Sawirus Ibn Muqaffa`, History of the Church part 10 - CYRIL III — CYRIL V (A. D. 1235-1894)

HISTORY OF THE PATRIARCHS OF THE EGYPTIAN CHURCH
KNOWN AS THE HISTORY OF THE HOLY CHURCH
BY
SAWIRUS IBN AL-MUKAFFA`
BISHOP OF AL-ASHMUNIN

VOLUME III. PART III

CYRIL III — CYRIL V
(A. D. 1235-1894)



TEXTES ET DOCUMENTS XIII
HISTORY OF THE PATRIARCHS OF THE EGYPTIAN CHURCH
KNOWN AS THE HISTORY OF THE HOLY CHURCH
BY
SAWIRUS IBN AL-MUKAFFA`
BISHOP OF AL-ASHMUNIN

VOLUME III. PART III

CYRIL II — CYRIL V
(A. D. 1235-1894)

TRANSLATED AND ANNOTATED BY
ANTOINE KHATER                              O.H.E. KHS-BURMESTER

LE CAIRE
1970

The publication of this work has been made possible by an appropriation from a grant awarded to the Society for Coptic Archaeology by the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago

Le Caire — Imprimerie de l'Institut Francais d'Archeologie Orientale.


PREFACE

This final Part of the History of the Patriarchs of the Egyptian Church comprises the biographies of thirty-eight patriarchs who occupied the Throne of Saint Mark from 1235-1894 A.D.

For the following patriarchs, however, the biographies are extremely brief, recording little else beyond the date of their consecration and that of their decease: — Athanasius III, Peter V, Mark IV, John X, Gabriel IV, Gabriel V, John XI, Matthew II, Gabriel VI, Michael III, Gabriel VII, Gabriel VIII, Mark V, John XV, Matthew III, Mark VI, Matthew IV.

Naturally, in the course of these seven centuries there is mention in the biographies of the patriarchs of many interesting and important particulars relating to the history of the Coptic Church, monasteries and churches and social conditions in Egypt.

HISTORICAL

During the time of the patriarchs Theodosius II (1294 A.D.) and John XVI (1676 A.D.) such a terrible famine occurred in Egypt, that the poor even ate dead people and dead animals; there was also a lesser famine in the time of the patriarch Matthew I (1378-1409 A.D.). In 1303 A.D. a most severe earthquake convulsed the whole of Egypt, and Cairo suffered much damage as regards its buildings. In 1726 A.D. there was an occurrence of the pest, and in 1791 A.D. the bubonic plague broke out in Egypt, during which it is recorded that on a single day a thousand people died in Cairo.

From the last quarter of the XIIIth century to the second quarter of the XIVth century there were persecutions of the Christians with varying degrees of intensity. Under the patriarch John VII, Al-Malik az-Zahir Beybars ordered a deep pit to be dug and then to gather together the Christians to burn them in it. They were, however, spared this martyrdom on the payment of a large sum of money by the patriarch.

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In the time of the patriarch John IX many Christians were killed or burnt alive, whilst others were nailed to boards and paraded through the streets of Cairo on the back of camels. The wearing of blue turbans, as a distinctive mark for Christians, was enforced in the days of the patriarchs John VIII and John IX (1300-1327 A.D.). A massacre of the Christians and the pillaging of their houses also occurred in the time of the patriarch Mark VIII (1796-1809 A.D.).

The biography of the patriarch Matthew I (1378-1409 A.D.) is particularly extensive, containing, as it does, a record of the large number of the miracles which he performed. There is also mention of the gift of a fragment of the True Cross enshrined in a reliquary of gold set with gems, which was sent to a king of Ethiopia by a king of the Franks.

In the time of the patriarch John XIII (1524 A.D.) there is mentioned the building of a mosque in the street of Cairo called Al-Ghuriyah by Al-Ghuri, last of the Circassian Mamluks.

With regard to purely political events, we have mention of the frequent fighting in Cairo between rival sanjaks and mamluks, which occurred in the days of the following patriarchs:— John XVI (1676-1718 A.D.), Peter VI (1718-1726 A.D.), John XVII (1726-1745 A.D.), Mark VII (1745-1769 A.D.) and John XVIII (1769-1796 A.D.). In the biography of the patriarch Mark VIII (1796-1809 A.D.) there is an account of the invasion of Egypt by Napoleon Bonaparte, the assassination of General Kleber and the conversion to Al-Islam of General Menou to whom, it is stated, a son was born whom he named Sulaiman. In the time of the patriarch Demetrius II (1862-1870 A.D.) there is mention of the opening of the Suez Canal.

In the biography of the patriarch Cyril V (1874-1927 A.D.) which goes down to the year 1894 A.D., the following events are recorded: — the revolt of Ahmad `Urabi, the entry of the English into Egypt and the Mahdi uprising in the Sudan. There is also mentioned the change in the right of succession to the viceroyalty of Egypt made by Ismail Pasha, whereby the right of succession was reserved to the eldest son of his own family instead of being, as up to then, reserved to the eldest member of the family of Muhammad `Ali.

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ECCLESIASTICAL

At the beginning of the latter half of the XIIIth century, an instance is recorded, where two candidates for the patriarchate were elected. One of the two of them succeeded in becoming patriarch, and he remained on the Throne of Saint Mark for a period of six years and nine months. Then he was deposed, and the other candidate was consecrated patriarch in his stead. After having remained patriarch for two years and two months, this patriarch died, and then the former patriarch was brought back by the command of the Sultan, and he resumed his patriarchal duties until his death.

A letter from the Pope of Rome regarding a possible reunion of the Coptic Church with the Latin Church, was received by the patriarchs John XII (1479-1482 A.D.) and John XIV (1570-1585 A.D.), and an appropriate answer was duly despatched to Rome. In the time of Peter VII (1809-1852 A.D.) Muhammad `Ali desiring to repay in some manner the French for their kindnesses towards him, expressed, at the suggestion of one of the commanders of his army who was a Catholic, the wish that the Coptic Church might unite with the Latin Church. As a consequence of this a small body of Coptic notables became Coptic Uniates.

During the patriarchate of John XVI (1676-1718 A.D.) there was a consecration of the Holy Chrism, and for this purpose the patriarch summoned all the bishops, and to each one of them he presented a complete set of hieratic vestments and Eucharistic vessels.

With regard to the failure of the Nile to rise, we have two examples in which through the intercession of the patriarch, the waters rose miraculously to their wonted measure. The first occurred in the time of the patriarch John XVI (1676-1718 A.D.), when the Nile stopped rising and a drought began to set in. The patriarch, thereupon, celebrated daily the Divine Liturgy, and prayed over a jar of water which he signed with the Holy Chrism. He then cast this into the river, and, in due course, the waters began to rise again. The second example occurred during the patriarchate of Peter VII (1809-1852 A.D.). As the Nile did not rise in a certain year, Muhammad `Ali commanded

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all the Christian denominations as well as the Muslims and the Jews to make supplication to God, but all was to no avail. Then the patriarch Peter VII celebrated the Divine Liturgy on the bank of the Nile, and cast the water from the ablution of the Eucharistic vessels into it. Immediately, the waters of the river began to effervesce and to rise to such an extent that they overflowed the bank.

With regard to the pilgrimage to the Holy City for the Feast of the Resurrection, it is recorded that the patriarch John XVI (1676-1718 A.D.) performed this in company with priests, notables and a number of people, and that the journey was made by land and not by sea. Peter VII (1809-1852 A.D.) also went to the Holy City for the Feast of the Resurrection, and he accompanied the Greek Patriarch into the Tomb of Christ to receive the Holy Fire. It was on this occasion that the Holy Fire is recorded to have burst forth from one of the pillars in front of the Church of the Resurrection.

Regarding the sees of the Patriarchate of Alexandria, we have an interesting example of what must be extremely rare in the Coptic Church, since the Canons forbid it, namely, the translation of a bishop from his see to another see. As the bishop is regarded as having been wed to his see, his translation to another see is considered as a form of adultery. The case in question occurred in the patriarchate of Peter VII (1809-1852 A.D.). He consecrated as archbishop of Ethiopia a former bishop of Jerusalem and then consecrated in his stead another bishop for the Holy City.

In the time of the patriarch Cyril V (1874-1927 A.D.) an archbishop and three bishops were consecrated, for Ethiopia. In the biography of the said patriarch we have a list of the nineteen sees of the Patriarchate of Alexandria together with the names of their occupants.

The patriarch Cyril IV (1853-1870 A.D.) very nearly had a tragic end during his visit to Ethiopia. Certain English people accused him to the Negushe of being the precursor of Egyptian troops which were following him with the express purpose of making Ethiopia subject to Egypt. The Negushe who was of a very irascible nature immediately commanded the patriarch to be burned alive, and it was only through the intervention of the queen that he was spared and sent back to Egypt.

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After the death of the patriarch Demetrius II (1862-1870 A.D.) the Throne of Alexandria remained vacant for nearly five years, and it was administered by a locum-tenens who was Metropolitan of Alexandria. To assist him in the work of administration of the patriarchate, this Metropolitan formed a council which undertook especially the control of the inalienable endowments of the Church. This council continued to operate under the new patriarch Cyril V (1874-1927 A.D.), but very soon serious disagreements occurred between it and the patriarch. As this council had the support of the Government, it managed to have Cyril V exiled to the Monastery of Al-Baramus in August, 1892 A.D. Here he remained until January, 1893 A.D. when, by order of the Government, he was brought back to the patriarchate in triumph.

MONASTERIES AND CHURCHES

Monastery of the Nestorians at Cairo.

From the biographies of John VII (1271-1293 A.D.), Theodosius II (1294-1300 A.D.) and John IX (1320-1327 A.D.) we learn that these three patriarchs were buried in the monastery known as that of the Nestorians. This monastery was situated in Al-Habas, a district lying between Cairo (Al-Kahirah) and Cairo (Misr). During the patriarchate of Mark III (1166-1189 A.D.) this monastery passed from the hands of the Nestorians into the possession of the Copts.

Monastery of Shahran at Ma`sarah.

In the days of the patriarch Matthew I (1378-1409 A.D.) there was an attempt by the Muslim mobs to destroy the Monastery of Shahran, but this patriarch courageously withstood them, and they finally dispersed and desisted from their evil intention.

Patriarchal Cell (Monastery of Saint George) in the Harat ar-Rum at Cairo.

In 1660 A.D. the Coptic Patriarchate was transferred to the district of Cairo known as the Harat ar-Rum, and the patriarch John XVI (1676-1718 A.D.) rebuilt the Patriarchal Cell and dedicated it to the Glorious Resurrection of Jesus Christ. It was at this monastery that

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the patriarch Mark VII (1745-1769 A.D.) lay in state the night before his burial.

Monastery of Saint Paul in the Eastern Desert.

This same patriarch John XVI rebuilt the Monastery of Saint Paul in the Eastern Desert, which had remained ruined for a time. He also consecrated a church in this monastery and established monks in it, and endowed it with an inalienable endowment taken from the Monastery of Saint Antony in the Eastern Desert.

Monastery of Al-`Adawiyah at Cairo.

In the days of the patriarch Peter VI (1718-1726 A.D.) the Monastery of Al-`Adawiyah in Bulak was rebuilt by a notable of the Coptic community, and it was consecrated by the patriarch. The patriarch Mark VII (1745-1769 A.D.) died at this monastery. A mansion (kasr) was added to it by the patriarch Cyril V (1874-1927 A.D.).

Various Monasteries.

In the biography of Cyril V we are informed that this patriarch rebuilt or restored or added to the following monasteries:— Saint Barsum the Naked at Ma`sarah, Saint Mercurius at Tamwai, Saint George at Turah. We have also a list of all the inhabited monasteries, as well as the mention of a number of those which were ruined.

Church Al-Mu`allakah at Old Cairo.

During the patriarchate of Matthew I (1378-1409 A.D.) there was an attempt by the Muslims to burn down the famous church Al-Mu`allakah in the Fortress of Babylon (Old Cairo), but this attempt was frustrated by the prayer of this patriarch, for God sent down rain which extinguished the flames.

Church of the All-Holy Virgin Mary in the Harat Zuwailah at Cairo.

In the biography of the patriarch Matthew I there is mention of the Church of the All-Holy Virgin Mary in the Harat Zuwailah in connection

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with an accident which happened to a workman who fell from the top of a scaffolding, whilst carrying a large stone.

Churches of Saint Michael the Archangel and Saint Menas at Cairo.

In the time of the patriarch Peter VI (1718-1726 A.D.) a certain notable of the Copts rebuilt at his own expense the southern Church of Saint Michael the Archangel and the Church of Saint Menas at Cairo.

Cathedral Church of Saint Mark at Al-Azbakiah in Cairo.

In the patriarchate of Mark VIII (1796-1809 A.D.) a certain Abraham al-Gawhari, a Government official, obtained the authorization to build a church at Al-Azbakiah. The actual building of this church was undertaken by his brother, and thither the Patriarchal Cell was transferred from the Harat ar-Rum. This church was taken down by the patriarch Cyril IV (1853-1870 A.D.), and he started the building of a large Cathedral Church on its site. His successor, Demetrius II (1862-1870 A.D.) completed the building of this Cathedral, and its interior decoration was done at the order of the patriarch Cyril V (1874-1927 A.D.).

Churches of Saint Gabriel the Archangel in the Harat as-Sakkdyin and of the All-Holy Virgin Mary at Al-Faggalah in Cairo.

Both these churches were constructed at the order of the patriarch Cyril V.

SOCIAL CONDITIONS

During the patriarchate of John XVII (1726-1745 A.D.) there was an increase of 15% on the tax (gawali) which had to be paid by Christians and Jews alike. No one was exempted, not even the monks, and it caused considerable hardship to the poor.

Under the patriarch Cyril IV (1853-1870 A.D.) there was an advance in education among the Copts. Two schools were opened by this patriarch, one at the patriarchate and the other in the Harat as-Sakkayin, and the Coptic language was among the subjects taught in these schools.

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This advance in education was maintained and stimulated by Cyril's successor Demetrius. Additional schools were opened by the patriarch Cyril V (1874-1927 A.D.) in the Harat Zuwailah and at Bulak in Cairo, as well as a girls' school at the patriarchate and a boy's school at the patriarchate in Alexandria.

Cyril V also founded the Theological College at Cairo for the preparation of young men for Holy Orders, and also theological seminaries at the monasteries Al-Baramus, Saint Antony and Al-Muharrak. This patriarch greatly encouraged the diffusion of religious and secular knowledge through the publication of books, and, in his time, the study of the Coptic language increased and spread among the people.

The biography of Cyril V records the various modern improvements introduced into Egypt during his patriarchate, such as the railway, the telegraph, the post, irrigation of the land and factories. New laws and regulations were enacted and personal and religious liberty was guaranteed. In Cairo and Alexandria new buildings were erected, the streets were arranged and lit by gas, and water was supplied through pipes in both these cities. Thanks to the facilities accorded by railways and steamships travel and trade greatly increased. In the year 1894 A.D. the day of the enthronement of the patriarch was made an annual commemoration which was observed in the churches by the celebration of the Divine Liturgy and by appropriate festivities.

The Arabic text which is printed in the following pages has been taken from MS. Hist. 1 of the Coptic Museum, Old Cairo, foll. 236v°-276r°.

In conclusion, we offer our warmest thanks to all those who have helped us in the production of this volume. To Professor Serge Sauneron, Director of the Institut Francais d'Archeologie Orientale du Caire, for his most kind permission to print this volume at the Printing Press of the Institute, to Mr. Basil S. Psiroukis, Master Printer at the Printing Press of the Institute, for the very great care which he has taken in the arrangement and the setting-up of the printed text, and to the Staff of the Printing Press of the Institute for their helpful co-operation.

Antoine Khater 
O.H.E. KHS-Burmester

1969


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We begin with the help of the Lord — praised be He! — to explain what we found from the epitome of the news of our masters, the fathers, the patriarchs of Alexandria who sat on the Throne of my lord (Mari) Mark (Markus) the Evangelist (and) the Preacher; and this, (is) what we found in the books of history which have been gleaned in order to continue the number

Cyril (Kirullus) the Patriarch, the seventy-fifth of (their) number.

This father Cyril (Kirullus) Ibn Laklak was consecrated (2) at the city of Alexandria on Sunday, the twenty-second of (the month of) Bau'unah (in the) year nine hundred and fifty-one of the Martyrs [1235 A.D.]. And he remained patriarch for seven years and nine months, and he went to his rest on Tuesday, the fourteen of (the month of) Baramhat (in the) year nine hundred and fifty-nine of the Martyrs [1243 A.D.] at the Monastery of the Beacon at Gizah (al-Gizah), and he was buried in it. And he was a learned man (and) virtuous. He possessed a number of divers virtues, except that he was a lover of money. And he practised simony (xeiporoni/a), and there befell him adversities on account of it. And some people withstood and contemned him and held councils with regard to him in the presence of the viceroy (naib) of the Sultan and the arbiters (al-`Adul) and the wazir Ma`in ad-Din Ibn as-Sheikh (8), and they forced him to pay more than twelve thousand dinars. And the throne remained vacant after him for seven years and seven months.

(1) I.e. of the patriarchs.

(8) Cf. G. Graf, Geschichte der Christlichen Arabischen Literatur, Zweiter Band, pp. 360-361 and O.H.E. KHS-Burmester, 'The Canons of Cyril III Ibn Laklak. Part II' in B.S.A.C., t. XIV, p. 114.

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And this father is he who drew up the Book of the Confession, the twenty-two sayings, and he called it the Book of the Teacher and the Disciple

Athanasius (Atanasius) the Patriarch, and he is the seventy-six of (their) number.

This father Athanasius (Atanasius) the Patriarch, a son of the priest Makarim Ibn Kalil, was a deacon at (the Church) al-Mu`allakah, and he was chosen for the patriarchate. And he was consecrated on the fifth of (the month of) Babah (in the) year nine hundred and sixty-seven of the Martyrs [1250 A.D.]. And he remained patriarch for eleven years and fifty-six days, and he went to his rest on the first (of the month) of Kihak (in the) year nine hundred and eighty seven of the Martyrs [1270 A.D.].

Gabriel (Ghabryal) the Patriarch, and he is the seventy-seventh of (their) number.

