testimony is important, for it allows us here to correct the text of the History of the Patriarchs, where Nafwah is written in place of Naqizah. The author of this biography of the Patriarch Christodoulus, Mawhub ibn Mansur ibn Mufarrij, adds that during the patriarchate of Christodoulus the body of Saint Thecla was transferred to Sinjar, seat of the patriarch. This information is also found in the notice of Saint Thecla in the SYNAXARION at 25 Abib, “at Sinjar, in the hermitage.”
The geographical situation is explained by Maspero and Wiet (1919, pp. 212-13): Naqizah is situated on the peninsula of Burullus, which separates Lake Burullus from the Mediterranean. These authors think that the Arabic Naqizah derives from the Coptic Nikejou.
- Amélineau, E. La Géographie de l’Egypte a l’époque copte. Paris, 1893.
- Maspero, J., and Wiet, G. Materiaux pour servir à la géographie de l’Egypte. Cairo, 1919.
MAURICE MARTIN, S.J.