Serapion

Theophilus

THEOPHILUS The twenty-third patriarch of the See of Saint Mark (385-412). A complex and controversial patriarch, Theophilus was much admired for his many writings, his destruction of pagan temples and subsequent church-building program, as well as his important role as a mediator of schisms at Antioch, Bostra, and Jerusalem during the early part of his …

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Athanasius I

ATHANASIUS I The Apostolic Saint, twentieth patriarch of the See of Saint Mark (326-373). Athanasius’ life has been treated in detail by numerous authors. These sources can be categorized as follows: (1) the writings of Athanasius himself, which should be considered the most authentic of the sources. These include his historical tracts, encyclicals, an apology …

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Saint Bessarion

SAINT BESSARION A fourth-century anchorite. According to the short series of apothegms attributed to Bessarion in the alphabetical collection of the APOPHTHEGMATA PATRUM, the saint (festal date, 25 Misra) was a contemporary of JOHN OF LYCOPOLIS. He lived, therefore, for at least part of his life, in the second half of the fourth century, at …

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Dionysius The Great

DIONYSIUS THE GREAT The fourteenth patriarch of the See of Saint Mark (247-264), whose letters dealt with the major religious issues of the time. Dionysius was born at an unknown date, probably in the last decade of the second century. The son of a wealthy pagan family, he was converted to Christianity at a mature …

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Saint Antony Of Egypt

SAINT ANTONY OF EGYPT (feast day, 22 Tubah), third- fourth-century hermit. The principal source of our knowledge of the life of the man whom an ancient tradition calls “the Father of the Monks” is the biography written shortly after Antony’s death (356) by Saint ATHANASIUS, patriarch of Alexandria. Its authenticity as a work of Athanasius …

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Dayr Abu Sarabam

DAYR ABU SARABAM (near Minya) The most explicit of the ancient authors regarding this monastery is without doubt al- MAQRIZI (1853, Vol. 2, p. 518), for he described “in the district of Dayrut a church near the town, as well as a monastery named after the monk Serapion, who lived in the time of Shenute …

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Reclusion

RECLUSION Like ANACHORESIS, reclusion is a form of separation from the world, a fundamental element of the monastic ideal. Much practiced among the monks of Syria, it was also practiced in Egypt from the earliest days of monasticism. Saint ANTONY himself lived for a long time as a recluse before his great anachoresis in the …

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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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