This Gabriel (Ghabryal) the Patriarch (was) a nephew of the father Peter (Butrus) as-Sami, bishop of Tanbudi. This father was a priest at (the Church) al-Mu`allakah and he was chosen for the patriarchate, and he was ordained hegoumenos (Kummus). Then some of the archons (a1rxwn) at Cairo (Misr) agreed on John (Yu'annis) Ibn Abi Sa`id as-Sukari, and they cast lots in the sanctuary, and it revealed the name of Abba (Anba) Gabriel (Ghabryal). And the mentioned John (Yu'annis) Ibn Sa`id and those who were with him gainsaid him (Gabriel), and he was set aside. And John (Yu'annis)

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was consecrated on the sixth of (the month of) Tubah (in the) year nine hundred and seventy-eight of the Martyrs [1262 A.D.], a month after the decease of Abba (Anba) Athanasius (Atanasius). And he remained patriarch for a period of six years and nine months. Then John (Yu'annis) Ibn Sa`id was removed, and they finished (the consecrating of) Abba (Anba) Gabriel (Ghabryal)(3), and he was established in the patriarchate for a period of two years and two months from the twenty-fourth of (the month of) Babah (in the) year nine hundred and eighty-five of the Martyrs [1268 A.D.] up to the six of (the month of) Tubah (in the) year nine hundred and eighty-seven [1271 A.D.]. Then he was removed from the patriarchate and John (Yu'annis) was brought back by the command of the Sultan. And Abba (Anba) Gabriel (Ghabryal) continued set aside until he went to his rest at the Church of Abba (Abu) Mercurius (Markurah) in Cairo (Misr), and he was buried in it on the seventeenth of (the month of) Abib (in the) year nine hundred and ninety of the Martyrs [1274 A.D.]. And when he went to his rest, they placed his name before the name of Abba (Anba) John (Yu'annis) in the Church.

John (Yu'annis) the Patriarch, the seventy-eighth of (their) number.

This John (Yu'annis) Ibn Sa`id as-Sukari was from the inhabitants of Cairo (Misr), and he was consecrated on the sixth of (the month of) Tubah (in the) year nine hundred and seventy-eight of the Martyrs, as we explained at first. And he was in the days of Al-Malik az-Zahir Beybars (Baibars). And in the year six hundred and sixty-two of the Higrah [1264-1265 A.D.], the Sultan commanded that they should dig a great pit, and they gathered together the Christians (an-Nasara) to burn them

(3) Up to this time he had been ordained only hegoumenos.

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in it, and he sent for the patriarch, and he imposed on him (a fine of) fifty thousand dinars, and they set free the Christians (an-Nasara), and they remained two years exacting it (the fine). And many adversities befell the Christians (an-Nasara) in his days, the explanation of which would be lengthy. And the bishops suffered something, the explanation of which would be drawn out; and he (John) was removed from the patriarchate, as we have explained in the account of the aforementioned Abba (Anba) Gabriel (Ghabryal). Then he (John) returned, and the period of his patriarchate (was) twenty-nine years, and he went to his rest on the twenty-sixth of (the month of) Baramudah (in the) year one thousand and nine of the Martyrs [1293 A.D.], and he was buried in the Monastery of the Nestorians (an-Nastur); and the See remained vacant after him one year and (some) days.

Theodosius (Taudusius) the Patriarch, and he is the seventy-ninth of (their) number.

Theodosius (Taudusius), son of Abu Makin al-Afarangi — his name was Christodulus (`Abd al-Masih) — (was) from the inhabitants of Minyat Bani Khasim. And he was at the Monastery of Saint Abba (Abu) Fana (Fana), and he was ordained a priest in his monastery. And he was consecrated on the tenth of (the month of) Abib (in the) year one thousand and ten of the Martyrs [1294 A.D.], in the days of Al-Malik an-Nasir Muhammad Ibn Kalauun (6). And the people remained for a period without commemorating his name, but they used to commemorate the name of him who was before him. And it was mentioned that he obtained the patriarchate by what is against the law (no/moj) and the precepts, and (that) he was a lover of taking bribes. And there occurred in his days mortality and great dearness, and the people ate the dead

(6) 1290-1294, 1299-1309, 1310-1341 A.D.

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of one another. And he (Theodosius) went to his rest on the fifth of (the month of) Tubah (in the) year one thousand and sixteen of the Martyrs [1300 A.D.]. And the period of his occupation of the See (was) six years, and he was buried in the Monastery of the Nestorians (an-Nastur), and the See was vacant after him for (some) days.

John (Yu'annis) the Patriarch, and he is the eightieth of (their) number.

John (Yu'annis) the Patriarch, known as Ibn al-Kaddis, was chosen for the patriarchate, and he was consecrated on the nineteenth day (of the month) of Amshir (in the) year one thousand and sixteen of the Martyrs [1300 A.D.]. And there was in his days the wearing of the blue turbans and other happenings (4). And there occurred a great earthquake (5) on Thursday (in the) half of the month of Misra (in the) year one thousand and nineteen of the Martyrs [1303 A.D.]. And he went to his rest on the fourth day of the month of Bau'unah (in the) year one thousand and thirty-six of the Martyrs [1320 A.D.], and he was buried in the Monastery of Shahran, and the duration of his patriarchate was twenty years and one hundred and five days. And this father was present at the funeral of the father, Saint Barsuma the Naked (9) on the fifth of (the month of) Nasi (in the) year one thousand and twenty-one of the Martyrs [1305 A.D.], and he prayed over him. The blessing of the prayer of all (the Saints) be with us for ever. Amen.

(4) The wearing of blue turbans and the closing of the churches is mentioned in the colophon of a MS. dated 1024 A.M. (= 1307 A.D.) edited by G. Horner, The Service for the Consecration of a Church and Altar, London, 1902, p. 25 (translation), and S. Lane-Poole, op. cit., p. 301.

(5) S. Lane-Poole, op. cit., p. 301 states that this earthquake occurred on August 8th, 1303 A.D.

(9) Commemoration on Nasi 5th.

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John (Yu'annis) the Patriarch, and he is the eighty-first of (their) number.

This father John (Yu'annis) the patriarch (was) from the inhabitants of the district of Nafiah in (the Province of) al-Manufiah. He was consecrated patriarch on the first of (the month of) Babah (in the) year one thousand and thirty-seven of the Martyrs [1320 A.D.]. And in his days many calamities befell the Christians (an-Nasara); some of them were killed, some of them were burned, some of them were nailed and paraded on camels, and they caused them to wear the blue turbans (4); afterwards, He (God) relieved the people through His mercy. And the duration of his patriarchate (was) six years and five months and a half. And he went to his rest on the second day of (the month of) Baramudah (in the) year one thousand and forty-three of the Martyrs [1327 A.D.], and he was buried at the Monastery of the Nestorians (an-Nastur) on the outskirts of Cairo (Misr), and the See was vacant after him for a few days.

Benjamin (Banyamin) the Patriarch, and he is the eighty-second of (their) number.

This father Benjamin (Banyamin) was predicted by our father Saint Barsuma the Naked before his going to his rest. They consecrated him patriarch on the fifteenth of the month of Bashuns (in the) year one thousand and forty-three of the Martyrs. And this saintly father was from the inhabitants of Ad-Dimikarat in the Sa`id (9), and he was a devout monk living at the Mountain of Tura. And he went

(4) Cf. S. Lane-Poole, A history of Egypt, London, 1925, pp. 310-311, and B.T.A. Evetts, The Churches and monasteries of Egypt., pp. 328-340, where there is given Makrizi's account of what occurred.

(9) I.e. Upper Egypt.

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to his rest on the eleventh day of the month of Tubah (in the) year one thousand and fifty-five of the Martyrs [1339 A.D.]. And in his days there was made governor Sharaf ad-Din an-Nashwa Ibn at-Tag. And there befell him (the patriarch) many adversities. And they insulted the women and their children and the monks and the nuns and the bishops. And An-Nashwa died under punishment through the blessing of the prayer of this father and his supplications, and retribution from God came down on all who wrought evil. And this father (re-)built the Monastery of Saint Abba (Anba) Pshoi (Ibshai) in Scetis (Shihat)(2), and he expended on it from his own (money). And the period of his remaining patriarch (was) eleven years and eight months, and he went to his rest, and he was buried at the Monastery of Shahran.

Peter (Butrus) the Patriarch, and he is the eighty-third of (their) number.

This virtuous father Peter (Butrus) was a chief at the Monastery of Shahran, (and) he was chosen to sit on the Throne of Mark (al-Markusi) the Evangelist. And he was consecrated on the sixth day of the month of Tubah (in the) year one thousand and fifty-six of the Martyrs [1340 A.D.]. And he remained patriarch for eight years and a half, and his days were peaceful. And he went to his rest on the fourteenth day (of the month) of Abib (in the) year one thousand and sixty-four of the Martyrs [1348 A.D.].

Mark (Markus) the Patriarch, and he is the eighty-fourth of (their) number.

This father Mark (Markus) the Patriarch was from the inhabitants of the district of Kaliub. He was chosen for the patriarchate,

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and he was consecrated on the eighth (of the month) of Abih (in the) year one thousand and sixty-five of the Martyrs [1349 A.D.], and he remained patriarch for fourteen years and three months. And he went to his rest on the sixth day (of the month) of Amshir (in the) year one thousand and seventy-nine of the Martyrs [1363 A.D.], and his days were peaceful.

John (Yu'annis) the Patriarch and he is the eighty-fifth of (their) number.

This trustworthy father, known as As-Shami, was consecrated patriarch on the twelfth day of the month of Bashuns (in the) year one thousand and seventy-nine of the Martyrs [1363 A.D.]. And he remained patriarch for six years and two months. And he was learned (and) virtuous, and he went to his rest on the nineteenth day (of the month) of Abib (in the) year one thousand and eighty-five of the Martyrs [1369 A.D.].

Gabriel (Ghabryal) the Patriarch, and he is the eighty-six of (their) number.

This venerable, virtuous father Gabriel (Ghabryal) was from the Monastery al-Muharrak, and he was chosen for the patriarchate. And he was consecrated on the eleventh (of the month) of Tubah (in the) year one thousand and eighty-six of the Martyrs [1370 A.D.]. And he was learned, virtuous, devout (and) ascetic. And the period of his occupation of the Throne of Mark (al-Markusi) (was) eight years and four months. And he went to his rest on the third day of the month of Bashuns (in the) year one thousand and ninety-four of the Pure Martyrs [1378 A.D.].

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Matthew (Matta) the Patriarch, and he is the eighty-seventh of (their) number, and he was known as the wretched (Al-Maskin).

And this saintly father was from the Sa`id of Egypt (Misr) from a small hamlet of the Province of Al-Ashmunain called Bani Ruh. And he was from his youth a shepherd in the house of his father; and God Who shows forth miracles in His Saints showed forth in him from his childhood, while pasturing, very wonderful deeds, one of which (was) that, when he used to stand playing with the children, he would place his hand on the head of one of the children, saying: «Worthy!» (a!cos) (4) thrice, and he would ordain a group of them priests, and others deacons, so that his blessed mother used to marvel at this, and she would point to the gathering saying: «This my son will become without fail patriarch. And this one (Matthew) did not continue a little child, so that he became big and grew up. And when he became fourteen years old, he thereupon left the house of his father, and he went to some monasteries in Upper Egypt (as Sa`id), and he worked as a shepherd according to his custom. And he used not to wear on his body a garment at all, but he was clothed with a cloak and a rope round his loins. And together with his contempt of himself he likewise possessed courage and amazing strength, so that on account of his great courage the shepherds who were older than he (was) would, if fierce hyenas entrapped them at night to devour their sheep, and they prevailed not over them, put this father to the test and send him to those hyenas. And it was (that), when he drew nigh to them and

(4) In the ordination service of bishops, priests and deacons the final laying-on of hands is accompanied by the exclamation a!ctos, repeated thrice, cf. O.H.E. KHS-Burmester, The Egyptian or Coptic Church, Cairo, 1967, pp. 161, 164, 173.

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screamed at them with his voice, they would leap away from him and turn tail in flight, so that the shepherds who were older than he (was) used to marvel at his great courage. And the grace of God shone upon his face, for this father was handsome of countenance, very agreeable in form, figure and appearance, and it was (that) everyone who beheld him would love him on account of it. Once a woman beheld him, and she coveted the beauty of his eyebrows, and Satan (as-Shaitan) incited her, and she accosted him (Matthew) with evil (intention), and he went aside, and he took off his eyebrows with a razor, and he betook himself with the eyebrows to that woman, saying to her: «Take the hair of the eyebrows which you did covet». And when the woman beheld him, she grieved for that exceedingly, but she did not turn back from him, so that the father asked the bishop that he should let him go his way, for that woman (lived in) proximity to the dwelling-place of the bishop. And this father concealed her affair, and he did not wish to make it known to the bishop that she was increasingly incited towards him. And he asked the bishop that he should let him go his way, but he (the bishop) was not willing. Thereupon, he acted as if he were mad, and immediately he collected the robes of the bishop and his palliums (ballin), and he tore them all into little pieces, and he cast them in a heap as rags. And when the bishop beheld this, he rose up against this father and he rebuked him and drove him away to his monastery. And he (the bishop) did not know that he (Matthew) had done this on account of that woman, but (he thought) that a madness had come upon him. And God sent to the bishop a group of people who informed him of what had happened to him (Matthew) with the woman. And when he (the bishop) was assured of this, he regretted having driven him away. And the father, the bishop, began to seek an occasion to meet him (Matthew) until the time he met him. Thereupon, straightway he took hold of him, and he ordained him priest, and he was eighteen years old. And when the news of his ordination was made known to the spiritual, honourable father, who was the father

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Abraham (Ibrahim), the hegoumenos (al-Kummus) al-Fani (1), he rose up straightway against the bishop, and he said: «How did you make bold, O our father, and ordain a young lad a shepherd, a priest, and he is eighteen years old?». And the bishop answered him, saying: «The young man is worthy to be consecrated patriarch by reason of what I know of him, for he fasts in the time of summer every two days, and in winter, every three days». And when our father, the hegoumenos (al-Kummus), heard what the bishop testified of him (Matthew), he marvelled and glorified God Who speaks through the mouth of His Saints. And as for him (Matthew), when he beheld the scandal which arose on his account, he went to the Mountain of Saint Antony (Antunius)(3), and he did not show himself to anyone that he was a priest; but when it was his intention to serve, he did not serve except as a deacon. And lo, a divine hand came forth from the altar (haikal) and gave to him incense thrice at the reading of the Gospel; then it withdrew from him. And when some of the saintly elders (as-Shiyukh) beheld it (the hand) and were assured of it, they informed him that he would without fail become patriarch. And when he heard this from them, he grieved exceedingly, and he arose, and he went to the city of Jerusalem (Aurushalim), and he was a stranger there, and he used to work as a labourer and to eat from his toil. And it was from his great exertions in the day, (that) he passed all the night also awake in a cave, and he did not associate with anyone and he did not talk at all. And if an affair compelled him to talk, he used not to speak beyond seven words, and as for Friday, he would not talk on it, but he used to talk with the Master Christ (al-Masih) all the day. And thus this father did not cease (his) exertions in the city of Jerusalem (Aurushalim) until a monk of a foreign race (ge/nos) came to him and said to him: «O man

(1) I.e. he was a monk of the Monastery of Abu Fanah, cf. O.F.A. Meinardus, Christian Egypt Ancient and Modern, Cairo, 1965, pp. 262-263.

(3) I.e. the Monastery of St. Antony, cf. O.F.A. Meinardus, Monks and Monasteries of the Egyptian Deserts, pp. 31-88.

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of God, have mercy upon me, for I had a supply of silver to be of use to me in my sojourning abroad, (and) they stole it, and I do not know who it is who stole it from me». And he who stole it, took it stealthily, and journeyed immediately to Bethlehem (Bait Lahm) intending to escape to his country. And when this father was informed by the Spirit of his affair, he left that monk in his place, and he went immediately to Bethlehem (Bait Lahm), and he took hold of him who had stolen the supply (of money), and he took it from him; and he did not spread abroad his affair, but he took it from him, and he returned it to that monk, its owner. And (it was) that the monk marvelled at this, and he published this miracle to everyone in Jerusalem (Aurushalim). And when this father was informed that his affair was spread abroad, he arose immediately, and he went to the Mountain of Antony (Antunius), and there befell him on his return many griefs and hardships among which (was) that the King of Egypt (Misr), by reason of what had happened from the Franks (al-Afrang)(3), which had happened in the city of Alexandria, sent an officer (Ka'id) and soldiers from him to inflict punishment on the monks and to require from them the vessels of the monasteries. And when the soldiers took hold of this father, they inflicted on him heavy punishment, until the heart of the Blessed Mark (Markus)(5) was pained for him, and he rebuked him, the officer (al-Ka'id) on account of him, saying to him: «Do you not fear God, for you hear the youth adjuring you for the sake of God through the suffering of the beating, and you do not have mercy upon him

(3) This is the descent on Alexandria by Peter of Lusignan, king of Cyprus, in 1365. The Christians of Egypt had to pay the ransom of the many captives which he took, and also to contribute to the building of a fleet, cf. S. Lane-Poole, op. cit., p. 320.

(5) The relics of the Blessed Mark are preserved in the church dedicated to him at the Monastery of St. Antony, cf. O.F.A. Meinardus, Christian Egypt Ancient and Modern, pp. 354-355.

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and accept (it) for the sake of God». And when the officer (al-Ka'id) heard his words, he was exceedingly enraged, and he ordered that they should set free this father and should beat the Blessed Mark (Markus) in his stead. And the officer (al-Ka'id) wearied of punishing them, and he took them in fetters, wishing to journey with them to Cairo (Misr). God Who manifests His miracles in His Saints manifested at their (the monks') hands a great miracle, so that the officer (al-Ka'id) marvelled and repented at having punished them. And this (was) that these Saints, when the suffering of the beating and the fetters grew intense for them, a great thirst came upon them on the way, until their livers were dissolved. And the Blessed Mark (Markus) asked the officer (al-Ka'id) that he should give to them a little water to drink, but he did not do (so); and the Blessed Mark (Markus) rebuked him, saying: «If you wilt not give to us water to drink, lo, the Lord our God will give to us water from the heaven to drink», and with (these) words of the Blessed Mark (Markus) to him, he (the Blessed Mark) prayed, lifting his face to the heaven; and immediately the cataracts of heaven opened, and rain fell heavily until the plains and the ravines were filled, and they all of them drank, and on account of the abundance of the rain they halted to rest. And a messenger from the King reached them to deliver them and to return them to their monasteries. And thus this father remained but a little at the monastery; afterwards, he took permission from the Blessed Mark (Markus), and he went to the Mountain of Kuskam at al-Muharrak. And this was by an economy of God for the profit of the brethren dwelling there, because there were among them those who did not continue fasting on every day up to the ninth (hour)(3). And this father instructed them to continue the fast up to the ninth (hour) with the great striving with which he was wont to strive before them in order, that they might be instructed from him by seeing, for it is better than hearing. And sometimes he

(3) I.e. 3 p.m.

