Lives

Butrus Sawirus Al-Jamil, Bishop Of Malij (Beginning Of 13th C.)

BUTRUS SAWIRUS AL-JAMIL, BISHOP OF MALIJ (beginning of 13th c.) A Bishop, apologist, hagiographer. The limited information that we possess about Butrus al-Jamil, who perhaps received the name Sawirus upon his consecration as bishop of Malij, points to a polemically minded scholar: his Kitab al-Ishraq (The Book of the Sunrise) is a catalog of the …

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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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Matthew I (1336-1408)

MATTHEW I (1336-1408) A Saint and patriarch (87th, 1378-1408). Matthew is perhaps the greatest of the late medieval Coptic popes, a saintly monk who, as patriarch, organized major charitable operations, cultivated good relations with the Mamluk Sultan al-Zahir Barquq (1381-1399), and strove to serve and stabilize a Coptic community that had been declining in numbers …

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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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Pachomius (292-346)

PACHOMIUS (292-346) A Saint, abbot. He is the founder of cenobitic or communal monasticism. He was born of pagan parents in a small village in Esna in Upper Egypt. As a soldier recruited in the Roman army, he had his first contact with Christianity where he experienced acts of charity from the Christian community at …

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Jesus Prayer

JESUS PRAYER The Jesus Prayer is a supplication of penance, known today by its modern prayer formula “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.” Both the practice and the wording of the Jesus Prayer are deeply rooted in biblical spirituality. The Jesus Prayer is recited repeatedly in penitential contemplation, following …

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