Dorotheus

Dayr Anba Maqar

DAYR ANBA MAQAR Rising on the desert horizon like a great fortress, the Monastery of Saint MACARIUS was originally the most remote and least accessible of the monasteries of Wadi al- Natrun. It came into being around 360 when Saint Macarius the Egyptian moved southward from the valley to escape the overcrowding of hermits. Here, …

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Dayr Apa Ishaq (Isna)

DAYR APA ISHAQ (Isna) A little to the north of the present DAYR AL-SHUHADA’ (Monastery of the Martyrs) at Isna are some ruins that the inhabitants call the Monastery of Apa Ishaq (Isaac). In the “new” church, which according to the inscriptions dates at least from the end of the twelfth century, an inscription commemorates …

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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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Theonas

THEONAS The sixteenth patriarch of the See of Saint Mark (282-300). Theonas was a contemporary of Roman emperors Carus (282-283), Numerianus (283-284), and DIOCLETIAN (284-305). After the death of Patriarch Maximus, it took the faithful some months to find a worthy successor. Finally they elected Theonas, who was the head of the CATECHETICAL SCHOOL OF …

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Saint Barsanuphius

SAINT BARSANUPHIUS A fifth-sixth century anchorite. Although he is not mentioned in the Coptic SYNAXARION, Barsanuphius deserves a place of honor because of his outstanding holiness and the exceptional influence he exercised in the history of Christian spirituality. He was of Egyptian origin, and his mother tongue was Coptic. We know nothing of his youth …

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Coptic Saints

COPTIC SAINTS Holy men and women recognized in Egypt who died peacefully, as distinguished from MARTYRS, also saints, who met a violent end. The saints continued to reflect their faith throughout their lives, leaving behind them information that could help posterity record their labors for Christianity. Any listing of saints is an infinitesimal fraction of …

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Pempton

PEMPTON A monastic agglomeration located, as its name indicates, near the fifth milestone, to the west of Alexandria in all probability, and on the coastal strip separating the sea from Lake Mareotis, where several other religious establishments were similarly located in the Later Empire. The region of the Pempton was also called the Eremika, more …

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Michael The Archangel, Saint

MICHAEL THE ARCHANGEL, SAINT In Coptic Christian tradition, Saint Michael the Archangel holds an important place, comparable to that of the Virgin Mary. Of the Eastern churches, only the Copts and the Ethiopians have developed devotion to the archangel to the same degree. Among the archangels, Michael is explicitly named in the Old Testament (Dn. …

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