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used to carry away the ashes (1) on his head, and to wash the vessels of the kitchen and the pots, and to serve the elders (as-Shiyukh) and the sick who (were) among them and the visitors. And he had no robe and no possessions and no cell (κέλλιον), but his dwelling was the hard lumpy ground in a cave in the mountain outside the monastery, and he would pray in it. And Satan (as-Shaitan) used to stir up against him in that cave many trials and fearful phantoms, among which was (that) he raged against him in the likeness of lions and fierce hyenas coming to him to devour him. And as soon as they saw him, they would become tame towards him and would be afraid of him. And this father informed us that the fierce wild beasts became tame towards him, so that the day on which they did not find food for their young, they would come and complain to him. And he would arise and give to them what was with him in the way of bread and leave himself hungry for some days without eating, until he returned to the monastery. And the wild beasts out of their love for him, when he journeyed on the way, would journey with him; and when he commanded them to return, they would return. And his manner of life was thus from time to time, until the patriarch who was before him was translated (2). And thereupon the assembly of the people called him, and they besought him to become patriarch over them, but he did not agree, and he arose and hid himself, and he descended into a ship sailing southwards. But God forbade the wind to blow, until a little child came and directed them to the hold of the ship. And the people went to him immediately, and they caused him to come up from the hold of the ship. And when he knew that there was no escape for him from their hands, he thereupon besought them with many prayers that two of their companions should accompany him to the Mountain of Saint Antony (Antunius) to ask the advice of his fathers, the elders (as-Shiyukh). And at the hour (in) which the elders saw him, they rose up towards him, and especially

(1) I.e. from the oven. 

(2) I.e. died.

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the Blessed Mark (Markus) and they advised him that he should not refrain from what was ordained for him, but (that) he should make ready for and accept the service and be appointed patriarch. And when he came to Cairo (Misr) and was assured that he would become patriarch, his heart was exceedingly grieved on account of it, so that from the abundance of his grief he took a pair of steel scissors, and he cut off the tip of his tongue and he cast it before the people; and they were exceedingly grieved; and they purposed to heal him and they could not, but the Lord Who loosed the tongue of Zacharias (Zakarya) after the dumbness, was He Who loosed his tongue, and they were assured that their shepherd (was) this (one) from God. Then they laid hold on him, and they consecrated him patriarch on the first day (of the month) of Misra (in the) year one thousand and ninety-four of the Martyrs [1378 A.D.]. And the total of the assembly of the bishops (who) laid hands on him in the city of Alexandria was eleven bishops. And he (Matthew) desired of Christ (al-Masih) that He should send to him the twelfth bishop; and he did not depart from Alexandria until Christ (al-Masih) sent to him the twelfth bishop. And they completed his enthronement as patriarch on the sixteenth day (of the month) of Misra(5), out of his love for that day which is the commemoration of our Mistress the Virgin. And he did not change anything of his way (of life) or his humility during the days of his patriarchate, but he set up a copper bell at the Cell of the Patriarchate, and it was that all who heard that bell arose for the Prayer (6) at its (appointed) times. And (there was) fasting on every day up to the ninth (hour)(7), and it was (that) together with his assiduity for the Prayers and vigils he did not neglect charity for the wretched. But it was, if he sat in his

(5) This is the Feast of the Assumption of the All-Holy Virgin Mary. 

(6) I.e. the Canonical Hours. 

(7) I.e. 3 p.m.

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council, (and) then there came to him a starving man or a wretched (one), he used to leave what he had in hand in the way of giving judgment, and he would attend to the state of that starving wretched (one), rather than to what he had in hand, because for this father there was not (anything) more (important) than caring for the wretched and giving alms to them. And from the superabundance of his care in alms-giving and charity it was (that) on the day on which there did not come to him a wretched (one), he used to arise and go round the houses of the widows and the wretched and visit them, and those who (were) in the prisons also, and he was a surety for every one of them. As for the convents which (were) for the nuns, the most important (thing) of all (was) that he used to go round every convent of their convents and see into their condition. And once he entered one of the convents, and he found an aged woman, a wretched nun, sitting at the time of the ninth (hour), eating bread and salt only. For this (reason) pain and grief of heart for the nuns took hold of him, so that it was (that) he did not neglect to visit them, but he used to appoint for them every month (a supply of) wheat and grains and oil and other things than these from the time of his (consecration to the) patriarchate up to the day of his translation (4). And likewise to those in the monasteries and the mountains (5) he used to send all what they needed, and from those in straitened circumstances and hardships he used to remove that hardship, and for those in the prisons he used, for the sake of their deliverance, to cast himself at the gates of the amirs and the governors and to spend for them much money, so that they might be delivered from that hardship. And he used to look for a recompense for this from the Master Christ (al-Masih); and it was (that) all what he did in the manner of these charities and gave to the wretched and those in poverty, Christ (al-Masih) gave to him the double of it. And

(4)  I.e. his death.

(5) I.e. the deserts.

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it was (that) all what increased for him in the way of gifts of gold and silver, he used to spend it from the very beginning on the wretched. And his disciples counted what was left from the patriarch who (was) before him, and they found it (to be) more than one hundred thousand dirhams, (and) all of it was given in alms to the wretched. And when his disciples saw that all what (was) under his hand and all what was brought to him, he used to spend from the very beginning on the wretched, they spoke to him about this, and they counselled him to reserve something of the alms and other than that which came to him for some emergency. And when they importuned very much, he dug a hole in the earth, and he deposited in it six hundred dinars, and when he had deposited this, he thought about it and he said: «O Matthew (Matta), our Lord says in the Holy Book: 'Lay not up for yourselves treasures on earth, where the moth destroys and thieves using craft steal, and you have withheld this from the wretched, and treasured it up in the earth, and you have remained disobedient to the saying of the Gospel. Or do you not know that God — praised and exalted be He ! — will recompense in exchange for what you give to the wretched twofold?». And he repented and he wept, and he arose immediately to take out those six hundred dinars and, lo, he found at the side of them another six hundred dinars which the Lord revealed to him for the sake of charity for the wretched. And when he saw that, he marvelled, and he began to rebuke his disciples for the hardness of their hearts, saying: «Behold, O my sons, if the Lord has done this with him who succours and gives to the wretched, how, then, do you prevent me, I the miserable (one), that I give not to the wretched?» Then he immediately obtained for those thousand and two hundred dinars wheat and grain, and he distributed it all among the monasteries and the wretched and the necessitous and the widows and the orphans and the hidden poor (4). And once he said to his disciples: «Arise, O my sons, purchase one thousand ardabs

(4) I.e. those who conceal their poverty.

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of corn for the wretched, because a great dearth will come upon the Land of Egypt (Misr), and many of the wretched and the poor will die». And his disciples said to him: «Whence, O our father, shall we purchase a thousand ardabs of corn, and we have not with us of its price, except the half of five hundred dinars and no more?» And he said to them: «O my sons, purchase and do not fear, the Lord will make ready for us another five hundred dinars for the sake of the wretched). And thus, scarcely were the words out of the mouth of this father, when there came to him two women from the notables of the people, (having) with them five hundred dinars, and they asked him to purchase with them wheat for the wretched. And when his disciples saw this, they marvelled at what had happened, and they arose immediately (and) they purchased those thousand ardabs of corn, as he had said. And after the corn had been purchased, affairs did not remain long before a severe dearth occurred in Egypt (Misr). And many people forsook their land and gathered about this father, so that the way to his cell was filled with the hungry and the cast down; and this father used to go round and see to every group of them, and his heart was pained for them, and he used to care for all according to what they needed day by day until this dearth was lifted, and this hardship was overcome. Thereupon, he called the strangers and he comforted them, and he gave to every one of them a garment and clothed him with it, and likewise the women, he gave to them what was needed to cover them. Then he gave provisions to them all, and he hired for them ships to carry them to their lands, and their number was eight hundred persons. And he used to provide also for the dead and to shroud them and to bury them; and he performed charity with all parties, Christian (Nasara), Muslims (Muslimin) and Jews (Yahud). And God the Exalted blessed all the crops and other things than them, as He had blessed the five loaves and the two fishes so that, when

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his (Matthew's) disciples began to complain of the lack of corn, and that all what remained in the granaries did not suffice for the morrow, he used to say to them: «Distribute, O my sons, and fear not, because I have other granaries overflowing (and) full». And this father did not mean earthly granaries, but the heavenly granaries, because this father was wont to celebrate the feast of our Mistress the Virgin and the Archangel, the pure Michael (Mikhayil), the two feasts in every month And it was (that), if the granaries were empty, and he entered and he blessed them on those two feasts, the granaries would be filled and overflowing with heavenly blessing. And once I saw (that) this father had purchased beforehand for the monasteries and the mountains (2) a thousand ardab of lupines (qe/rmoj) on account of the occurrence of that dearth. And when the occurrence of that dearth was retarded, some of the brethren, the monks, began to carry away part of these lupines to the fire, as refuse; and when that dearth happened and came to pass, those monks regretted much; but as regards those who had preserved what they had, whenever they became hungry and did not find anything, they used to nourish themselves with those lupines and give glory to God. And when the rich who were without charity saw the deeds of this father and the excess of his love for charity, they began to follow his steps and to do as he did, so that one of the rich (who) was named As-Sa`id Barakah Ibn Wagh al-Muhr, came and sought (from him), saying: «I beseech you, O my master, the father, to ask the Master Christ (al-Masih) to put charity into my heart, that I may love charity for the wretched, as you, and to bring about my translation (3) before your translation». And he (Matthew) said to him: «It shall be to you (according to) your faith, and it shall be given (to you) as your heart (desires)». And in that hour Christ (al-Masih) put charity in that (man) in his heart, according as he had sought, so that it was (that) he did not repulse anyone of those who

(l) This is a commemoration of St. Michael the Archangel on the 12th of every month, and of the All-Holy Virgin Mary on the 21st of every month in the Coptic Church.

(2) I.e. the cells of the hermits in the deserts. 

(3) I.e. death.

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asked him, and he did not cease to perform alms and to give, and the greater part of his alms-giving was for the convents (1) until his almsgiving reached a thousand ardabs of corn every year. And when he pleased God by his works, and his hour drew near, Divine grace moved him, (and) he went up the same day to the cell (2) to be blessed by this father according to his custom, and death overtook him in the presence of this father, as he had sought, so that he (Matthew) marvelled at his faith. And he shrouded him with his pure hand, and he wrote on(3) . . . «You did ask, (and) you were given: you did knock (and) it was opened to you», for God — praised and exalted be He! — hearkens to the merciful and the lowly. And as for the rich who were without charity, I saw this father asking one of the rich to give something from his gold and his silver to the wretched, and he did not do (so). And God sent to him an oppressive officer (Ka'id) before this father had departed from his house, and he laid his hand upon the treasures of that rich man, (and) he took his gold and his silver and his provisions. Then he died, (and) his death (was) evil (and) tormented, and his soul went to Hell, for thus is the miserable fate which descends upon the rich who are without charity. And this father desired (that) all people should be assiduous in charity out of his love for charity. And it was (that, on) the day in which he did not find anything to give as alms, he once gave as alms the carpet which (was) beneath him. And once he gave as alms his robe and his loin-cloth; and another time (he gave as alms) the copper (vessel) placed before him; and once a man, a scribe, came to him, and he was in need, (and) he gave to him his carpet. And also there came to him at eventide a man (who was) hungry, and he (Matthew) took his supper from before him, and he gave it to that hungry (one). Then he went out (and) he knocked at the doors, as a wretched (one) seeking a loaf. And when he knocked

(1) I.e. nunneries.

(2) I.e. the Patriarchate.

(3) A word is missing here, perhaps it is 'his tombstone'.

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at the door (and) they were assured that it was the voice of the patriarch, they came out, and they asked him to accept more than a loaf, but he did not do (so). And once he sent one of his disciples to bring to him food at eventide. And when the coming of that disciple was delayed, he began to rebuke himself, saying: «Why are you not satisfied with dust in place of food?» and he began to dip his bread into the dust and to eat until he was satisfied and he thanked God. And when the disciple came, he found him (Matthew) satisfied with the dust in place of food, and he marvelled, because he had no care for the needs of the body; even the garments and the mantles which were on his body, he did not pay attention to them, but was satisfied with a hair-shirt beneath his robe, and he would give all what he had to his sons, the bishops, and he did not keep with him except one phelonion (burnus) destined for the Service (1). And once he asked his disciples to give that phelonion (burnus) to a needy bishop (whom) he had consecrated, but they did not do (so); and when they did not obey him, the Lord sent to him in that hour a new silk phelonion (burnus) as a gift, better than that one, and he gave it to that bishop. And when the disciples saw what had happened, they glorified God, and they grieved at their disobedience to him, and they no longer disobeyed him in anything. And he (Matthew) perfected charity with the virtue of humility; and he used to make with the labourers the puddle of mud (3) and to empty the tubs with the workers, and to carry the grain with the porters, and he used to run behind the asses (4) and with (all) this he was not lowered in his prestige and his respect in the eyes of the people. And as for the service of the priesthood (1) when he was vested and went up to the altar, the colour of his face became as embers, and his eyes shone as one who beholds the Son of God standing upon the altar, (and the congregation) were in fear and awe of him. And the assembly of the priests used to ask him to sit on the throne, and he

(1) I.e. the Divine Liturgy.

(3) I.e. for making bricks.

(4) I.e. the asses were laden, and he drove them forward with a stick.

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would refuse this, and he answered them, saying: «How shall it be, O my sons, that, (when) Christ (al-Masih) is present, we do not show respect and forbid (not) sitting on the throne?» And he used to rebuke with his hand and reprove the priest who did not stand in fear at this Service (2). And he who despised his words, he would excommunicate him, and he would die in that hour. And once he saw a deacon (who) ventured on the Service with disrespect, (and) this father excommunicated him, and he fell down from a high ladder and was broken to pieces, and he died. And once I saw a deacon who concealed the correspondence about a garden for fatherless children. And when this father spoke to him concerning it, his answer to him was: «Your word would cut me off, O my father, if I had concealed from you the correspondence about the garden of those fatherless (ones)». And this father said to him in wrath: «From your mouth it shall be to you, as you have said», and that deacon had scarcely reached his house when he fell down and died. And they found what he had concealed in the way of the correspondence at the sides of his house, because it was none other than the Holy Spirit Who had judged (him). And he (Matthew) did not begin, at the commencement of his judgements, except that he called on those who were present for the judgment to say: 'Our Father Who are in the heavens'. And as for his correspondence, he used to write in it, after the mention of the Holy Trinity (3), 'Salvation belongs to the Lord', meaning by this that it is Christ (al-Masih) our God Who gives judgment through his (the patriarch's) mouth, in which is salvation for His slaves; and for this reason every judgment put aside by kings and governors, they would send it to him, and it would be solved immediately. And how many times was it (thus), that the King in Egypt (Misr), when a judgment was difficult for him in the way of the pilfering of goods which the porters used to pretend the Franks (al-Afrang) had carried off for themselves over the Mediter-

(2) I.e. the Divine Liturgy.

(3) I.e. 'In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, One God. Amen'.

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ranean; and if the king were considering that judgment and did not recognize the oppressor from the oppressed, then he used to send it to this father to judge between them, and it would be solved immediately on account of his good moral character and his speech through the Holy Spirit Who dwelt in him. And the congregation of the Greeks (ar-Rum) by reason of the abundance of what they had witnessed in the way of the love of this father for them, and his soundness in judgment for them all, used not to trust anyone to judge among them except this father. And, also, the sect of the Franks (al-Afrang), when they witnessed the judgments, they glorified God, because news of this father had spread unto the borders of those lands. And the love and the friendship which was renewed during the time of this father, between the kings of Christendom (an-Nasraniah), we have never heard the like of it, or the gifts which the kings offered to one another, we have never heard the like of it. And it was when the King of Ethiopia (al-Habashah) heard of the love which the kings of the Franks (al-Afrang) (had) for this father, and their great gifts to him, he sent to them gifts which were greater than theirs, and he sent to the King of the Franks (al-Afrang), saying: «I have not sent to you these gifts to seek similar to them, except there be offered to me something in the way of relics of the Lord (as-Saidiyah) which are in your land». And when these gifts reached the King of the Franks (al-Afrang), he rejoiced at them exceedingly; and he sent to him what was more venerable and greater than they; and it was that he had among his treasures a fragment of wood from the wood of the Cross on which our Master Jesus (Yasu`) Christ (al-Masih) was crucified. And he brought it out immediately, and he placed it inside a hollow cross of gold ornamented with precious stones; and he brought out with it the body of a child from the bodies of the children whom Herod (Hirudus) the hypocrite had slain, and he placed them (3) inside a chest. Then he placed with them gold and silver vessels and magnificent copes which are for kings and priests

(3) I.e. the fragment of the Cross and the body of the child.

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what it is not possible to describe. And he had designed on one of them the image of this father designed in glittering gold. Then he sent adjuring this father that he should not send these gifts to Ethiopia (al-Habashah), until he had celebrated the Divine Liturgy in that hieratical vestment on which his image was designed, and that he had impressed on it the kiss of the blessing of his pure mouth (1) before its going there, because he had great faith in this father whom he had not seen or beheld. But when he heard of his virtues, and by reason of his great faith in him, he sent to him many requests asking for a piece of his turban, and he (Matthew) sent it to him, and he (the King) used to place it on the sick, and they recovered. And this father obeyed what the King had counselled, and he celebrated the Divine Liturgy in that vestment before us, and he called all of us, (and) he blessed us on that day with those relics of the Master (as-Saidiyah), and we marvelled the more when we beheld the good condition of the body of that child who was from the days of our Master Christ (al-Masih) up till now, and nothing of its members, or one of its fingers was decomposed; and we asked him that he should leave it for us in the Cell(3) for a few days that we might be blessed by it, but he did not do (so). And in the hour in which the gifts reached the Land of Ethiopia (al-Habashah) and the righteous king beheld the relics of our Master Christ (al-Masih) together with that child, he marvelled, and he took off the crown from upon his head, and he remained for about an hour prostrate, worshipping those relics of the Master (as-Saidiyah). Then he raised his head, and he saw the hieratical vestment on which was designed the image of this father, and he became jubilant, and he rejoiced and he glorified God Who had made him worthy to behold the image of this father in his land before his translation (4), because the king was yearning to see the image of this father by reason of what he had done for him in the way of prophecy, for that king had not been king over Ethiopia (al-Habashah) at first, but his brother. And this father sent to him a letter from Egypt

(1) The celebrant kisses a vestment before putting it on. 

(3) I.e. the patriarchal residence. 

(4) I.e. his death.

