Thomas the Hermit

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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.

Early Life

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. [1] 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. [2] He left his home and headed towards the wilderness, where he lived in a cave in the mount of Shenshif.

Anthony the Great Christian saint, monk, and hermit

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 Christian hermit

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 Egyptian saint

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:

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Onuphrius Desert father

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Macarius of Egypt Egyptian Christian monk and hermit

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Cyriacus the Anchorite byzantine saint

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Monastery of Saint Anthony Monastery in Egypt

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.

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Coptic history

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

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

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.

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Demiana Egyptian saint

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.


  1. "Our Patron Saint". St. Thomas The Hermit Coptic Orthodox Church. Retrieved 2015-11-23.
  2. "Our Patron Saint". St. Thomas The Hermit Coptic Orthodox Church. Retrieved 2015-11-23.
  3. "Our Patron Saint". St. Thomas The Hermit Coptic Orthodox Church. Retrieved 2015-11-23.
  4. "Our Patron Saint". St. Thomas The Hermit Coptic Orthodox Church. Retrieved 2015-11-26.