patriarch of Jerusalem

Saint Sophia

SAINT SOPHIA [A holy woman of the fourth century or later whose remains are interred in the Church of Santa Sophia (Hagia Sophia) in Constantinople (feast day: 5 Tut). There are several versions of her story.] The Jacobite Tradition The Jacobite-Arabic SYNAXARION, preserved in a seventeenth-century copy (restored in the nineteenth century) in the National …

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Monophysitism

MONOPHYSITISM The doctrine that the incarnate Christ is one Person and has one divine nature as opposed to the orthodox doctrine that he is one Person and has two natures, one human and one divine. The rift between the Monophysites, including the Coptic, Syrian, Ethiopian, and Armenian churches, and the Orthodox Church has divided Eastern …

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Pharan

PHARAN (Faran) An oasis in the south of the Sinai Peninsula, a little to the north of the town of al-Tur (RAITHOU) and to the west of the Greek monastery of Saint Catherine. Netra or Nitira, a hermit in Sinai, became bishop of Pharan at the end of the fourth century or the beginning of …

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Fast of Heraclius

Fast of Heraclius This seven-day fast is attributed to Emperor Heraclius (575-642), who rescued the holy cross from the Persians in 629 and restored it to Golgotha. It is erroneously linked with the Coptic church, and taken to account for the first seven of the fifty-five days forming the Coptic Great Lent. The misconception arises …

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Fatimids And The Copts

FATIMIDS AND THE COPTS It is difficult to give a complete picture of the situation of the Copts under the Fatimid dynasty (972-1171). Generally speaking, the caliphs were very tolerant toward them, except during two very tense periods that even brought persecution: under al-HAKIM (996-1021) and during the reign of the last caliph, al-‘Adid. With …

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Martyrs, Coptic

MARTYRS, COPTIC The souls recognized in Egypt who suffered persecution and died for their faith. The majority of martyrs belong to the period of Roman persecutions from the time of Nero in the mid-first century to the time of Diocletian in the early fourth century. It is, of course, impossible to assemble the names of …

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Monenergism (Monergism)

MONENERGISM (Monergism) A movement that developed in the early part of the seventh century from an attempt by Emperor Heraclius I (610-641) to find a formula that would reconcile the Monophysites with neo-Chalcedonian orthodoxy. The dramatic success of Heraclius against the Persians, culminating in the triumphant restoration of the True Cross to Jerusalem in 630, …

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Monothelitism

MONOTHELITISM For Egypt and the Coptic church, monothelitism may be taken simply as a continuation of the monenergist crisis with which imperial power in Egypt ended. At CONSTANTINOPLE, two councils in 638 and 639 accepted the ECTHESIS of Emperor Heraclius (610-641). As in other efforts over the previous two centuries to find agreement on a …

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Agathon Of Homs

AGATHON OF HOMS (AGATHON OF HOMS) A twelfth-century author and a bishop of Homs (Homs), and mentioned by the encyclopedist Abu al-Barakat IBN KABAR (d. 1324) in Chapter 7 of the Misbah al-Zulmah (Misbah al-Zulmah) (“Lamp of Darkness”). He classes him among the Coptic medieval authors after SAWIRUS IBN AL-MUQAFFA‘, Michael of Damietta, and Butrus …

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