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(Misr) announcing to him in it that he would become king in place of his brother, because the King Barkuk (1) in Egypt (Misr) had indicated to this father that he should write a letter to the king of Ethiopia (al-Habashah); and this father did not wish to be in correspondence with that king. And when he sat down to write, God spoke through his tongue, (and) he wrote the letter in the name of his brother David (Dauud)(2), and he did not write it in the name of him who governed before him. And the messengers of the King in Egypt (Misr) disapproved of it, and they did not intend to bear that letter, but this father constrained them until they took that letter and departed. And they had not yet reached that land, when they found (that) by Divine Economy that king had been deposed by his troops from his kingdom by reason of the evilness of his designs, and (that) they had set up his brother David as king in place of him, when this father had written. And when the messengers of the King in Egypt (Misr) heard the news before their arrival in the land of the king, they glorified God and became amazed at the cognizance of the father. And when they arrived, they presented that letter with rejoicing to the King David in whose name our father had written the letter. And when the king broke the seal of the letter and found it written in his name, he marvelled, and he sent behind the messengers that they should give to him the cross of this father and his scarf (mandh/lion). And this father had given to the messengers together with the letter the cross. And when they had forgotten to give them to the king in that hour, and he had asked them about them, they marvelled, and they asked the king who had informed him about this. And he said to them: «The master, the patriarch, informed me about this before your arrival, and I have witnesses to witness about this». And he called immediately his wazirs (wuzara) and his troops and his soldiers and his blessed sister, and he began to relate to them what he had seen, saying: «I tell you, O (you) here, that before you seated me as king on the throne, I beheld this

(l) Virtual ruler of Egypt from 1378-1399 A.D.

(2) I.e. David I, 1382-1411 A.D. Cf. Jean Doresse, L'Empire du Pretre Jean, Paris, 1957, vol. II, pp. 112-114.

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father, the patriarch, in a vision; and he took off my brother from the throne, and he caused me to sit (on it) in place of him. And he said: 'Thus God takes away the kingdom from him who does not walk with uprightness'. Then, after he had spoken this and had caused me to sit on the throne, he gave to me this cross in my hand, and he invoked upon me, that God should establish my throne as (that of) David, (Dauud) our father to judge among the peoples with justice. Then he blessed me and he departed from me. And I awoke and I was amazed, and I would have explained to you this vision at its time, but my blessed sister forbade me (to do) that, for fear of the king, my brother, lest he should learn (of it) and should kill me, and for this reason I have called her (1) to witness to you what she heard from me before. And when the king had related this before the assembly, they all glorified God Who manifested His miracles at the hand of this father, while he was dwelling in Egypt (Misr) and beholding with the spirit what was taking place in the Land of Ethiopia (al-Habashah). And when the messengers returned from the Land of Ethiopia (al-Habashah), they informed the King in Egypt (Misr) about what had occurred from this father, and he marvelled; because he loved this father, and he (Matthew) loved him also, because he did not mount the throne until he had sent to ask him that he should take for him permission from the saintly elders (as-Shiyukh) in the Mountain of Saint Antony that he should ascend the throne. And God set him up as king and he remained all the days of his life, (and) he did not disturb this father, and he did not listen to any false calumny against him, because how many a time did the oppressors calumniate this father, and the king did not listen to them. And once I saw two defiled monks (who) sought the priesthood in vain, (and) they calumniated this father with that king and when he did not listen to them, they calumniated him (Matthew)

(1) I.e. the king's sister.

(4)  I.e. the Monastery of Saint Antony in the Eastern Desert.

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also with every governor, in Egypt (Misr), and to every governor to whom they went, they would speak concerning him the contrary of what they had accused about him with the other governors. And when the governors were assured of their falsehoods and had become impatient with them, they intended to punish them and to cast them into prison, but this father did not permit them, and he continued to bear with them, and his spirit endured them, but they did not turn away from their evil and Satan (as-Shaitan) filled their heart. And they assailed this father on a certain day, while he was seated judging, and they said to him: «Why is it that you do not arise and come down from your throne, for the time has come in which one of us should become patriarch and the other a bishop». And when he heard their speech, he smiled and he did not become violent with wrath, but he answered them with great humility, saying: «Do as you see (fit), O you here and I ask of you that you bear with me for a little, and I make an obeisance (meta/noia) to you that you accord me a delay of forty days only until I free myself from the attachments of the patriarchate and the deposits of the people which are under my hand. And after the completion of the forty days, come to me, and I will deliver up to you the throne of the patriarchate without an obstacle hindering me». And when this father had said this to them, they rejoiced, but with their rejoicing this father did not suffer them to depart until he had celebrated the Divine Liturgy and had communicated them from the Holy Mysteries. Then, after the Communion, they left him, and they went to some monasteries so that they might stay in them the forty days. And when thirty days had passed for them, the Lord took their souls, and they died the one after the other by reason of the powerful prayer of this father who bore with these monks to such an extent; and he did not entertain vindictive feelings against their evilness, but he gave to them of the Holy Mysteries before their death. And, likewise, a Syrian (Suryani) monk named Abraham, (Ibrahim) departed from the Faith before the King, and he enlisted and became a soldier, and he spoke against this father and against

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a company of the wandering monks in the deserts. And he took hold of a group of them, and he bound them and he carried them to Cairo (Misr), and he thought that he would find of these wandering (monks), and he did not find any except one monk, who was a wandering monk; he brought him bound in the company of the monks, and he received martyrdom. And as for that monk who became a soldier, he did not weary of opposing this father and of standing against him, until the people became impatient with him, and they asked this father that he should invoke evil upon him, but he did not invoke evil upon him, but he said to them: «Nay, O my sons, do not invoke evil upon him. But I shall invoke that God bring him back and give to him the crown of martyrdom». And that (monk) remained but a little before he repented, and he went to receive the crown of martyrdom, as this father had invoked for him. And once a trial befell this father from the amir Mintash because, when that amir made war against the king Barkuk and overcame him, and banished him to Karak (al-Karak) one of the opposers of this father arose, (and) he informed the amir Mintash that this father (had) under his hand wealth and treasures which the king Barkuk had deposited with him before he was banished to Karak, (al-Karak). And he (Mintash) summoned this father and he tortured him, but he did not find under his hand anything at all. And he repented of torturing him, (and) afterwards he set him free. And another time an amir named Yalbugha as-Samli was incited against him (Matthew), and he purposed to arouse in the people evil practices and oppressive customs, and the father did not agree with him on this, and he opposed him; then that amir drew out his sword in wrath, wishing to behead him, and immediately he (Matthew) stretched out his neck to the sword and he asked him to behead him. And when the amir saw his courage and the strength of his heart, he was dismayed at him, and they set him free. And God did not forget him, but He delivered him into the hands of the King who caused him to stand, and he beat him,

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and he tortured him, and he sent him to the dungeon in the city of Alexandria. And whenever the people were apprehensive of his (Yalbugha's) return, this father used to reassure them, saying: «Be not apprehensive, O my sons, and fear not, and think not that that amir will return again to Cairo (Misr), because I have charged the Four Living Creatures who bear up the Throne of God to keep him in prison. And that amir did not cease to be imprisoned in Alexandria until he died a most evil death. And the people marvelled and they glorified God. And once a group of the opposers endeavoured to demolish the Church of our Lady, the Mistress, at al-Mu`allakah. And in those days this father had gone out to the desert to pray there (4) and when the opposers heard (this), they calumniated (him) in his absence, and the King did not authorize them (to do) this (5), but (it was) more the powerful prayer (of the patriarch) (which) inspired him (the King), so that he designated four judges (al-Kudat) to examine that church, and they did not find anything of what the opposers had informed. Thereupon, they were overcome and were filled with wrath. And through the excess of their wrath they took a bowl of fire and left it under the foundations of that church, wishing to burn it entirely; but God Who hearkened to the Three Youths in the furnace of fire and extinguished it for them, hearkened to the prayer of this father, and He did not suffer the fire to mount to the upper part of the church. And when the disciples of this father were extinguishing the fire at the lower part, the Lord sent to them a cold rain from above (which) extinguished the flame of the burning fire, so that those who were present marvelled and glorified God. And once a group of the opposers

(4) I.e. in a monastery in the desert.

(5) I.e. to demolish the church.

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were incited against the Monastery of Shahran to demolish it. And (it was) that they informed the King with many false words about the monks of the monastery, so that the King gave permission to them to demolish it. And when they gathered together to demolish it, this father did not let them (do so), for it was, on that day, (that) there had assembled many people, the number of whom was countless, and they thought that owing to their multitudinous gathering this father would be afraid of them, and would deliver up to them the monastery, so that they might demolish it. And this father was not afraid of them, but he ceased not to resist them and to withstand them, until he said to them: «Who of you, O you here, has the hand and the authority to draw his sword and to kill me? For while I continue alive, I shall not let you demolish (even) one brick of the monastery; but let me and you stand before the Sultan, and I shall show to him the falseness of what you have informed and the falseness of your words». And with (these) words this father left them, and he went to the Citadel, and he appealed for aid through the power of the King Barkuk. And when the voice of his crying reached the King, he sent immediately to investigate about that monastery according to custom. And when the four judges (al-Kudat) went, they investigated the monastery and they did not find anything of what the opposers had informed him, and they (the opposers) immediately hid themselves from the King. And once the Lord revealed to this father that the opposers out of their hatred of this father had prepared a dangerous trap for the people, and (that) they had come to an arrangement with the amir Sudun to draw them without fail into this trap. And when the Lord revealed to this father what they had prepared in the way of a trap, he did not hesitate, but he arose immediately, and he went out secretly from his cell,

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and he did not inform his disciples, and he went to the Church of the Martyr Abba (Abu) Mercurius (Markurah)(and) he shut himself up there in a dark place (2); and he did not permit anyone that they should see him, and he commanded the man who shut him up, that he should not tell anyone about him. And he remained seven days and nights praying in that cell worshipping God and seeking aid through the intercession of the Lady, the Mistress, until she appeared to him and told him that God had received his supplication to save the people; and the evil plot of the opposers came to nought. Thereupon, the heart of this father was gladdened and he rejoiced exceedingly. And he came forth on the seventh day like an angel of the Lord; and by the economy of God the amir sent to seek him on that day, and he (Matthew) began to converse with him concerning what he (the amir) had harboured against the people in the way of burdensome, difficult matters, among all of which (was) that he had willed that the women should wear blue izars and other than that. And this father was stirred by the Spirit, and he said to him (the amir): «Who from among the amirs who preceded you did thus with the subjects? Or to whom of the patriarchs did it happen like this to expose the girls of his people that they should become a disgrace and a jest to the base classes of the people? But I shall tell you the truth, O Amir, should you expose one of the girls of my people, I shall not cease to spread devastation and defamation in your country from the limits of Ethiopia (al-Habashah) and to the ends of Egypt (Misr). And I tell you, O Amir, that the Christians (an-Nasara) are not without kings on the earth, or nations, such as that which you rule over, and they are not without sultans (who) observe your Sultanate. And there befell the amir

(2) Perhaps, the cell of Saint Barsum the Naked, cf. O.H.E. KHS-Burmester, op. cit., pp. 47-48.

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much apprehension from this, and he let the father go, and he did not revert to speak with him (Matthew) about anything, so that the people marvelled, and they glorified God and our Lady, the Virgin, who aided this father in all his movements. For this father used not to take any action until he had stood before the icon (ei1kwn) of our Lady, the Mistress, and had asked her about it. And she used to appear to him and to converse with him from the icon, according to the testimony of our saintly father Ruwais, when we asked him one day to remember us (1). And he answered to us, saying: «Who am I, O my sons, that you ask me that I should remember you? Ask our saintly father, the patriarch, to whom our Lady, the Mistress, appears and converses with him from her pure icon, that he remember you; and she (the All-Holy Virgin) informs him of wondrous mysteries, and aids him in all his affairs. And we marvelled at his words and we glorified God. And once they came to this father with a young girl in whom (was) an unclean spirit tormenting her. And when the unclean spirit beheld him (Matthew) standing (and) praying, it fled away and did not return to torment her. And also there was a young boy from the suburbs of Cairo (Misr) who was possessed by an unclean spirit; and it was (that), whenever his family wished to bear him to this father, this spirit would cast him down and torment him, and it did not allow them to draw nigh to him. And God (Who is) of much mercy directed them to a paper of blessing (2) written in the hand-writing of this father, that they should place it on him, and when they placed it on him, he recovered immediately; and the inhabitants of his town marvelled and glorified God. And it happened that everyone among them whom an unclean spirit possessed, on whom they placed that paper in the handwriting of this father, recovered immediately. And once I saw a workman standing working in the Church which is in the Harat Zuwailah under the name of our Lady the Virgin. And he fell from the top of the scaffolding to the ground, (and) he was carried away (as) dead, because

(1) I.e. in prayer to God. 

(2) I.e. a phylactery.

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he was hearing a heavy stone, and when he fell, that stone came down upon him and crushed his ribs. And his companions intended to leave him and to run away; and this father did not allow them, but he withstood them, and he said to them: «Be quiet, and fear not, and think not that the workman is dead, because he is not dead, but I assure you by the mercies of Christ (al-Masih), that he is alive. And he caused him to be carried by four (of the workmen) and to be placed before the icon of our Lady, the Mistress, which is in the aisle of the church. Then he covered him with his own mantle for about three hours, from the sixth (hour) of the day to the ninth (2). Then he called for a little hot water, (and) he prayed over it and he washed his (the workman's) limbs, and it was (that), whenever he washed one of the limbs of that workman, the limb moved immediately, until he (the workman) stood up alive on his feet. And when his mates, the workmen, saw this, they marvelled and they glorified God. And how many of the sick and numerous invalids I saw, (whom) this father healed and raised them up through the blessing of his prayer. Among them (the sick), he upon whom he (Matthew) placed his mantle, and would go among the dunghills and would beseech our Lady, the Mistress, for him, and would take off from him (the sick man) that mantle, he would find (that) he moved and rose from the agony of death immediately. And among them, he for whom he would beseech the glorious Angel Michael (Mikhayil), would rise immediately (4); and thus this father used to act with the sick whose families went to him and brought them to him in his cell. And a man named Fakhr ad-Daulah (who) informed me concerning this father, said to me: «In truth, I say to you, O my brethren, that, when the agony of death came upon me and I died, and I found not this father present with me at my death, I felt nothing until I beheld him in the place of fear and judgment, when the angels bore away my spirit and set me before the Throne of the

(2) I.e. from 12-3 p.m.

(4) I.e. from his sickness.

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Master Christ (al-Masih). And I saw the Master Christ (al-Masih) — to Him be glory —and He was pointing to the angels who had charge of me that they should publish the book of my sins, and that every sin (which) I had forgotten and had not confessed, they should reprimand me for it without mercy. And I saw there fear and intense dread and unquenchable lire, so that by reason of the magnitude of what I saw, I fell down immediately terror-stricken, and I was seeking him who would raise me up, but I found none. And I saw (that) this father had raised me up, and (that) he besought the Master Christ (al-Masih) to restore my spirit to me, so that I might repent a second time of my sins which I had committed; and (that) the Master Christ (al-Masih) [hearkened] to this father concerning me, and (that) He did not refuse his request. And He said to him: 'I have hearkened to you concerning this man —and I have granted him to you; make known to him, from now, that he return not to sin, lest worse evil befall him'. And when the Master Christ (al-Masih) had said this to this father, I regained my senses, so that I arose and I stood as I was, and I found (that) my spirit had returned to me, (and) I glorified God, and I was assured of the powerful prayer which this father possessed, who used to do thus with the sick, (and) Christ (al-Masih) would raise them up through his prayer, so that they might return to the repentance of their sins». And those who merited the judgment of death, he would serve at the bed of their suffering, until they went to their rest and he would beseech Christ (al-Masih) for the forgiveness of their sins; because among all the merits which he possessed there was none more meritorious or more upright than his service to the sick. And it was (that), when any sick man became diseased and people turned up their nose at him (the sick man), this father would take their place, until he (the sick man) was cleansed from all his filth and his ailments. And once I saw this father (who) passed by the door of the dwelling of a man of the wealthy, and he found at that door a slave of them cast down sick, and he had become putrified and was stinking from the abundance of his filthiness, and these was found none to treat him. And when this father saw him thus, he did not turn to cross over to those wealthy (persons), but he hastened at once, and he girded himself with a scarf (μανδήλιον), and

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he washed his filth and his sleeping-mat and his filthy garments which were soiled from the dirt and putrification of his smell. And the soul of that slave was rested, and he desired death in the presence of this father rather than the putrification of that smell which he used to inhale every day. And once he passed by a well of brackish running water and he found at it a murdered woman (who) had become putrified and was stinking, and not one of the people would come near to her, or would acknowledge her. And he descended into that well, and he lifted out that woman, and he did not turn up his nose at her, but with his pure hand he washed her, and he shrouded her, and he buried her. And those who had chronic diseases and infirmities, he used to cure them of them. They presented to him a virgin girl afflicted with ulcers in her eyes, and when he beheld her, he had pity on her, and he said to her mother: «From now on continue not to treat your daughter with kohl», but he counselled her that she should put in her eyes something of the simple medicines and her daughter recovered. And thus did our father, Barsuma the Naked(2), and others than he, healing difficult diseases by the opposite of medicines, in order to teach that the matter is from God and to rely on Him through the powerful prayer which belongs to the righteous Saints, as says the Apostles James (Ya`kub): 'Prayer with faith will save the sick man, and the Lord will raise him up, and if he has committed a sin, it shall be forgiven him'. And among them (the deeds) they presented an infirm woman, the fingers of whose hands and the toes of whose feet had become dried up; and he (Matthew) took hold of her with force to open the fingers of her hand, and he caused thereby the joints of the toes of her feet to loosen, and immediately she arose speedily (and) she stood up and walked, and those who were present marvelled and glorified God. And once they presented to him a man bitten by a venomous snake, and he was in violent pain; and he (Matthew) took a small

(2) This Saint is commemorated on the 5th of an-Nasi (= Sept. 10th, Gregorian Calendar).

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dog and he ripped open its belly and he placed in it the foot of that man who had been bitten. Then he called for a little milk and a colocynth, and he counselled him to use it, and he continued using it little by little, and he vomited it until he had ejected all that poison, and he arose whole immediately. And for those who fell into calamities he used to beseech Christ (al-Masih) for their deliverance, and they would be saved. And once a youth of the sons of the wazirs (wuzara) fell into a severe calamity with Al-Malik Barkuk [1382-1388 A.D.] in Cairo (Misr), and this father, on account of the magnitude of this calamity, took refuge in the great martyr Theodore (Taudurus) with regard to his deliverance, saying: «I know, O Martyr of God, that you, on account of the greatness of (your) courage, did save the sons of the widow from the mouth of that murderous dragon (4), and I bind you by the authority which has been given to me by our Lord Jesus Christ (al-Masih), and I shall not loose you from the bond, except that you hasten and deliver that man from the calamity in which he is». And the words were not finished from the mouth of this father before that man was delivered from that calamity. And he (that man) became amazed, not knowing how his deliverance had come about, and his amazement increased by reason of the honour and prestige with which the Saints and the Martyrs honoured him (Matthew). And he used to do this with many of the Martyrs and the Saints, and this (was) that, if some church had lost (its) vessels, he would bind him (the Saint or Martyr) with a prayer and he would not loose him, until he had revealed to him him who had stolen the vessels of the church. And once he bound the icon of Saint Abba (Abu) Shenouti (Shanudah) at Cairo (Misr),

(4) A miracle of St. Theodore.

