YUNA (JONAS) OF ARMANT
(feast day: 2 Tubah). Of this monk, who came from and lived near the town of Armant in Upper Egypt, we know only what is said by the recension of the SYNAXARION of the Copts from Upper Egypt.
Yuna’s birth was miraculous, brought about by the prayers and ascetic practices of his maternal uncle, a monk of the Dayr Anba Hiziqyal (Ezekiel) in the inner desert (the most remote from the Nile Valley). This was like the birth of the prophet Samuel, with the explicit promise that he would be dedicated from the age of three. As soon as he had been weaned, at the age of three, his mother also dedicated him and entrusted him to her brother, Anba Victor.
His uncle brought him up in the knowledge of the scriptures, and instilled in him all the practices of asceticism. From this narrative we learn the existence of two monasteries no doubt not very far apart: DAYR ANBA DARYUS and DAYR AL-MALAK GHUBRIYAL, where Yuna sometimes went. The first appears to have been his usual residence, and it was there that his uncle was buried.
Several miracles are related, and we learn from these accounts that the civil power was Muslim, which shows that Yuna lived after the Muslim conquest. There is reference to the monastery of Saint Mattawus (Matthew) of Isna, no doubt the one today called DAYR AL-FAKHURI, and the founder is mentioned in the Life of the patriarch ALEXANDER II (705-730) in the HISTORY OF THE PATRIARCHS. It can be deduced that this Saint Yuna or Jonas lived in the seventh or eighth century.
As his death approached, Yuna had the vision of numerous saints, and expired peacefully at the age, it is precisely stated, of seventy-two years and four months. He was buried beside the church, no doubt that of the monastery of Anba Daryus, where his uncle had been buried.
- Amélineau, E. La Géographie de l’Egypte a l’époque copte. Paris, 1893.