Coptic church

Wadi Al-Natrun

WADI AL-NATRUN It is the most significant monastic center in Egypt. Wadi al-Natrun is a desert depression extending about 50 kilometers long that runs southeast to northwest and lies in the Libyan Desert about 90 kilometers northwest of Cairo. The site has been known by many names: Scetis, Shiet, Shihat al-Isqit, and Wadi Habib. About …

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Cyril VI (1902-1971)

CYRIL VI (1902-1971) A Patriarch and saint. He was the 116th patriarch of the Coptic Church (1959-1971). He was born ‘Azir Yousseef ‘Ata in 1902 at the village of Tukh al Nasara in Lower Egypt. He played a large role in the renaissance of the Coptic Church. He joined the Monastery of al-Baramous in Wadi …

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CYRIL IV (1816-1861)

CYRIL IV (1816-1861) A Patriarch, reformer. He was the 110th patriarch of the Coptic Church (1854-1861). He was born Dawud in 1816 at Nag‘ Abu Zaqali, near Akhmim in Upper Egypt. In 1838, he entered the Monastery of St. Antony at the age of 22 and became its abbot only two years later. He then …

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Monastery Of St. Macarius

MONASTERY OF ST. MACARIUS It is the southernmost monastery in Wadi al-Natrun. The monastery bears the name of its patron St. Macarius, who died in about 390. This monastery became an official occasional residence for the Coptic patriarchs toward the middle of the sixth century when the Byzantine authorities did not allow them to reside …

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Monastery Of St. Paul

MONASTERY OF ST. PAUL It is located about 39 kilometers southwest of the Red Sea lighthouse station of Za’farana. St. Paul, who is known as the “first hermit,” is presumably Paul of Thebes, whose biography was composed by St. Jerome, probably in 375 or 376. The cave church is the oldest and most venerated element …

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Egyptian Monasticism

EGYPTIAN MONASTICISM Christian monasticism is a distinctive form of spiritual discipline that seems to have been originated in Egypt. St. Antony, the “father of the monks,” is usually regarded as its founder. As a youth of about 18 years old, he responded to a gospel reading (Matt. 19; 21), began his hermitic life as a …

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Nestorians And Copts

NESTORIANS AND COPTS Having been separate from Imperial Christianity since the first Council of Ephesus (431), the Syriac Church of the East reappeared in Egypt after the Arab conquest, in particular during the Abbasid period, and Nestorians were used as government employees. The Nestorians lived mainly in Cairo. Yahya ibn Sa‘id of Antioch, the Melchite …

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Council Of Nicaea

COUNCIL OF NICAEA Nicaea was where the First Ecumenical Council was held in 325 a.d. The council assembled at the order of Emperor Constantine to discuss several dogmatic points, including the Arian heresy. The emperor allowed the bishops to use the imperial post to travel to the city of Nicaea. The council also discussed several …

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Origen (185-Ca. 254)

ORIGEN (185-ca. 254) Theologian. Origen is the most controversial person in Christian history. He is considered by the Fathers of the Church, such as Eusebius of Caesarea and Pamphile, as being a saint, while other Fathers such as Epiphanius, Theophilus (Patriarch of Alexandria), and Shenute (or Dioscorus) considered him a heretic. In the sixth century, …

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Patriarch

PATRIARCH The term patriarch is a composition of the Greek pater meaning father and archon meaning leader, chief, or ruler. It has mainly taken on specific ecclesiastical meanings. The patriarch is the head of the entire Coptic Church. Throughout its long history, the church of Alexandria maintained the apostolic succession in an uninterrupted chain. Thus …

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