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and he did not loose him until he sent to him (one) who informed him of him who had stolen the vessels of his church; and he (the thief) had the custom to steal the vessels of the churches. And when this father took his (the thief's) house by surprise and rose against him and rebuked him, he said to him: «How many times have I borne with you, and have I enjoined on you that you return not to the stealing of the vessels of the churches, and you have not desisted nor turned back? But from now there will come upon you a powerful vengeance, after which there shall not be for you life upon earth, but you shall die a most evil death». And after his speech to him thus this man remained but little before he fell into the hands of the officer of justice (al-Mutawali al-hukm) at Cairo (al-Kahirah) with vessels of gold and silver which had been lost from his (the officer's) house. And when he was assured that he (the man) had dared to steal his vessels, he nailed him (1) immediately, and the saying of this father was accomplished on him, and he died a most evil death. And once one of the amirs spoke with the King (2) and the judges (al-Kudat) that they should not let a Christian (Nasrani) remain upon the earth. And this father stood at the icon of the Martyr, my lord (Mari) George (Girgis) on account of him (the amir), and he said to him: «How long, O Martyr of God, my lord (Mari) George (Girgis) have I besought you to take vengeance on this amir, and you have not taken vengeance on him? But, lo, I shall bind you by the word and I shall not loose you, until you have hastened and taken vengeance on him for me». And he had not finished the speech from his mouth, before they presented to that amir on that day a cup full of deadly poison, (and) he drank it without knowing, and he died immediately. And once this father became greatly enraged with another amir of the amirs of Egypt (Misr), named Uz (Auz) Bey, and he remained six days and six nights beseeching the chief of the pure angels, Michael (Mikhayil), to destroy him. And when the sixth day was accomplished, and he did not hear (any) news about that amir, he thereupon sent

(1) A form of execution whereby the criminal was nailed to a plank which was attached to a camel, and was then paraded through the streets of the city until he was dead.

(2) I.e. Al-Malik Barkuk.

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one of his disciples to enquire about the news of that amir. And he found the coffin (tabut) of that amir at the door, and the people were imploring help (from God), saying: «This amir has been tortured for six days by the stab of a jinn, and this day he has died». And when the disciple heard their words, he took back the news to this father, and he (Matthew) marvelled and glorified God and the chief of the angels, Michael (Mikhayil), who had heard his supplication, and had not disregarded his petition concerning that oppressive amir. And once there came to this father a deacon who had been beaten, and he said to him: «O priest of God, have mercy upon me; a certain one of the soldiers passed by me to-day, riding a white horse, and he chastised me very severely (and) painfully for my eating on Wednesday and Friday from early morning: for I used to eat in secret, and I do not know whom it is who informed that soldier about me, so that he came to me and chastised me. And every time he chastised me, he would say to me: «How is it that you being a deacon and a Christian (Nasrani) did eat on Wednesday and Friday from early morning?» Then, after he had spoken to me thus, he left me threatening me that I should not return to what I was doing, and I am afraid of this soldier, not knowing whom he is». And he (Matthew) said to him: «Fear not, O my son, for the soldier who chastised you I know; but if I go with you, will you repent before him?» And that deacon said to him: «Yes, O my father»; and he seized him by his hand and he caused him to stand before the icon of the chief of the angels, Michael (Mikhayil). And that icon which was of the Angel portrayed on it a rider on a white horse. And when that deacon looked at it attentively, he prostrated himself before it, and he said: «In truth, this is that soldier who chastised me; and I from now repent before him, for I am a deacon at his church, but heedlessness caused me to forget, and I did not remember that I am a deacon at his church, until he reminded me, and chastised me, that I should abandon what I had in the way of heedlessness, and should perform what was incumbent upon me in the way of his

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service». And he repented from that day, marvelling at the prayer of this father, and at his (Saint Michael's) presence with men upon the earth, and at his perception of hidden secrets. And once I saw others from the notables of the people, and there befell them a severe calamity at Cairo (al-Kahirah); and when they wished to escape to this father at Cairo (Misr), they did not hasten, and thereupon night overtook them (and) they slept. And, in that hour, one of them saw this father standing before the icon of the Martyr, my lord (Mari) George (Girgis), supplicating for their safety, and striking the icon with his hand, and saying: «O Martyr of God, O my lord (Mari) George (Girgis), I know (of none) for their deliverance save you», and he (St. George) inclined his head from the icon, as one who says: «Yes, Yes, I shall deliver them». And when this father beheld what it was in the way of the humility of the Martyr, he cast (himself) down in prostration to him on the ground. And the act of his prostration to him was distressing to the Martyr, and he came forth from the icon, as a material horseman, and he grasped the skirt (of the robe) of this father and was blessed by it. Then this father did likewise, namely, they blessed one another. Then he (the notable) awoke from his sleep, and he related this vision to his companions. And they did not believe him, until news came to them in the early morning of the day. Their deliverance came forth from God and His Martyr, and the amir (St. George) delivered them without effort, and thus, when they were assured of their deliverance, they arose immediately, and they went to this father to thank him for what they had seen in the vision, without having come or having besought him concerning this, but they had been assured of it in their minds only. And the honoured father knew their inner thoughts without that they asked him, and all of them marvelled and glorified God. And once there came to him a scribe, and he was in a great calamity, and (he had) with him five hundred dinars. And he said to him (Matthew): «O man of God, accept from me these five hundred (dinars) and pray for me, for Al-Malik Barkuk [1382-1388 A.D.] this day

— 266 —

wishes to kill me, and I know not how my deliverance will be». And this honoured father said to him: «Fear not, O so and so, and think not (that) by the gold which you have brought your deliverance will be, for prayer with gold will not (bring about) deliverance; but if you desire that you be delivered, take back the gold which you have brought to its place, and the Lord will deliver you without gold at all». And he (Matthew) arose, (and) prayed over him, and blessed him, and he sent him to Al-Malik Barkuk; and he gave to him his cross and his scarf, and he said to him: «Wear them concealed, and enter and fear not». And he (the scribe) refused, and he feared the more how he, being calumniated, should wear the cross, and (how) exposure would befall him, if anyone felt him. And the father said to him: «I have said to you, O so and so, wear the cross and the scarf concealed, and enter to the King, and I assure you by God the Exalted Whose Cross you wear, that the King will neither harm you nor hurt you». And he obeyed the word of the father and he wore the cross, and he entered to the King, and though the King was filled with wrath against him at that hour, the wrath of the King was changed into leniency and graciousness and mercy; and it was (that) every word which that man spoke before the King entered into the ears of the King like cool dew quenching what he had in the way of wrath. Then he departed from the presence of the King joyful, fortified (and) cheerful, according to his custom, so that that man marvelled at the powerful prayer by which this father had changed the wrath of the King and his ire into good pleasure, because he had entertained the idea that, whatever happened to him, he would be killed. And it was that this man, and everyone who heard glorified God. And thus this father redeemed the souls of those who came to him, and he saved them through his powerful prayer from troubles, afflictions and sins; as one of his sons, the learned priests, informed us of this who

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had fallen into a grave hidden sin. And when he presented himself to confess it to this father, fear seized him, and he was ashamed to confess it before him. And he revealed it to him of himself (Matthew), saying: «You have committed such and such a sin, and return not to commit it. And I say to you that from now your sins are forgiven to you». And when that priest heard his speech, he marvelled and glorified God, because that sin was not known except to Christ (al-Masih) alone, (and) when he (Matthew) revealed it to him, his astonishment increased, and he was assured that the sins of the people were revealed before him (Matthew), as oil in a glass-bottle. And he (Matthew) did not see (good) to expose them, but, if he wished to rebuke anyone for a sin, this would be in secret because sin also was multiplied among the people. And many of the people used to mix together, and they became defiled with the defilement of the Cairenes (al-Misriyin). And this father used to sigh and to weep for the evil which had befallen the Cairenes (al-Misriyin), so that from the excess of his weeping he began to admonish his people, saying «Be vigilant, O my sons, and beware of that day in which vengeance will come upon the Cairenes (al-Misriyin); because in that day there will descend fire from heaven burning all the dwellings of the Cairenes (al-Misriyin), so that the smoke of that city will rise up, and then they shall lament over it, saying: To-day is Babylon (Babil) the great, the mother of all the Cairenes (al-Misriyin), is fallen'» And whenever this father addressed (us) with this (word), we paid no heed, and we increased only in transgressions and shamelessness and without fear of God, and we did not hearken to him. And he (Matthew) used therefore to mourn and to sigh from the depth of his heart, and he ardently desired death for himself, until Satan (as-Shaitan) stirred up against the people an amir from among the great of the kingdom, named Gamal ad-Din, and he sought from the people what they were not able (to do). And it was (that), whenever this father pleaded for the people, he (the amir) was not persuaded, but he sought to find a fault against him to kill him. And he sent messengers in secret to the Land of the Hejaz (al-Hejaz), and the Yemen

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(al-Yaman) that they should write in those lands reports against this (father) and should write in them, that every day he (Matthew) would send his messengers to the Land of Ethiopia (al-Habashah) to incite the king (1) to destroy Mecca (Makkah) and its surroundings. And when he (Matthew) learned through the Spirit that reports had been written concerning him, he prayed to God previous to their arrival, and he besought our Mistress, the Lady, according to his custom, that she should take his soul to her without the shedding of blood, and that his people should not receive by reason of him affliction or hardship. And our Lady, the Mistress, heard his supplication, and she did not let pass that day, before he was seized with a violent fever in his body, and he was prostrate, stricken (and) weak. And when news of him reached the amir who was seeking to kill him, his wrath abated a little, but he did not cease from disturbing (him), and he did not cease to send and to threaten this father and to menace him with regard to his people, until they bore to him (the amir) from the money of this father about five hundred thousand dirhams, and presented them to him, (that), perchance, he might be contented, and he might cease from seeking this father, but he did not cease, and he continued to seek this father up to the hour in which death approached. And he sent to him messengers to bear him and to come with him to him. And this father contented their hearts, and he said to them: «Accord to me a delay until to-morrow, Sunday, (that), perhaps, I may be rested a little, and (then) come and bear me wherever you wish». And he spoke with them calmly, knowing that his hour had approached to go forth from this world and to rest from the tyranny of that amir and his oppression. And the messengers went, as this father had said to them; and they came on the morrow, Sunday, and they found (that) this father had given up the spirit in the first watch of the eve of Monday (3) before their coming, after the gracious respite. And when they saw what had happened, they marvelled; and the amir from whose hands God had saved this father without the shedding of blood, as had been

(1) I.e. of Ethiopia.

(3) I.e. Sunday evening.

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his intention, marvelled the more. Then God did not accord a respite to this amir, but He stirred up against him a calumny with the King, and he (the King) seized him, and he rebuked him, and he straitened him, and he took from him instead of the amount which he had taken from this father, many times the double. Then he did not cease from the chastisement and the punishment, until he died a most evil death. And as for this father, before his death he sent after his disciples, and he informed them of his translation Then he sent them, (and) they brought to him all what was requisite for shrouding him, in the way of robes and phelonions (Baranis), and they were two robes and two phelonions (Burnisain) and two skhemas (Iskimain) and two cowls (Kalsuatain) and two veils and two palliums (Ballinain); even for the coffin (at-Tabut) which (was) for him, he indicated to them the manner how they should make it. Then he commanded them that, when they had enveloped him and had laid him in that coffin (at-Tabut), they should not uncover his face, except at the time of the funeral, as was the custom with the patriarchs, and that they should not allow anyone to kiss his feet, but that they should leave him enveloped in his woollen shroudings like the monks; and he impressed on them not to bury him, except among his sons, inside the Khandak (3). Then, after he had commanded them with these (words) he covered his body with his izarat, and he gave up the spirit at the first hour of the eve of Monday, the fifth of the month of Tubah (in the) year one thousand, one hundred and twenty-five of the Martyrs [1409 A.D.]. And his age at that time was seventy-two years, of which (he was) forty years a monk and thirty-two years a patriarch. Then there assembled for

(3) Cf. E. Amelineau, op. cit., pp. 220-221. This is the Moat of Cairo. The body of this patriarch is buried in the Church of Saint Ruwais, cf. O.H.E. KHS-Burmester, A Guide to the Ancient Coptic Churches of Cairo, pp. 87-89. The new Cathedral of St. Mark is built here also.

(6) I.e. Sunday night.

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his funeral on that day, the priests and the deacons and the archons and all the Christian (an-Nasraniat) denominations, even the denomination of the Jews (al-Yahud), and others than they, and people of which the number was countless. And there was weeping and lamentation so that the columns of the church were weeping for his loss; and he was reposing, laid out, and his cross in his hand. And they were weeping and lamenting for the beauty of his appearance, and his awe, and his love, and his alms-giving, and his visitation of the wretched, and for his forbearance and his patience. And they lamented and they wept until they finished his funeral, as it behoved. Then they bore him with honour and respect and dignity, so that his conveyance in the coffin (at-Tabut) (was) as the conveyance of the Ark of the Covenant. Where was that strong man who was able to bear that coffin (at-Tabut) by reason of the multitude of the people who encompassed him and crowded round him? And the soldiers and the troops were (walking) before that coffin (at-Tabut) veiling it, until they came to the Monastery of the Khandak. Then they buried him in the place which he had chosen for his burial. Then, after his burial, God manifested a year of signs and miracles after his translation, among which (was, that on) the night in which he went to his rest, the bodies of his brethren, the patriarchs, lying in the Monastery of Abba (Abu) Macarius (Makar) stirred, and the monks inhabiting the Monastery who heard the stirring of the bodies, (heard) a voice calling to them, saying: «Arise, go forth, open the gate, our father Matthew (Matta) has come, and he is standing (and) knocking at the gate». And when the brethren went forth to open, and they did not find anyone, they marvelled. And they did not learn what was the matter, until the news came to them from Cairo (Misr), that this father had gone to his rest

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on the night in which he had passed by them, for the sake of his brethren, the saintly patriarchs, so that the spirits might be blessed by one another; and for this (reason) those bodies had stirred, knowing that the world had lost on that day a great teacher, for from the greatness of the stirring of the bodies the lamp (κανδήλιον) which was burning above them fell upon the ground and was extinguished, but it did not break. And another time, after forty days, he appeared to three men wounded Bedouins (`Urban), (who) passed by the cemetery of the Khandak at the dawn of Sunday, and they found this father standing vested in a white phelonion (burnus), and he had been walking around among the dead at night, as he used to walk around among them in the day time.

And when those men saw him, they (2).............. concerning what they had seen, and we informed them that (it was) this father, and they marvelled, and they asked us to see his tomb, and they went and they received a blessing from him. And as for the third time, he (Matthew) had indicated to his disciples before his translation, that the father Abba (Anba) Gabriel (Ghabryal) would be patriarch after him. And some of the people did not believe, until this father appeared to them on the day on which they called him (Gabriel) to be ordained hegoumenos (Kummus). At the time when the people were assembled in (the Church) Al-Mu`allakah, lo! one of the saintly elders (as-Shiyukh) who were assembled on that day, saw this father in the spirit standing at the side of the altar, and he was laying his hand with the hand(s) of the fathers, the bishops, on the head of Abba (Anba) Gabriel (Ghabryal). And when the elder (as-Sheikh) saw this, he marvelled, and he resolved to be blessed by him before he vanished from him, (and) he (Matthew) blessed him. And he (Matthew) performed wonders and miracles (which) we are not able to describe. And the number of the martyrs who suffered martyrdom in his time (was) forty-nine martyrs. May the blessing of his prayer and the prayer of all (the Saints) be with us. Amen.

(2) One and a half lines left blank.

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Gabriel (Ghabryal) the Patriarch, and he is the eighty-eighth of (their) number.

This father Gabriel (Ghabryal) (was) from the Monastery Al-Qalamun (al-Kalamun) in the Fayum (al-Fayum) (1). The father Matthew (Matta), the deceased, had given information concerning him, before his going to his rest. He (Gabriel) was consecrated (2) patriarch on the twenty-sixth of (the month of) Baramudah (in the) year one thousand, one hundred and twenty-five of the Martyrs [1409 A.D.] and he remained patriarch till (the month of) Tubah (in the) year one thousand, one hundred and forty-three of the Martyrs [1427 A.D.].

John (Yu'annis) the Patriarch, and he is the eighty-ninth of (their) number.

This father John (Yu'annis) the patriarch was consecrated patriarch at Cairo (al-Kahirah) on the sixteenth of (the month of) Bashuns (in the) year one thousand, one hundred and forty-three of the Martyrs. And he remained patriarch for twenty-five years, and he went to his rest on the ninth of the month of Bashuns (in the) year one thousand, one hundred and sixty-eight of the Martyrs [1452 A.D.].

Matthew (Mattaus) the Patriarch, and he is the ninetieth of (their) number.

This father Matthew (Mattaus) the patriarch (was) from the Monastery Al-Muharrak (7). He was consecrated patriarch on the thirteenth of the month of Tut (in the) year one thousand, one hundred and

(l) Cf. O.F.A. Meinardus, Monks and Monasteries of the Egyptian Deserts, Cairo, 1961, pp. 311-336.

(7) Cf. O.F.A. Meinardus, Monks and Monasteries of the Egyptian Deserts, pp. 285-308.

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sixty-nine of the Martyrs [1451 A.D.], and he remained patriarch for thirteen years, and he went to his rest on the thirteenth of (the month of) Tut (in the) year one thousand, one hundred and eighty-two of the Martyrs [1465 A.D.].

Gabriel (Ghabryal) the Patriarch, and he is the ninety-first of (their) number.

This father Gabriel (Ghabryal) the patriarch (was) from the Monastery of Saint Antony (Antunius). He was consecrated on the twenty-sixth day of (the month of) Amshir (in the) year one thousand, one hundred and eighty-two of the Martyrs [1466 A.D.], and he remained patriarch for eight years and ten months. And he went to his rest on the twenty-sixth of (the month of) Amshir (in the) year one thousand, one hundred and ninety-one of the Martyrs [1475 A.D.]. May the blessing of his prayer be with us. Amen.

Michael (Mikhayil) the Patriarch, and he is the ninety-second of (their) number.

This father was consecrated patriarch on the twenty-third of (the month of) Amshir (in the) year one thousand, one hundred and ninety-two of the Martyrs [1476 A.D.], and he remained on the Throne one year and three months. And he went to his rest in the month of Baramudah (in the) year one thousand, one hundred and ninety-four [1478 A.D.].

John (Yu'annis) the Patriarch (surnamed) Al-Nakkadi (9) and he is the ninety-third of (their) number.

This father was consecrated patriarch on the twenty-third of (the month of) Baramudah (in the) year one thousand, one hundred and

(9) From the Province of Kind.

