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Early church historians, writers, and fathers testified to the numerous Copt martyrs. Tertullian, 3rd century North African lawyer wrote "If the martyrs of the whole world were put on one arm of the balance and the martyrs of Egypt on the other, the balance will tilt in favor of the Copts." Despite periods of martyrdom and persecution the number of believers continued to grow and the lives of the martyrs inspired many to the Christian faith.
The following is a list of saints commemorated by the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria. The majority of saints are from Egypt with the majority venerated in all of Christianity.
A hermit, or eremite, is a person who lives in seclusion from society, usually for religious reasons. Hermits are a part of several sections of Christianity, and the concept is found in other religions as well.
This article uses dates and years written in the Coptic calendar, using the A.M. calendar era, in addition to the Gregorian calendar, using the A.D. calendar era.
Moses the Black (330–405), also known as Abba Moses the Robber, and the Strong, was reportedly an ascetic monk and priest in Egypt in the fourth century AD, and a notable Desert Father. According to stories about him, he converted from a life of crime to one of asceticism. He is mentioned in Sozomen's Ecclesiastical History, written about 70 years after Moses's reported death.
Macarius of Egypt was a Coptic Christian monk and hermit. He is also known as Macarius the Elder, Macarius the Great and The Lamp of the Desert.
Apr. 30 - Eastern Orthodox Church calendar - May 2.
Father Abdel Messih El-Makari was a Coptic Orthodox monk and priest, and a 20th-century Coptic saint. Pope Cyril VI of Alexandria testified as to his holiness and asceticism.
A skete is a monastic community in Eastern Christianity that allows relative isolation for monks, but also allows for communal services and the safety of shared resources and protection. It is one of four types of early monastic orders, along with the eremitic, lavritic and coenobitic, that became popular during the early formation of the Christian Church.
Pope Macarius II of Alexandria, the 69th Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of St. Mark. He is commemorated in the Calendar of Saints of the Coptic Church on 4 Thout. Pope Macarius II was pious and ascetic since his young age, and longed for the monastic life. He went to the desert of Scetes and became a monk in the Monastery of Saint Macarius the Great. He devoted himself to worship and spiritual struggle. He instructed himself by reading the Holy Scriptures, their interpretation and by contemplating on its meaning. He grew in virtues and was ordained a priest. When Pope Michael IV, the sixty-eighth pope, departed and the papal throne became vacant, a group of bishops and priests went to the wilderness of Scetes. They assembled in the church with the elders of Scetes. They remained there for many days, searching and scouting for who would be best for this position. Finally they unanimously agreed to choose this father for what was known of his good character and excellent attributes. They took him and bound him against his will, and he cried out and begged them with excuses to release him saying, "I am not fit to be raised to the dignity of the Papacy." They brought him bound to the city of Alexandria and ordained him Patriarch. The deed of his appointment was read in The Church of the Holy Virgin in the Greek, Coptic, and Arabic languages. During his papacy, he added to his worship and piety. He taught and preached the people daily. He gave alms and did works of mercy to the poor and needy. During his papacy he never asked for any of the Church's money, but rather, he used to give a large portion of the contributions which he received to be spent on different righteous deeds. He completed 27 years in the papacy and departed in peace.
Pope Gabriel VIII of Alexandria was the 97th Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of St. Mark.
Pope Macarius III of Alexandria , 114th Pope of Alexandria & Patriarch of the See of St. Mark.
Wadi El Natrun is a depression in northern Egypt that is located 23 m (75 ft) below sea level and 38 m (125 ft) below the Nile River level. The valley contains several alkaline lakes, natron-rich salt deposits, salt marshes and freshwater marshes.
The Monastery of Saint Macariusthe Great also known as Dayr Aba Maqār is a Coptic Orthodox monastery located in Wadi El Natrun, Beheira Governorate, about 92 km (57 mi) north-west of Cairo, and off the highway between Cairo and Alexandria.
The Paromeos Monastery, also known as Baramos Monastery, is a Coptic Orthodox monastery located in Wadi El Natrun in the Nitrian Desert, Beheira Governorate, Egypt. It is the most northern among the four current monasteries of Scetes, situated around 9 km northeast of the Monastery of Saint Pishoy. Ecclesiastically, the monastery is dedicated to and named after the Virgin Mary.
The Monastery of Saint Mary El-Sourian is a Coptic Orthodox monastery located in Wadi El Natrun in the Nitrian Desert, Beheira Governorate, Egypt. It is located about 500 meters northwest of the Monastery of Saint Pishoy.
The Monastery of Saint Anthony is a Coptic Orthodox monastery standing in an oasis in the Eastern Desert of Egypt, in the southern part of the Suez Governorate. Hidden deep in the Red Sea Mountains, it is located 334 km (208 mi) southeast of Cairo. The Monastery of Saint Anthony was established by the followers of Saint Anthony, who is the first Christian monk. The Monastery of St. Anthony is one of the most prominent monasteries in Egypt and has strongly influenced the formation of several Coptic institutions, and has promoted monasticism in general. Several patriarchs have come from the monastery, and several hundred pilgrims visit it each day.
Abib and Apollo were two Christian ascetics from Akhmim, Egypt. They are mentioned in the Synaxarion, das ist der Heiligen-Kalendar del Koptischen Christen. Their feast day is celebrated on November 4.
Viator of Lyons is a Gaul saint of the fourth century.
Coptic Monasticism is claimed to be the original form of Monasticism as St. Anthony of Egypt became the first one to be called "monk" and he was the first to established a Christian monastery which is now known as the Monastery of Saint Anthony in the Red Sea area. St. Anthony's Monastery is now the oldest monastery in the world.
The Monastery of Saint Paul the Anchorite in Egypt is a Coptic Orthodox monastery located in the Eastern Desert, near the Red Sea Mountains. It is about 155 km (96 mi) south east of Cairo. The monastery is also known as the Monastery of the Tigers.
Atiya, Aziz S. The Coptic Encyclopedia. New York: Macmillan Publishing Co., 1991. ISBN 0-02-897025-X