Saint Thomas the Hermit is a Saint of the Coptic Orthodox Church, he is also known as "Saint Thomas the Anchorite", "Saint Thomas of Shenshif" or simply as "Abba Thomas"[(Coptic word meaning Father) (Αw-ba)Sahidic (Αw-va)Bohairic]. Saint Thomas was born in Upper Egypt, in a small village known as "Shenshif". He is revered by the Coptic Orthodox Church, since he is one of the early Anchorites, or Desert Fathers. Little is commonly known about him.
Although little is known about his early life we do know where he was born, and the broad region of inheritance for his early monastic life. Abba Thomas was born in a village called Shenshif (north Ekhmim – Upper Egypt) of two pious parents who raised him in the fear of God.They brought him up well in all godliness and raised him in the Christian tradition. He led a quiet, peaceable life renouncing the vanities of the world and its lusts. Since day one he wanted to follow in the foot steps of Saint Anthony, and Saint Paul the First Hermit ; two of the first Anchorites. He left his home and headed towards the wilderness, where he lived in a cave in the mount of Shenshif.
Saint Anthony or Antony, was a Christian monk from Egypt, revered since his death as a saint. He is distinguished from other saints named Anthony such as Anthony of Padua, by various epithets of his own: Anthony the Great, Anthony of Egypt, Antony the Abbot,Anthony of the Desert,Anthony the Anchorite, and Anthony of Thebes. For his importance among the Desert Fathers and to all later Christian monasticism, he is also known as the Father of All Monks. His feast day is celebrated on January 17 among the Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches and on Tobi 22 in the Coptic calendar used by the Coptic Church.
Paul of Thebes, commonly known as Paul, the First Hermit or Paul the Anchorite, or in Egyptian Arabic as Anba Bola, Coptic: Ⲁⲃⲃⲁ Ⲡⲁⲩⲗⲉ; is regarded as the first Christian hermit, who was claimed to have lived alone in the desert from the age of sixteen to one hundred thirteen years of his age. He is not to be confused with Paul the Simple, who was a disciple of Anthony the Great. He is venerated as a saint by the Catholic Church as well as the Orthodox Church.
Stories Concerning Saint Thomas
Shenoute the Great, Saint Shenoute the Archimandrite (Coptic: Ⲁⲃⲃⲁ Ϣⲉⲛⲟⲩϯ ⲡⲓⲁⲣⲭⲓⲙⲁⲛ'ⲇⲣⲓⲧⲏⲥ; was the abbot of the White Monastery in Egypt. He is considered a saint by the Oriental Orthodox Churches, and is one of the most renowned saints of the Coptic Orthodox Church.
Monasteries and Churches
There are multiple Churches dedicated to the beloved Saint:
The Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria is an Oriental Orthodox Christian church based in Egypt, Africa and the Middle East. The head of the Church and the See of Alexandria is the Patriarch of Alexandria on the Holy See of Saint Mark, who also carries the title of Coptic Pope. The See of Alexandria is titular, and today the Coptic Pope presides from Saint Mark's Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in the Abbassia District in Cairo. The church follows the Alexandrian Rite for its liturgy, prayer and devotional patrimony. With 18–22 million members worldwide, whereof about 15 to 18 million are in Egypt, it is the country's largest Christian church.
Saint Pachomius, also known as Pachome and Pakhomius, is generally recognized as the founder of Christian cenobitic monasticism. Coptic churches celebrate his feast day on 9 May, and Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches mark his feast on 15 May or 28 May. In the Lutheran Church, the saint is remembered as a renewer of the church, along with his contemporary, Anthony of Egypt on January 17.
Onuphrius or Onoufrios, venerated as Saint Onuphrius in both the Roman Catholic Church and Eastern Catholic Churches; Venerable Onuphrius in Eastern Orthodoxy and Saint Nofer the Anchorite in Oriental Orthodoxy, lived as a hermit in the desert of Upper Egypt in the 4th or 5th centuries.
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.
Saint Cyriacus the Anchorite was born in Corinth in the year 448.
Pope Benjamin I of Alexandria, 38th Pope of Alexandria & Patriarch of the See of St. Mark. He is regarded as one of the greatest patriarchs of the Coptic Church. Benjamin guided the Coptic church through a period of turmoil in Egyptian history that included the fall of Egypt to the Sassanid Empire, followed by Egypt's reconquest under the Byzantines, and finally the Arab Islamic Conquest in 642. After the Arab conquest Pope Benjamin, who was in exile, was allowed to return to Alexandria and resume the patriarchate.
Pope Mark VII of Alexandria , 106th Pope of Alexandria & Patriarch of the See of St. Mark. Pope Mark VII was born in the city of Klosna, in the district of El Bahnasa, and his lay name was Simeon. He joined the Monastery of Saint Anthony at a young age, then moved to the Monastery of Saint Paul the Anchorite, where he became a monk and was ordained a priest. When Pope John XVII departed, he was chosen to succeed him. Pope Mark VII was ordained Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria on Sunday, 24 Pashons, 1461 A.M. on the day of the feast of the entry of Christ to Egypt.
Pope Macarius III of Alexandria , 114th Pope of Alexandria & Patriarch of the See of St. Mark.
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. It is the oldest monastery in the world. St Anthony himself was the founder of monasticism. 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.
Coptic history is part of history of Egypt that begins with the introduction of Christianity in Egypt in the 1st century AD during the Roman period, and covers the history of the Copts to the present day. Many of the historic items related to Coptic Christianity are on display in many museums around the world and a large number is in the Coptic Museum in Coptic Cairo.
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.
Saint Karas the Anchorite, also known as Anbba Karas, was a saint of the Coptic Orthodox Church who lived during the late fifth and early sixth centuries. According to his biographer, the Egyptian monk Saint Pambo, he spent 57 years in isolation in the Scetis Desert in communion with God who visited him every day in his cave. After his death,God closed the cave on his body as the world doesn't deserve his footstep. The location of his cave is unknown.
Saint Fana, also known as Abu Fana, Abu Fanah, or Apa Bane was a Coptic hermit. The Monastery of Saint Fana in the diocese of Mallawi, Upper Egypt, is named after him.
Saint Bishoy, known in the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria as the Star of the Desert and the Beloved of our Good Savior, is an Egyptian desert father. He is said to have seen Jesus and that his body is preserved to the present day in incorruptibility at the Monastery of Saint Bishoy at the Natroon Desert, Egypt. He is venerated by the Oriental Orthodox Churches and the Eastern Orthodox Churches, and is known in the latter under the Greek version of his name, Paisios.
Saint Demiana and the 40 Virgins,, also known as the Chaste Martyr Saint Demiana, is a Coptic martyr of the early fourth century.
Saint Misael the Anchorite was a Christian monk who is venerated by the Coptic Orthodox Church.