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ninety-five [1479 A.D.], and he remained in the Throne three years and four months and nineteen days. And he went to his rest on the fifth of (the month of) Tut (in the) year one thousand, one hundred and ninety-nine [1482 A.D.]. And a missive came to this father from the Patriarch, from the Pope (al-Baba) of the City of Rome (Rumiah), and he returned to him the reply in a missive of three quires of paper, and in them (was) the matter of the discussion (which) included the abandonment of obstinacy, and reconciliation and peace among all the denominations of the Christians (al-Masihiyin).

John (Yu'annis) the Patriarch (surnamed) Al-Misri (3), and he is the ninety-fourth of (their) number.

This father was consecrated patriarch on the seventeenth of (the month of) Amshir (in the) year one thousand, one hundred and ninety-nine and he went to his rest on the eleventh of (the month of) Amshir (in the) year one thousand, two hundred and forty [1524 A.D.]. And the duration of his occupation of the Throne (was) forty years and eleven months and twenty-six days. And during the time of this father there was the conquest of Egypt (Misr) at the hand of the Sultan Selim (Salim), a descendant of the House of Othman (`Uthmin), and this was from the Sultan Al-Ghuri, the last of the Circassian (al-Garakisah) kings, and he (it was) who constructed the Ghuriyah and the mosque (al-Gami`) which is known after him.

Gabriel (Ghabryal) the Patriarch, and he is the ninety-fifth of (their) number.

This father (was) from a hamlet of Al-Muharrak. He was con-

(3) I.e. the Cairene.

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secrated in (the) year one thousand, two hundred and forty-one [1524-1525 A.D.], and he remained patriarch for forty-four years, and he went to his rest in (the) year one thousand, two hundred and eighty-five [1568-1569 A.D.].

John (Yuhanna) the Patriarch (surnamed) Al-Manfaluti (4), and he is the ninety-sixth of (their) number.

This father was consecrated patriarch on the eve of Easter Sunday (in the) year one thousand, two hundred and eighty-six [1570 A.D.]. He remained on the Throne for fifteen years. And a missive came to this father from the Pope (Baba) of Rome (Rumiah), and he returned to him a reply to it. And he went to his rest on the third of (the month of) An-Nasi (in the) year one thousand, three hundred and one of the Martyrs [1585 A.D.].

Gabriel (Ghabryal) the Patriarch, and he is the ninety-seventh of (their) number.

This father was before his consecration named Shenouti (Shanudah) from Al-Manbir (10), and he was a zealous monk in the Desert of Scetis (Shihat)(11). He was consecrated patriarch in (the) year one thousand, three hundred and two [1585-1586 A.D.], and he remained patriarch for fifteen years, and he went to his rest in the Desert of Scetis (Shihat) and was buried in it (13).

(10) Kamil Salah Nakhlah, op. cit., p. 94, adds after Al-Manbir «Mir» The Dictionnaire Geographique de l'Egypte mentions on p. 378 a Mir in the Province of Asyut.

(11) Kamil Salah Nakhlah, op. cit., p. 94 says 'the Monastery of Abba Pishoi (Bishui)'.

(l3) Kamil Salah Nakhlah, op. cit., p. 95 says 'the Monastery of the Syrians '.

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Mark (Markus) the Patriarch, and he is the ninety-eighth of (their) number.

This father was from Al-Baiyadiah (1) and he was consecrated patriarch (in the) year one thousand, three hundred and eighteen [1601-1602 A.D.]. And he remained patriarch for sixteen years, and he went to his rest in peace.

John (Yu'annis) the Patriarch, and he is the ninety-ninth of (their) number.

This father was from the district of Mallawi. He was consecrated patriarch (in the) year one thousand, three hundred and thirty-five [1618-1619 A.D.]. He remained patriarch for fifteen years, and he went to his rest at the end of the year one thousand, three hundred and fifty [1633-1634 A.D.].

Matthew (Mattaus) the Patriarch (surnamed) At-Tukhi, and he is the hundredth of (their) number.

This father Matthew (Mattaus) was a monk, an ascetic, in the Monastery of the Mistress at Al-Baramus. And when he had been chosen for the patriarchate, he was consecrated in (the) year one thousand, three hundred and fifty-one [1634-1635 A.D.]; and he remained patriarch for fifteen years, and he went to his rest.

(1) There are four places of this name in Upper Egypt.

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Mark (Markus). the Patriarch (surnamed) Al-Bahguri and he is the one hundred and first of (their) number.

This father (was) from the inhabitants of the district of Bahgura, and he was a devout ascetic in the Monastery of the great Saint Antony (Antunius). And when he had been chosen for the patriarchate, they consecrated him (in the) year one thousand, three hundred and sixty-seven [1650-1651]; and he remained patriarch for ten years, and he went to his rest.

Matthew (Mattaus) the Patriarch (surnamed) Al-Miri, and he is the one hundred and second of (their) number.

This father was a devout monk at the Monastery of the Mistress at Al-Baramus. And when he had been chosen for the patriarchate, he was consecrated on the thirtieth of (the month of) Hatur (in the) year one thousand, three hundred and seventy-seven [1660 A.D]. And he went to his rest on the twelfth of (the month of) Misra (in the) year one thousand, three hundred and ninety-one [1675 A.D.]; and he remained patriarch on the Throne for fourteen years and (some) months.

John (Yu'annis) the Patriarch (surnamed) At-Tukhi, and he is the hundred and third of (their) number. (8)

This father was from the district of the inhabitants of Tukh an-Nasara (9), and before his patriarchate he was named Abraham (Ibrahim). And

(8) Though not mentioned in this biography, there was likewise correspondence between the Pope of Rome and this patriarch, cf. J.P. Trossen, Les relations du Patriarche copte Jean XVI avec Rome, Luxemburg, 1948.

(9) Otherwise called Tukh Dalakah, cf. Dictionnaire Geographique de l'Egypte, p. 523.

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this father (was) in his youth a collector engaged in the perception of money. And they mentioned concerning him that, when he was a collector, he owed an amount of money, and that he was made responsible regarding the remainder of the amount. And he placed first the decision of God the Exalted, and he went to the Mountain of the great Saint Antony (Antunius) seeking the salvation of his soul, and the more so, as he was averse to the responsibility of the work, for in it there are ways of conducting (it) and of experiences; because he who is in charge of this work harms himself for others than himself, and he takes something which is not his own, (and) places it in something which he owes. And he remained for a time in the monastery, and he merited to be clothed with the angelic habit(2). And when the fathers, the saintly elders (as-Shiyukh), the monks in the monastery, saw his uprightness, they ordained him a priest, and he continued in the monastery in this priestly order until the father, the patriarch Abba (Anba) Matthew (Mattaus) who was before him, went to his rest. And a body of the archons from Cairo (Misr) went up to the monastery seeking one whom God would choose, to consecrate him patriarch over them. And the choice of all fell upon this father by the will of God and the knowledge of the elders (as-Shiyukh), the monks. And they took him from the monastery, and they came to Cairo (Misr), and they consecrated him patriarch in (the) year one thousand, three hundred and ninety-two of the Martyrs [1676]. And when he was established in the patriarchate and had celebrated the Divine Liturgy in the churches of Cairo (Misr) according to the custom, he put first the decision of God the Exalted, and he turned to Upper Egypt (as-Sa`id) intending to visit the holy places. And when he came from Upper Egypt (as-Sa`id), he went round also the northern districts, and he returned to Cairo (Misr) in safety. And there were in his days, teachers, Christian (Masihiyin) archons, perfect in performing good works and benevolence. And it was (that), before the patriarchate of this father,

(2) I.e. the monastic skhema.

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there were supervisors for the churches in Cairo (Misr) (who were) artisans. And when this father undertook the leadership, all supervision of the churches was transferred to the teachers, the archons, and they found what was necessary to be repaired and to be (re-)built in all the churches, and they were all zealous in good works and charity for the wretched and for clothing the poor at every feast. And their days were calm (in which was) abundance, liberality and profit. And this father (re-)built the Patriarchal Cell in the Harat ar-Rum, and he dedicated it to the Glorious Resurrection. And they (these conditions) continued thus up to the year one thousand, one hundred and six of the Tax (Year) which corresponds to (the) year one thousand, four hundred and nine of the Martyrs [1692-1693 A.D.], (when) the whole Land of Egypt (Misr) dried up, the south and the north, and the Nile (an-Nil) did not reach except to sixteen cubits. And the governor (Mutawali) of Egypt (Misr) at that time was the Commander (Kaimakam) Ismail (Yismail) `Ali Pasha; and there was at Cairo (Misr) also at that time one whose name was called Kuguk Muhammad (4) Bas Audah Pasha Mustahfazam (5), and the (afore-)mentioned was the controller for the wheat, that the Cairene (al-Misri) ardab should not increase beyond sixty half-silver (coins). And he (Kuguk) did not remain, except for a little, and by the order of God Kuguk Muhammad, the (afore-)mentioned, was killed, and, on the day following his death, the wheat reached one hundred and twenty half-silver (coins) for the Cairene (al-Misri) ardab, and it did not cease mounting (in) price until it reached three hundred and sixty half-silver (coins). And as for the land of Upper Egypt (as-Sa`id), it became devoid of the poor, and the land of the Rif, and they (the poor) all came to Cairo (Misr)

(4) Cf. Abd el-Rahman el-Djabarti, Merveilles Biographiques et Historiques ou Chroniques, Le Caire, 1888, t. I, p. 59. 

(5) I.e. the Guards.

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the protected. And wheat reached to eighty half-silver (coins) the waibah, and the price for grinding it fifteen half-silver (coins), the total being a dinar, because the value of the Cairene (al-Misri) dinar at that time was ninety-five half-silver (coins). And the dinar Abu Turrah had not appeared, neither the Zangir nor the Fundukli(3), except the Muhammadi gold (coin). And a severe dearth occurred to the extent that the poor ate the dead (bodies) of asses and horses and cats and other than these — and we seek aid from God from those days — and the people were lying prostrate in the streets and the lanes and on the mounds by reason of hunger and pestilence, because God the Exalted had afflicted the Egyptians (al-Misriyin) with dearth and pestilence. And (if) a man passed by them in the evening, he would find the poor lying prostrate beside the walls, and when it was morning, and he passed by them, he would find them dead. And there governed at Cairo (Misr), at that time, one called Isma`il Pasha. And when he saw the great number of the poor who had died from hunger and eating the dead, he used to distribute among the amirs, the sanjaks (as-Sanagak) and the aghas (al-Aghwat), to each one according to his ability (a number) of the poor (4). They used to feed them, until God relieved His creatures, and the Nile (an-Nil) came up high in (the) year one thousand, one hundred and seven of the Tax (Year), and the people planted, and the creatures felt secure. And during the period of these two years of dearth, this father did not abandon charity, and also the teachers, the archons, at Cairo (Misr) were zealous in benevolence and charity, and especially, one archon named Al-Mu`allim David (Dauud) at-Tukhi, and the son of his brother, Al-Mu`allim George (Girgis), and they were dwelling at the Darb al-Ginainah in the Harat al-Arman (6).

(3) Read ... 'a Venetian gold sequin', cf. R. Dozy, op. cit., p. 118.

(4) Cf. Precis de l'Histoire d'Egypte, t. III, p. 37, Le Caire, 1933, and Abd el-Rahman el-Djabarti, Merveilles Biographiques et Historiques ou Chroniques, Le Caire, 1888,t.1, pp. 62-63.

(6) This was situated north-east of al-Muski, in proximity to the Sharia` Bain as-Surain.

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And the Mu`allim George (Girgis) had an only son whose name (was) Mansur (who) went to his rest in those days. And when this affair befell him, he took for himself a house in the Harat ar-Rum at the side of the church and he (re-)built it (the house), and he undertook the supervision of the church also. And, furthermore, on Sundays and feasts and fairs (2) and others than them, he used to bring with him to his house the father, the patriarch, and the priests and the poor and other than them, and they used to breakfast and drink coffee. And on the days of the feasts and the fairs there was invariably excellent food for all. And, in brief, there was not in his time anyone who resembled him in performing charity and benevolence, and it was he who (re-) built the upper church at the Harat ar-Rum, in the name of the great martyr, my lord (Mari) George (Girgis). And it was he also who provided for the making of the Holy Chrism in (the) year one thousand, four hundred and nineteen of the Martyrs [1702-1703 A.D.] which corresponds to (the) year one thousand, one hundred and sixteen of the Tax (Year). And he sent to bring all the fathers, the bishops, from their sees for the making of the Holy Chrism with the father, the patriarch. And after the making of the Chrism had been completed, he gave to each bishop a complete set of hieratic vestments and a complete set of vessels for the Holy Eucharist (al-Kurban), and they returned to their sees well-pleased and rejoicing. And there ruled over Egypt (Misr) in (the) year one thousand, one hundred and eleven of the Tax (Year) one whose name (was) Kira Muhammad Pasha (6), and he remained governor (Mutawali) over Egypt (Misr) for five years, and there occurred through him wrong to the Christians

(2) A fair held in connection with the patronal feast of a church. Cf. the Arabic 'mulid' and the Greek πανήγυρις.

(6) Cf. Abd el-Rahman el-Djabarti, op. cit., t. I, pp. 68, 70.

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(an-Nasara) in the year one thousand, one hundred and twelve of the Tax (Year) on account of the churches, but through the aid of God the Exalted and His mercy, and through the prayer of this father (John), no harm happened by reason of the presence of the teachers, the archons, who were undertaking the service of the great of Egypt (Misr), and they quashed the judgment against the Christians (an-Nasara) without difficulty at all. And nothing happened at the holy places, and the Divine Liturgy (Kuddas) did not cease on any day, and God — praised and exalted be He! — made void the power of Satan (as-Shaitan) and the opponents, and tranquillity did not cease to exist until (the) year one thousand, one hundred and seventeen of the Tax (Year), (when) again the Land of Egypt (Misr) dried up, and it was named the yellow drought. When the Nile (al-Bahr) ceased to rise, our father, the patriarch, went to the Church of our Lady the Virgin at Al-`Adawiyah, and with him a company of the priests; and he remained every day celebrating the Divine Liturgy, and he used to pray over a little water in a small earthenware vase and to sign it with the Holy Chrism and to cast it into the Nile (al-Bahr). And God the Exalted through His mercy had pity on His adorers, and the Nile (an-Nil) rose on the twelfth of (the month of) Tut (4), and the people were tranquil. And in this year wheat reached eight piastres (Kurus) the Cairene (al-Misri) ardab, the price of the waibah (being) forty half-silver (coins), and the people were tranquil. And no calamity happened in it (Egypt) by reason of the great drought; and, also, our father, the patriarch, went to Alexandria, and he visited the Church of the father, the preacher, my lord (Mari) Mark (Markus) the Evangelist And when it was in (the) year one thousand, one hundred and twenty of the Tax (Year), this father went

(4) I.e. September 22nd or 23rd according to whether the year is a Leap Year or not. Cf I also Abd el-Rahman el-Djabarti, op. cit., 1.1, pp. 70-71.

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on visit to (the Church of) the Glorious Resurrection (1) with the archon Al-Mu`allim George (Girgis) at-Tukhi the (afore-)mentioned, and their companions were a company from the priests and the archons and the people; and their journey was by land, not by sea, and there was a great rejoicing, the like of which had not been seen nor heard of at all. And when it was in (the) year one thousand, one hundred and twenty-three of the Lunar (Year) [1711-1712 A.D.], there ruled in Egypt (Misr) one who was named Khalil Pasha. And the aforementioned caused a great sedition among the troops; and there was, at that time, one sanjak named Aiyub Bey had taken refuge at the Gate Al-Inkigariah, and an other sanjak named Ghaitas Bey had taken refuge at the Gate Al-Gharb; and each one of them had companies who were devoted to them and companions. And when the sedition occurred among them and became exceedingly serious and great, the markets were closed and selling and buying ceased, and Cairo (al-Kahirah) remained seventy days (with) the markets closed. And the cannons shot from the Gate Al-Inkigariah against the Gate Al-Gharb, and from the Gate Al-Gharb against the Gate Al-Inkigariah, and the houses of many people were burned, and, in brief, there was severe affliction and great hardship for the whole of the people, especially, the poor. And they used to drink the water of the wells by reason of the cutting off of the ways and the lack of water-carriers, because they were not able to go to fill (their skins) from Bulak by reason of the multitude of the Bedouins (al-`Urban) and the hostile troops. And, after seventy days, God the Exalted (so) willed and caused rejoicing to the adorers by reason of the flight of Aiyub Bey and some of the company of his companions to the Grecian (ar-Rumiah) Lands, and he died at Constantinople

(1) I.e. at Jerusalem.

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(al-Kustantiniah). And Khalil Pasha was deposed, and the subjects were in tranquillity, and contentment prevailed, and (there was) selling and buying and commercial dealings. And harm did not befall anyone of the Christians (an-Nasara) through the prayer of this father, because the favour and the gifts which God granted to this father did not happen to other than to him from the fathers, the patriarchs, from the time of Abba (Anba) Matthew (Matta), the eighty-seventh, up to this father, because he was assisted by God in all his works and deeds. And he consecrated a number of churches in Cairo (Misr) and the Rif (3), after their repair, and, also, he consecrated metropolitans (Matarinah) and bishops and priests and deacons. And he remained all his time in well-being and health and tranquillity; and he (re-)built the Monastery of the great Saint Abba (Anba) Paul (Bula) after it had been ruined for a time. And he went to it and visited it, and he consecrated the church, and he established in it monks, and he endowed (it with) its inalienable endowment from the inalienable endowment of Saint Antony (Antunius) And also he visited the Monastery of Saint Antony (Antunius) twice, once alone, and once with Al-Mu`allim George (Girgis) at-Tukhi the (afore-)mentioned. And when it was in (the) year one thousand, one hundred and twenty-seven of the Tax (Year), there happened again a sedition in Egypt (Misr), and it was at the time when `Abdi Pasha (was) governor (Mutawali) of Egypt (Misr). And he (`Abdi) killed the amir Ghaitas Bey, and he wished to kill the amir Muhammad Bey his subordinate, and he (Muhammad) turned in flight to the Grecian 

(3) Cf. O.H.E. KHS-Burmester, 'The Rif of Egypt' in Orientalia, vol. VIII, fasc. 1/2, 1939, pp. 96-119.

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And he (`Abdi) killed a great multitude in Egypt (Misr), but the sedition did not linger as the former sedition; and the evil ceased, and the subjects were in tranquillity and security and well-being and peace for the remainder of the days of his (the patriarch's) life. And it was in (the) year one thousand, four hundred and thirty-four of the Martyrs [1717-1718 A.D.] (that there was) a pest in Egypt (Misr). And this father went to his rest on the tenth day of (the month of) Bau'unah (in the) year of its date (3) which corresponds to the sixteenth of (the month of) Ragab (in the) year one thousand, one hundred and thirty of the Lunar (Year); and he had remained forty-two years patriarch on the Throne. May the Lord have mercy upon us through his prayer! And Al-Mu`allim George (Girgis) went to his rest ten days after him. And the day of the translation of this father was a great day, and they performed his funeral service with great honour, and he was buried in the Church of Abba (Abu) Mercurius (Markurah) in Cairo (Misr). May the blessing of the prayer of all (the Saints) be with us!

