Coptic patriarchs

Anba Isaac, Bishop of the Fayoum, al-Bahnasa, and Giza, 1834-81

Anba Isaac, Bishop of the Fayoum, al-Bahnasa, and Giza, 1834-81 Anba Isaac, the bishop of the Fayoum, holds a unique place in the history of the Coptic Church during the mid-nineteenth century. This standing is due, in part, to his massive diocese, which included three Egyptian gover­norates: Giza, the Fayoum, and Beni Suef. It is …

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Mo‘Allaqa

MO‘ALLAQA The Church of the Holy Virgin is known as al-Mo‘allaqa, “the Suspended One,” because it was built upon the south gate of the Babylon fortress in Old Cairo. It is the most famous ancient church in Cairo. The church was erected after the Arab conquest of Egypt (640-642). We know from the biography of …

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Cheirotonia

CHEIROTONIA The practice of simony. The biblical passage cited by the Coptic jurists condemning the practice of the cheirotonia or simony is recorded by Saint Luke in the Acts of the Apostles 8:14-25. As the early church moved from its sectarian structure to an all-inclusive national cult, members of the hierarchy faced new problems concerning …

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Maqara (Active Before 1350)

MAQARA (active before 1350) A Monk, canonist. Maqara was a monk of the Monastery of St. John the Little in the Wadi al-Natrun who dedicated great energy to gathering the canons of the Coptic Orthodox Church—as well as materials from other ecclesial communities—into one great Arabic-language compendium. This compendium includes the canonical collections attributed to …

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Dayr Al-Baramus

DAYR AL-BARAMUS History This monastery is farthest to the northwest in the monastic colony of Wadi al-Natrun (ancient Scetis). The topographic allusions in ancient literature lend some credence to the statement by the author of the Coptic Life of Saint Macarius (probably of the eighth century; cf. Guillaumont, 1968-1969, pp. 182-83) that Dayr al-Baramus evolved …

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John XI (?-1452)

JOHN XI (?-1452) A Patriarch (89th, 1427-1452), ecumenist. John XI presided over the Coptic Orthodox Church during a difficult period marked by coerced conversions away from the Church, confiscation of the property of Copts and other dhimmis, and the destruction and pillaging of churches. Especially tragic for the Coptic community was the destruction in 1436 …

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