In 1856, the newly consecrated archbishop of the see of Jerusalem, Anba Basilios II, stopped at Jaffa on his way to Jerusalem. While waiting for arrangements to be made for his trip to Jerusalem, he was taken to an Armenian monastery, there is no Coptic institution in the area. He was so moved at seeing numbers of Copts gathered outside the monastery that he started immediately to look for another place where he could stay with his fellow Copts. A rich Greek Orthodox offered to sell the archbishop a big garden containing a small empty house. The archbishop accepted immediately, and thus, on the very day of his arrival in Jaffa, secured a permanent place for the Coptic pilgrims.
When he returned to Egypt, he collected generous donations from his large diocese, which comprised most of the governorates of northern Egypt, and with these donations he not only purchased the property in Jaffa but also built there the church and monastery of Anba Antuniyus. The church, completed in 1858, has one sanctuary and its iconostasis and icons are in the Byzantine style. Prayers are performed weekly at the altar. Anba Basilios II and Anba Basilios III are buried in a shrine within the church.
The monastery consists of two stories with six large rooms on each story. Each floor is surrounded by a terrace. There is a big pool that was used for irrigating the orchard. Anba Theophilos built a residence on part of the orchard beside the church. The rest of the land was used as an orchard until the Israeli authorities occupied the city in 1947 and all the trees were cut down. In 1977 some necessary renovations were carried out.