Peter (Butrus) the Patriarch, and he is the one hundred and fourth of (their) number.

This holy father (was) from the district of the inhabitants of Siyut; and he went up to the Mountain (7) of the great Saint Abba (Anba) Paul (Bula), while a young man. And he remained for a time, and he was clothed with the holy skhema, and he merited to be a priest at the hand of the deceased Abba (Anba) John (Yu'annis), and he appointed him as head of the Monastery of the great Saint Abba (Anba)

(3) I.e. of the aforementioned year. 

(4) I.e. his decease.

(7) I.e. the Desert.

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Paul (Bula). And he remained for a time, until the father Abba (Anba) John (Yu'annis) went to his rest. And none of the archons went to the monasteries, and no searching occurred, but the will of God the Exalted directed them to this father. And there was one archon who was assiduous in this, named Al-Muallim Lutf-Allah. He was married to the daughter of the brother of Abba (Anba) John (Yu'annis) the deceased (2) and he sent him to ....... 

And the Kaimakam sent to the district of Bus, (and) he seized this father and he sent him in fetters to Cairo (Misr). And they consecrated him patriarch at the Church of the Saint Abba (Abu) Mercurius (Markurah) in Cairo (Misr) on the seventeenth of the month of Misra (in the) year one thousand, four hundred and thirty-four of the Martyrs [ 1718 A.D.] which corresponds to the twenty-fourth of the month of Ramadan (in the) year one thousand, one hundred and thirty. And it was on that day (that) the Nile (an-Nil) rose in Egypt (Misr), and there was rejoicing and great gladness. And he (Peter) remained in Cairo (Misr) about the space of a week, and he went to the Patriarchal Cell in the Harat ar-Rum, according to the custom, and he consecrated our father, the honoured bishop Abba (Anba) Athanasius (Atanasius), for the See of Jerusalem (Aurushalim). And in those days, there came messengers from the king of Ethiopia (Al-Habashah) seeking for them a metropolitan (Mutran). And the father consecrated Abba (Anba) Christodoulus (Akhristutulu), former bishop of Jerusalem (Aurushalim), and he set out by sea, in the company of the messengers, from the chief-town of Suez (as-Suiz) to the city of Jedda (8). And this father (Peter) set out

(2) I.e. the preceding patriarch.

(8) I.e. the port of Mecca.

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for the northern regions, and he went round in them, and he intended to visit the Church of my lord (Mari) Mark (Markus) the Evangelist at Alexandria And a sedition occurred in Egypt (Misr) between a sanjak (Sangak) named Ismail Bey Ibn Iwaz, and a sanjak (Sangak) named Muhammad Bey Garkas, so he returned to Cairo (Misr), and he did not set out for Alexandria in that year. And the governor (al-Mutawali) in Egypt (Misr) at that time was named Ragab Pasha. A group calumniated Al-Mu`allim Lutf-Allah to him, that he had (re)-built the southern Church of the Angel (Mikhayll) and the Church of the martyr Abba (Abu) Menas (Mina) in Cairo (Misr), and, in truth, he had (re)built them from his (own) money, better than what they were at first; because (as regards) the Church of the martyr Abba (Abu) Menas (Mina), they were not able to enter through the door of the choir (xoro/s) in the daytime, except with a taper (futi/lion) and he (re)constructed it and (re)built it as a great light church, and he built in it cells for the poor and others than them; and Ragab Pasha the aforementioned pressed the demand on Al-Mu`allim Lutf-Allah with assiduity. And a group of the notables who were attached to Al-Mu`allim Lutf-Allah complied with the desire of the mentioned wazir with about forty purses. And he (Lutf-Allah) paid it from what he had of his money, as was (already) mentioned, and he did not take anything from the archons, and also the expenses which he expended on the setting up of this father as patriarch, he did not take anything from anyone; and all this (was) from his own (money), because there was not in his time he who was equal to him in wealth, and also in honour and strength of heart. And Satan

— 288 —

(as-Shaitan), the enemy of good — may God confound him ! — stirred up against him one who killed him, while he was going to his house, on Friday, at the time of dining; and this was in the month of Misra (in the) year one thousand, four hundred and thirty-six of the Martyrs [1720 A.D.] which corresponds to (the) year one thousand, one hundred and thirty-two of the Tax (Year) — may God give rest to his soul! And they shrouded him, and they buried him; and this father celebrated for him, in his name, one thousand Divine Liturgies. And when it was in the year one thousand, one hundred and thirty-three of the Tax (Year), this father set out for the city of Alexandria, and he visited the Church of the father, the preacher, my lord (Mari) Mark (Markus) the Evangelist. And he remained in it (Alexandria) about sixty days in joy and contentment and rejoicing; and he had brought with him a gift to my lord (Mari) Mark (Markus), a silver sanctuary lamp and about twenty ardabs of wheat. He visited it (Alexandria) and (his) desire was accomplished and he was satisfied the more with the archons who were overseers in the diwan of Alexandria. He returned to Cairo (Misr) in safety, and all his days were peaceful, and his people (were) at rest through his prayer. And there was in the days of this father an archon named Al-Mu`allim Mercurius (Markurius), designated as 'white cock'. He was at that time in the service of a certain Gurbagi, an elect of the notables of Egypt (Misr), named Abraham (Ibrahim) Gurbagi as-Sabungi `Azban, and the mentioned archon was overseer at the Church of the Mistress the Virgin, known as 'at the Monastery of Al-`Adawiyah'. And the power of God the Exalted assisted him through the intercession of the Lady, the Mistress, and he (re)built the mentioned monastery completely, better than it was at first. And this father was called, and he consecrated the mentioned Church, and also he consecrated a Church other than it, and he ordained

— 289 —

priests and deacons in number. And he (Peter) was generous with food and drink (2), (and) he resembled Abba (Anba) John (Yu'annis) who was before him. And he used to resemble him in all his deeds, and in charity and other than it. And all the people were in his days in welfare and good health and security; and they were zealous in charity and good works. And, especially, one archon named Al-Mu`allim George (Girgis) Abu Sihatah from the district of Abnub in Upper Egypt (as-Sa`id). And he came and he fixed his residence in Cairo (Misr), and he was a widower, and he married the sister of Al-Mu`allim Lutf-Allah. And he was a person of great charity, and he did many good things to the poor and the priests and other than them. And together with this, it was (that) his money was with the sanjaks (as-Sanagak) in Cairo (Misr), and the Aghas (al-Aghwat); and when he went to his rest, they found that he had many debts — may God give rest to his soul! And this father remained patriarch for eight years and (some) months, and he went to his rest in (the) month of Baramhat (in the) year one thousand, four hundred and forty-two of the Martyrs [1726 A.D.] which corresponds to (the) year one thousand, one hundred and thirty-eight of the Tax (Year), and there was in its days a pest. And he was buried in the Church of Abba (Abu) Mercurius (Markurah) in Cairo (Misr). May the Lord have mercy upon us through his prayer! And after him Abu Sihatah went to his rest during the mentioned pest. May the Lord give rest to the souls of all, and have mercy upon us through their prayers! Amen.

Abba (Anba) John (Yu'annis), and he is the one hundred and fifth of (their) number.

This father (was) from the inhabitants of the district of Mallawi

(2) I.e. in entertaining guests.

(6) I.e. of the mentioned year.

— 290 —

(Millawi), and he went up to the Monastery of the great Saint Abba (Anba) Paul (Bula), And he remained in it for a time, and he was clothed with the angelic form (3), and he merited that he should be a priest, and his name was `Abd as-Said. And when the father Abba (Anba) Peter (Butrus) who was before him, went to his rest, the choice fell on him, and they sent (and) they brought him to Cairo (Misr) and they consecrated him patriarch at the Church of the martyr Abba (Abu) Mercurius (Markurah) in the beginning of the year one thousand, four hundred and forty-three of the Martyrs [1726 A.D.] which corresponds to the year one thousand, one hundred and thirty-nine of the Tax (Year); and he remained the space of a week in Cairo (Misr), and he returned to the Patriarchal Cell at the Harat ar-Rum. And there occurred in his days an increase of the tax (al-Gawali) on Christians (an-Nasara), and Jews (al-Yahud) from the beginning of (the) year one thousand, one hundred and forty-seven of the Tax (Year). The highest (class) paid four hundred half-silver (coins) and sixty half-silver (coins) additional tax, and the middle (class) paid two hundred half-silver (coins) and thirty half-silver (coins) additional tax, and the lowest (class) paid one hundred half-silver (coins) and fifteen half-(silver coins) additional tax. And they took the tax (al-Gawali) from the fathers, the bishops, and the monks and the priests, and they exempted no one. And those who were appointed to collect this (were) a body of Bastaliah (who) used to come every year from Greece (ar-Rum) in the name of the Sublime Porte, being appointed to collect this. And they were days of affliction and mourning for all the poor and the master-craftsmen.

(3) I.e. the monastic skhema.

— 291 —

And also there occurred a severe dearth in the year one thousand, one hundred, and fifty-two (of the Tax Year) and the year one thousand, one hundred and fifty-three; and wheat was bought at six gold sequins (Mahbub) for the Cairene (al-Misri) ardab, every waibah for a sequin (Sarifi), a gold sequin (Mahbub). And the people endured hard affliction, especially the poor Christians (an-Nasara), partly from the dearth, partly from the demand of the tax (al-Gawali) without pity. And there were at Cairo (Misr) at that time archons beloved of Christ (al-Masih), Al-Mu`allim Nairuz and Al-Mu`allim Rizk-Allah al-Badawi and Al-Mu`allim Banub of Zifta (az-Ziftawi) and others than they. They used to buy the poor as a purchase from the prison of the tax (al-Gawali), and they delivered them. And also in (the) year one thousand, one hundred and fifty-five of Tax (Year) there occurred a sedition in Egypt (Misr) with one sanjak (Sangak) named `Uthman Bey from the notables of Egypt (Misr). And a part of the troops rose up against him, and he arose and fled to Upper Egypt (al-Wagah al-Kibli), and they pillaged his house, and after that he returned to the Grecian (ar-Rumiah) Lands. And Egypt (Misr) and its inhabitants did not cease (being) troubled and afflicted and in difficult hardships; and may the Lord God have pity upon them through His mercy! And this father remained patriarch for eighteen years and (some) months, and he went to his rest on the Monday of Holy Week (al-Baskhah), the thirteenth of (the) month of Baramudah (in the) year one thousand, four hundred and sixty-one [1745 A.D.] which corresponds to the seventeenth of (the) month of Rabi`a al-Awal (in the) year one thousand, one hundred and fifty-seven of the Lunar (Year); and he

— 292 —

was buried in the Church of Abba (Abu) Mercurius (Markurah) in Cairo (Misr) May the Lord have mercy upon us through his prayer! Amen.

Mark (Markus) the Patriarch, and he is the one hundred and sixth of (their) number.

This father (was) from the inhabitants of the district of Kalusna of the regions of the wilayah of Al-Bahnasa, and his name (was) Symeon (Sampan). And he went up to the Monastery of the great Saint Abba (Anba) Paul (Bula), while he was a very young man, (and) he remained in it for a time, and he used to go frequently from the Monastery of the father Antony (Antunius)to the Monastery of the Saint Abba (Anba) Paul (Bula); and he was clothed with the angelic form, and he merited to be a priest. And when Abba (Anba) John (Yuannis) who was before him, went to his rest, the choice fell upon him, and they sent and they caused him to come to Cairo (Misr), and they consecrated him patriarch on the twenty-fourth day of (the) month of Bashuns (in the) year one thousand, four hundred and sixty-one [1745 A.D.] which corresponds to (the) year one thousand, one hundred and fifty-seven (of the Tax Year). And he remained two years, and the troops were quiet in Cairo (Misr), and after that, a great sedition occurred among the troops at Cairo (Misr). And in it were killed Khalil Bey, the Amir al-Hag, and `Ali Bey Al-Dumyati, the Defterdar, and `Umar Bey Ghitas and Muhammad Bey Dhadah. And a group of the amirs, the sanjaks (Sangak), fled to Upper Egypt (as Sa`id), and they (were) the amir `Umar Bey and his brother, and Hassan Bey, an adherent

— 293 —

of Ibrahim Bey. And `Umar Bey, the governor (Hakim) at Girga, rallied them, and they remained for a period of eight months in Upper Egypt (as-Sa`id), and that (was) in (the) year one thousand, one hundred and sixty-one of the Lunar (Year) [1748 A.D.]. And after that, Sheikh al-`Arab Hamam concerned himself and provided for them a shipment of wheat and flour and butter and honey and other than it, and he despatched them (4) to the Land of Al-Hejaz in ships from the chief city of Al-Kusair as-Sami (5). And after that, also, the sedition did not cease, until God had mercy on His adorers and removed this affliction. And (it was) on the blessed Thursday which was the twelfth of (the) month (of) the blessed Bashuns (in the) Coptic (Kibtiyah) Year one thousand, four hundred and eighty-five of the Pure Martyrs [1769 A.D.], which corresponds to the eleventh of the sacred month (of) Al-Muharram (in the) year one thousand, one hundred and eighty-three of the Lunar (Year), (that) the virtuous, honoured father Abba (Anba) Mark (Markus), patriarch of the great city of Alexandria, and Ethiopia (Al-Habashah) and Nubia (An-Nubah), went to his rest in the Church of the Lady, the Mistress, the Mother of the Salvation of the world, at the Monastery Al-`Adawiyah, at the second hour (8) on that day. And it was the feast of our lady, the chaste, the virtuous in honour, the lady Dimianah, and the commemoration of the Chief of the angels Michael (Mikhayil), Chief of the ranks of the heavens, and the falling-asleep of the great martyr John (Yuhanna) Chrysostom (Fam adh-Dhahab) (10). And in that hour, the

(4) I.e. the amirs.

(5) A port on the Red Sea.

(8) I.e. 8 a.m.

(10) The term ' martyr ' is often applied to Saint John Chrysostom on account of the fact that he was deliberately killed by enforced walking in severe weather. On this day the Coptic Church makes these three commemorations, cf. O.F.A. Meinardus, Christian Egypt Ancient and Modern, p. 67.

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virtuous, honoured father, the patriarch, beheld at the going-forth of the spirit from the body, the two holy fathers, Antony (Antunius) and Abba (Anbd) Paul (Bula). And the father, the patriarch, was translated from the Church of the Lady, the Mistress, at the Monastery Al-`Adawiyah; and being gone to his rest, the Christian (al-Masihiyin) brethren bore him to the Monastery of the great martyr, the bright morning-star, the great among the martyrs, the courageous warrior, my master the king, my lord (Mari) George (Girgis), at the Convent of the nuns(2). And the father, the patriarch, passed the night, being gone to his rest, beneath the icon of the great martyr (3), with readings and prayers and Gospel-lessons and the psalms of the great prophet David (Dauud). And in the morning of Friday which was the thirteenth of (the) month (of) Bashuns (in the) year one thousand, four hundred, and eighty-five [1769 A.D.], the fathers, the metropolitans (al-Matarinah) came to him: the honoured father, Abba (Anba) Yusa, metropolitan (Mutran) of Ethiopia (al-Habashah), and this mentioned father had been consecrated by the hand of the father, the patriarch, six months before his going to his rest. And the honoured father, Abba (Anba) Peter (Butrus), the metropolitan (Mutran) of Upper Egypt (al-Wagah al-Kibli) whom the father, the patriarch, had chosen, fearing for the flock, that he might pasture his good flock, fearing for them on account of the ravenous wolves. And all the hegoumens (al-Kamamisah) and the priests and the archons and the teachers, and the whole of the Christian (al-Masihiyin) people (were) walking on foot, and the priests (with) censers of fragrant incense in their hand, and excellent perfumes, and vested in phelonions (al-Baranus), from the Monastery of the great martyr, my lord (Mari) George (Girgis), to the Monastery of the great martyr Philopater (7) Mercurius (Markurius), father of the two swords

(3) I.e. Saint George.

(7) The epithet 'Lover of his parents' is usually given to Saint Mercurius. For the Monastery, cf. O.H.E. KHS-Burmester, A Guide to the Ancient Coptic Churches of Cairo, pp. 40-49.

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(Abu Saifain) And the fathers, the metropolitans (al-Matarinah), and the hegoumenoi (al-Kamamisah) and the priests performed for this father, the patriarch, what is fitting for the fathers, the patriarchs, and he was entombed at the second hour (2) of Friday. And the first consecration of this father was on the twenty-fourth day of (the) month (of) Bashuns (in the) year one thousand, four hundred and sixty-one of the Pure Martyrs [1745 A.D.], the day of the entry of the Master (into) the Land of Egypt (Misr) And his going to his rest (was) on the twelfth day of the month (of) Bashuns (in the) Coptic (Kibtiyah) Year one thousand, four hundred and eighty-five [1769 A.D.]; and the duration of the life of the father, the patriarch, on the Throne of Mark (al-Markusi) (was) twenty-four years and three months and fourteen days. And the father, the mentioned deceased patriarch, endured in these days intimidations, the number of which is not to be counted; sometimes from behind and sometimes from perverse disloyal people, and if we were to explain to you, the explanation would be drawn out. And we beseech God and the Agent of our salvation, through the intercession of the possessor of intercessions, the mine of purity and generosity and blessings, our illustrious Lady, the spotless Virgin, the Mother of the salvation of the world, (and) through the prayers of this father, for us and you, O my fathers and my brethren. Amen.

Abba (Anba) John (Yuhanna) the Patriarch, and he is the one hundred and seventh of the number of the Patriarchs.

Concerning him, he was a monk in the Monastery of the Saint Abba (Anba) Antony (Antunius). And when his predecessor, the

(2) I.e. 8 a.m.

(4) On this day there is commemorated the entry into Egypt of the Holy Family, cf. O.F.A. Meinardus, In the Steps of the Holy Family, Cairo, 1963.

