bishop of Sakha

Two Witnesses of Christian Life in the area of Balyana: The Church of the Virgin and the Monastery of Anba Moses

Two Witnesses of Christian Life in the area of Balyana: The Church of the Virgin and the Monastery of Anba Moses[1] The town of Balyana stands on the west bank of the Nile in the Sohag governorate. I have had many opportunities to be in touch with Christian life in this area of Upper Egypt …

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Christodoulus

CHRISTODOULUS The sixty-sixth patriarch of the See of Saint Mark (1047-1077). Christodoulus, whose original name as a monk of the ENATON, west of Alexandria, was Theodore, was a native of the village of Burah, but his date of birth is unknown. The first known event in his life concerns his castrating himself. This happened when …

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John The Little (339-409)

JOHN THE LITTLE (339-409) A Saint and monk. He is a renowned figure among the Desert Fathers. He is known from the Apophthegmata partum, which preserves nine sayings under his name, and a Coptic “Life” attributed to Zacharias, the eighth-century Bishop of Sakha. He is also commemorated in the Arabic Synaxarion of the Copts. John …

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CYRIL II

CYRIL II The sixty-seventh patriarch of the See of Saint Mark (1078-1092). Cyril was a monk of the Monastery of Saint Macarius (DAYR ANBA MAQAR), and his original name was George (Jirja). Nothing is known about his secular life or his date of birth beyond the fact that he was a native of the province …

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Apophthegmata Patrum

APOPHTHEGMATA PATRUM The collection of memorable words and anecdotes of the desert fathers. In the sixth century in Palestine, the monk Zosimus was already mentioning “the apophthegms of the holy old men” (Zosimus, 1864, col. 1679), but that does not seem to be the oldest or most common name. At the same period, also in …

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Saint Zacharias

SAINT ZACHARIAS The eighth-century bishop of Sakha (feast day: 21 Amshir). The son of a presbyter, Zacharias received adequate training in profane and ecclesiastical letters to open for himself a career as secretary of the diwan. Arabic was prescribed for official documents in 706, which would indicate that Zacharias was proficient in Arabic and Greek …

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Saint John Colobos

SAINT JOHN COLOBOS Coptic Tradition John Colobos, the Little or the Dwarf (fourth and fifth centuries), is one of the most striking figures among the desert fathers. He is known principally from the APOPHTHEGMATA PATRUM and from a Life in the form of a panegyric composed by Zacharias, the bishop of Sakha, at the end …

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Coptic Literature

COPTIC LITERATURE National literatures are defined not only by the language in which they are written but also by ethnic and cultural affinities that bind their authors. That is why we may distinguish an American literature in English from British literature or a Latin-American literature in Spanish from Spanish literature. The literature in the Coptic …

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Copto-Arabic Synaxarion

COPTO-ARABIC SYNAXARION A list of saints used in the Coptic church Editions of the Synaxarion This book, which has become a liturgical book, is very important for the history of the Coptic church. It appears in two forms: the recension from Lower Egypt, which is the quasi-official book of the Coptic church from Alexandria to …

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Al-Balyana

AL-BALYANA A city in the province of Jirja in middle Egypt. It is located on the west side of the Nile roughly between Akhmim and Nag Hammadi. Christian-Arabic literature makes few references to al-Balyana. However, as indicated by the account of the struggle of Patriarch SHENUTE I (858-880) with the heretical views of a bishop …

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