— 296 —

father Mark (Markus) died, the opinion of the people was agreed upon to consecrate him patriarch, and he was consecrated (in the) year one thousand, four hundred and eighty-six of the Martyrs [1769 A.D.] which corresponds to the year one thousand, seven hundred and sixty-two of the Coptic (Kibtiyah) Christian (Masihiyah) (Year)(2). And ask not concerning what befell him and befell his people from the oppressive afflictions which drove him to hide and to conceal himself, fleeing from the oppression of the rulers and the iniquity of the governors (al-Wulat) who burdened the shoulders of the Christians (al-Masihiyin) and intensified the pressure, especially, by increasing the taxes; and we shall single out in the mentioning of these calamities what was in general. And when Ibrahim and Murad, seniors of the Mamluks (al-Mamalik) of Egypt (Misr), resolved to be independent in the government, without leaving a hand in it to the Sublime Porte namely, the Ottoman (`Uthmaniah) State, and had expelled the wazir of the Sultan, they perceived that the State would not remain silent, but would declare war against the two of them, they began to impose on the Egyptians (al-Misriyin) burdensome taxes in a form (which) resembled pillaging and robbing. And they (the people) were oppressed, and they sought aid, and the hour of aid lingered, but the enjoyment of oppression which the Mamluks (al-Mamalik) enjoyed did not equal to anything compared to what Hassan Pasha did, when he warred against them and conquered them and entered Cairo (Al-Kahirah) victorious. And his troops did what the soul loathes to mention and the mind abhors. And they violated the houses of the Christians (al-Masihiyin); and in addition to violation of the rules of decency and their infringement of

(2) I.e. the Ethiopian Era.

— 297 —

the law of humanity in wronging by their behaviour the Christians (an-Nasara), they took their chattels of different kinds and they sold them at the command of the Pasha referred to, in the sight of the people. And thereby how many houses became desolate, and how many houses and dwellings lamented their inhabitants on account of their forsaking them. And by reason of this (it was), that the troops seized the wife of the honourable Mu`allim Abraham (Ibrahim) al-Gawhari, treasurer of accounts of Cairo (Misr), and they compelled her to inform them concerning the hiding-places of the money and other than it of her husband, and she did this being forced, and they pillaged his house, and they left it razed to the ground. And to make things worse, the plague suddenly fell upon Egypt (Misr) with its horses and its armies, and it struck all its lands, towards the year one thousand, five hundred and seven of the Martyrs [1790-1791 A.D.] which corresponds to one thousand, seven hundred and eighty-three of the Coptic (Kibtiyah) Incarnation (Year) (5), and (to) one thousand, seven hundred and ninety-one of the Frankish (Afrangiah) (Year) (6). And there used to die in Cairo (al-Kahirah) on a single day about one thousand, and this plague was known among the people as ' bubonic ' on account of its magnitude and its gravity, so that it annihilated the people. And from among them the plague struck down Ismail Bey who had been appointed governor by the Sublime Porte over Egypt (Misr), and he died from it, and another was set up in his place, and he died also on that same day, et caetera, until it (the plague) annihilated all the relatives of Ismail Bey. And Ibrahim and Murad seized this opportunity, and they returned to Cairo (al-Kahirah), and they seized

(5) I.e. the Ethiopian Era.

(6) I.e. A.D.

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the reins of government, and the millstone of the two of them revolved on its former pivot, when they began to adopt ways of oppression with the Christians (al-Masihiyin) whose condition became such that it called for the occupation of the French (Faransa) of this country, as will follow. As for Abba (Anba) John (Yuannis), he died (in the) year one thousand, five hundred and twelve of the Martyrs [1796 A.D.] which corresponds to one thousand, seven hundred and eighty-eight of the Coptic (Kibtiyah) Incarnation (Year) (5).

Abba (Anba) John (Yuannis) (6), and he is the one hundred and eighth of the number of the Patriarchs.

Concerning him, he was one of the monks of the Monastery of Saint Abba (Anba) Antony (Antunius). And when his predecessor died, the opinion of the priests and the heads of the priests (9) and the archons of the people was agreed upon for his consecration as patriarch, and he was consecrated (in the) year one thousand, five hundred and thirteen of the Martyrs which corresponds (to the) year one thousand, seven hundred and eighty-nine. And he beheld something of the calamities which beset his predecessor, and he shared with the faithful the misfortunes of that ill-omened, ill-starred generation. And his bowels were exhausted in grief, and he suffered through hearing of the ear and seeing of the eye those calamities which overburdened the backs of the Christians (al-Masihiyin). And it grew worse, and its severity became harder, and its bitterness (was) a

(5) I.e. the Ethiopian Era.

(6) John was the name of this patriarch before his consecration, when he look the name Mark. 

(9) I.e. the bishops.

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colocynth at the time, when the troops of Napoleon (Nabuliun) Bonaparte (Bunabarat) occupied this land, (in the) year one thousand, five hundred and fourteen of the Martyrs, that is, one thousand, seven hundred and ninety-eight of the Frankish (Afrangiah) (Year) (2). And (it was) that, when the feet of the French (Faransa) soldiers trod the land of Abu Kir (3) and Alexandria, the rabble of the Muslims (al-Muslimin) in Cairo (al-Kahirah) was inflamed, and they began to cause the Christians (an-Nasara) to drink the cup of bitterness, in spite of endeavours of their amirs who informed them that these Christians (al-Masihiyin) (were) among the subjects of the State, and that he who touches their honour touches the honour of the State itself. But this did not intimidate them, and they did not dread the assault of Bonaparte (Bunabarat) and his impetuous soldiers. And (it was) that, when these fought against the Mamluks (al-Mamalik) and conquered them and took possession of Cairo (al-Kahirah), the Christians (an-Nasara) thought that the troubled atmosphere had cleared for them; (but) there rose up the majority of the Muslims (al-Muslimin), and the sheikhs (as-Shiyukh) of the Azhar Mosque (al-Gami`), and they assembled in it. And they sent the readers to go around the markets, proclaiming: «Let everyone who declares that there is only one God, go to the Azhar Mosque (al-Gami`). This is the day of the holy war (al-Jihad) in the fight against the godless and to take vengeance». And the city was stirred up thereby and agitated, and the Muslims (al-Muslimin) closed their shops, and they girded on their weapons, and they assembled, in the Azhar Mosque (al-Gami`). Then they went about pillaging the houses of the Christians (al-Masihiyin) of different races,

(2) I.e. A.D.

(3) On the coast 23 kilometres east of Alexandria. 

(6) I.e. he who declares «There is no God but God».

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and they killed all whom they encountered without distinction between a man and a woman and a child and an old man. And Upper Egypt (al-Wagah al-Kibli) which customarily was a refuge for every rebel and a retreat for every revolutionary was not with less violence for, when the Mamluks (al-Mamalik) escaped, they began to spread among the people oppression, and they pillaged the possessions of the Christians (an-Nasara). And scarcely did the Christians (an-Nasara) think that they had been delivered from that misfortune, when they fell into worse than it. And this (was) that, when the treaty was broken which was concluded between the French (al-Faransawi) Commander Kleber (Kalibar) and the Grand Wazir at the command of the Sublime Porte (4), the millstone of warfare revolved between the two parties at Al-Matariah. The Muslims (al-Muslimin) took advantage of the occasion of the departure of the troops of France (Faransa) from Cairo (al-Kahirah), and they rose against the Christians (an-Nasara). And Nassif Pasha was one of the commanders of the Ottoman (al-`Uthmani) army. He came to the city with a company of the Mamluks (al-Mamalik), and he proclaimed in it that they had overcome the Franks (al-Afrang), and he commanded the killing of the rest of the Christians (an-Nasara); and they began to slaughter them without discriminating between the Copts (al-Kibti) and the Syrians (as-Suri) and the Franks (al-Afrangi). And `Uthmam Bey, one of the officers of the Turks (al-Atrak), perceived their condition, and he came to Nassif Pasha , and he said to him: «It is not right that they shed the

(4) The Grand Wazir was Yusif Pasha.

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blood of the subjects of the State, for this is contrary to the will of the Sublime Porte. And thereupon he commanded the hands of the Muslims (al-Muslimin) to cease from killing them (the Christians). And the last anguish (which) came to the Copts (al-Akbat) in the days of this father (was) the dismissing of the officials among them (who were) in the diwans of the government, and this (was), when the General (al-Giniral) Menou (Minu) (who) became Commander of the French (al-Faransawi) Army, after the death of Kleber (Kalabar) (who) was assassinated, embraced the Islamic Religion and called himself `Abd Allah and there was born to him an infant whom he named Sulaiman. And the Diwan of Cairo (al-Kahirah) was composed in those days of Copts (al-Akbat) and Muslims (al-Islam), and the former were dismissed, and the diwans were left to the latter, and the collecting of the tax was committed to them. And the duration of the French (al-Faransawiin) in Egypt (Misr) was three years; then they departed, and they were known among the people as the French (al-Faransis). As for the father Mark (Markus), he died (in the) year one thousand, five hundred and twenty-six of the Martyrs [1809 A.D.] which corresponds to the year one thousand, eight hundred and two (6). And there was in the days of this father the amir (7), famous among the Christians (al-Masihiyin) notables, Abraham (Ibrahim) Al-Gawhari, head of the scribes of the Land of Egypt (Misr). The distinguished one, the perfect one, the possessor of prosperous deeds and praiseworthy acts, who has in every monastery and church a memorable work (for which) he is to be thanked. And to him is attributed the foundation of the Church of Al-Azbakiah, and the

(6) I.e. the Ethiopian Era.

(7) Here, merely a title of courtesy.

— 302 —

building of it to his brother George (Girgis). And this (was), that the Copts (al-Akbat) in latter times were (unable) to acquire the authorization from the Government to build a church, except with great difficulty. And it chanced that one of the ladies of the Sultan's family came to Egypt (Misr), purposing (to make) the pilgrimage (2), and Abraham (Ibrahim) al-Gawhari being a superintendent in the Egyptian (al-Misriyah) Government, well-known for his precedence, undertook to arrange for her the service of going and returning, and he offered to her, magnificent gifts. And she wished to reward him for his service which he had undertaken, together with his renowned faithfulness in the Service of the Government, and she asked (him) concerning his wishes. And he begged of her assistance in the issuing of a firman of the Sultan for the permission to build a church at Al-Azbakiah, where his dwelling was established. She accepted his request, and the permission for this was issued to him though her mediation, though he died before he started the building. And when his brother George (Girgis) Effendi (Afandi) occupied his position (4) he agreed with the mentioned father Mark (Markus)(5) and the notables of the denomination, and they built the church (6), whither they transferred the Seat of the Patriarchate (7) to the property of the amir James (Ya`kub) and the Mu`allim Malati who had been officials of high rank at the time of the rule of Bonaparte (Bunabarat).

(2) I.e. to Mecca.

(4) For further particulars about George al-Gawhari, cf. Abd el-Rahman el-Djabakti, op. cit.,t. VII, pp. 393, 397, 400-401, 405.

(5) This patriarch bore the name John before his consecration, when he changed it to Mark.

(6) This church was subsequently demolished to make place for the present Church of Saint Mark.

(7) I.e. from the Harat ar-Rum, cf. O.H.E. KHS-Burmester, A Guide to the Ancient Coptic Churches of Cairo, pp. 75 and 80.

— 303 —

Abba (Anba) Peter (Butrus) the Patriarch, and he is the one hundred and ninth of the number of the patriarchs.

This father was chosen for the patriarchate after the decease of the father Mark (Markus) his predecessor, and he was consecrated (in the) year one thousand, five hundred and twenty-six of the Martyrs [1809 A.D.] which corresponds to one thousand, eight hundred and two (3). As for him, he was one of the monks of Saint Antony (Antunius), and he had been chosen to he metropolitan (Mutran) over Ethiopia (al-Habashah), but his consecration had been deferred by the economy of God. Afterwards he was consecrated general metropolitan (Mutran) for the Preaching of Mark (6). And he remained in the patriarchate until the death of his predecessor. And all the people chose him to be partiarch, (as) a successor to him. And he was consecrated three days after the going to (his) rest of his predecessor. And among his praiseworthy qualities (was) that he was a lover of studying in the Divine Books (7), and assiduous in teaching the people; not a lover of coveting things, long-suffering, self-abased, humble, wise, a possessor of great sagacity and lofty intelligence and eminent direction of his flock of the people. And he composed a book by which he furnished proofs for the teaching of the Church (8). And in his time, Muhammad `Ali Pasha conquered the Sudan, and many of its inhabitants returned to the Christian (al-Masihi) Religion. And he consecrated for them two bishops in sucession; and of the bishops he consecrated about twenty-

(3) I.e. the Ethiopian Era.

(6) I.e. the See of Alexandria. 

(7) I.e. the Holy Scriptures.

(8) Cf. G. Graf, Geschichte der Christlichen Arabischen Literatur, IV, Citta del Vaticano, 1951, pp. 143-144.

— 304 —

three bishops. And of what is worthy to be recorded of the miracles which took place at his hands, and in his time, (is) that the daughter of Muhammad `Ali Pasha, Zahra Pasha, the wife of Ahmad Bey the Defterdar, was possessed by an unclean spirit, and the doctors wearied themselves with tedious toil in treating her, and they were unable to heal her, since this was not a physical sickness. And the renown of Sarapamon (Sarabamun), bishop of Al-Manufiah, for what was given (to him) in the way of the power of casting out evil spirits, filled the Land of Egypt (Misr). And it was mentioned to Muhammad Ali Pasha concerning the possibility of the spiritual leaders (Immah) of the Christians (an-Nasara) with regard to healing his daughter, which caused him to call the father Peter (Butrus), the patriarch, to perform this. And the father, having been informed that his (Muhammad `Ali's) daughter was possessed of an unclean spirit, called the father Sarapamon (Sarabamun), and he commanded him that he should go to the Palace, where Zahra Pasha dwelt. He (Sarapamon) responded to his call and he went to her, and the Palace was crowded with soldiers and multitudes, men and women. And when he commenced to pray over the princess (al-Amirah), the devil stirred in her, and cast her in convulsion on the ground, and she foamed and began to scream with screams which shook the Palace. And the father (Sarapamon) was terrified at this, and he feared an evil result, and he began to seek aid in the power of Christ (al-Masih), crying out with a sorrowful voice, shedding tears and saying: «Great (is) your sin, O Salib ! O Jesus (Yasu`), glorify Your right hand and cause Your Church to be victorious!» When he had completed the prayer and had signed the sign of the Cross over the water, and had sprinkled with it the face of the princess (al-Amirah), the devil cried out with a tormented voice, and he went out from her. And, thereupon, the princess (al-Amirah) arose sound, and she played the music joyfully. And the good news was announced to Muhammad `Ali concerning this, and he came to his daughter, and he found her cured. And he desired to reward the father Sarapamon (Sarabamun), and he tied up

(2) The name which Sarapamon had before his elevation to the episcopacy.

— 305 —

in a purse money amounting to four thousand guineas, and he presented it to the father, but he declined to accept it. And he apologized to him, saying. «It is not the affair of my office, that I should profit by the gifts of the Lord for what is not necessary for me. My dress, as you see, (is) a robe of red (2) wool, and my food (is) bread and cooked lentils. And in place of this(3), I beseech Your Excellency to extend your good-will towards the sons of the Coptic (al-Kibtiyah) people, and to employ its sons who have been dismissed. And he responded to this, but he insisted on his (Sarapamon's) accepting that gift, so he took of it a little, and he distributed it, while passing among the troops. And among these (4) (was), that the Nile (an-Nil) did not come up in a certain year to its measure, and the people were afraid of a calamity of dearth and the misfortune of famine, and they sought aid from the Pasha, entreating him that he should command the spiritual chiefs, that they should raise supplications and prayers on account of the Nile (an-Nil), so that God might bless its waters and irrigate the land, and he did (so). And the Muslims (al-Muslimin) assembled first for the prayer, then the Jews (al-Yahud), then the Greeks (ar-Rum), then the Syrians (as-Suriun), then the Franks (al-Afrang), but the river did not change from its place. Then the Government asked of the father Peter (Butrus) that he should do according to what the rest of the denominations had done. And he (Peter) sent for a group of clerics and a company of the bishops, and he went forth with them to the bank of the river, and he celebrated the Offering of the Mystery of the Eucharist (εὐχαριστία). (6). Then he finished this and he washed the vessels of the Service, and he cast their water with an antidoron (7) into

(2) The word in common parlance is somewhat vague, and can extend even to the colour brown. 

(3) I.e. the money. 

(4) I.e. the miracles. 

(6) I.e. the Divine Liturgy.

(7) The blessed eucharistic loaves which the priest distributes at the end of the Divine Liturgy.

— 306 —

the river. And its waves were immediately agitated, and they were troubled, and they boiled up as a cauldron boils, and they overflowed. And the disciples of the patriarch hastened to take away the vessels of the Celebration, and scarcely had they finished this, when the water overtook them. And the dignity of the patriarch and his denomination became great with the Pasha, and he (Peter) increased in their esteem. And among these (1) (was) what was spread abroad on the tongues of the people that Ibrahim Pasha, when he ruled the Land of Syria (as-Samiah) and ruled over Jerusalem (Aurushalim), called the father Peter (Butrus) to perform the Service of the Issuing-forth of the Light from the Tomb of the Master Christ (al-Masih), according to what the patriarchs of the Greeks (ar-Rum) do every year. But the patriarch (Peter) knowing that this would result in enmity between the Copts (al-Akbat) and the Greeks (ar-Rum) excused himself to the Pasha, and he accepted his excuse; and he besought him that the should be with the Patriarch of the Greeks (ar-Rum) and he (the Pasha) would be the third of them inside the Tomb. And the Pasha was doubtful about the truth of the Light, and the father Peter (Butrus) feared lest the appearance of the Light be delayed and the evil of the consequence. And he began to seek aid in the power of Jesus (Yasu`); and the Church of the Resurrection was overcrowded with multitudes, and the people were harassed from this overcrowding (4). And the Pasha commanded that the poor should go out to the outside of (the Church of) the Resurrection, where (there was) a large courtyard; and he entered into the Tomb and in company with the Patriarch of the

(1) I.e. the miracles.

(4) This appears to have been in 1834, when, according to R. Curzon, Visits to Monasteries in the Levant, London, 1849, pp. 208-219, Ibrahim Pasha was present, though he occupied a gallery in the church. Curzon does not mention the presence of the Coptic Patriarch, but records the panic in which several hundred people lost their lives. Cf. also O.F.A. Meinardus, The Copts in Jerusalem, Cairo, 1960, p. 41.

— 307 —

Greeks (ar-Rum) and the Patriarch of the Copts (al-Akbat). And when the time arrived, the Light burst forth from the Tomb, so that the Pasha was terrified by it, and there came upon him confusion and astonishment, and he cried out, repeating this expression 'Help Father (Baba)', and he was about to fall on the ground, and the father Peter (Butrus) clasped him until he recovered. As for the wretched poor who (were) outside (the Church of) the Resurrection, they were more fortunate than those who were inside it, for one of the pillars of the door (of the Church) of the Resurrection split open, and the Light came forth from it, and they were blessed by it. And in his (Peter's) days Muhammad `Ali Pasha endeavoured to unite the Church of Egypt (Misr) with the Church of Rome (ar-Rumiah), and this (was) that the new arrangements which took place in Egypt (Misr) were through the men of France (Faransa) and its scientists. And when Muhammad `Ali Pasha saw himself overwhelmed by the profuseness of their amiability, he wished to repay them with the like. And since he was at a loss what he should do equal to this, one of the commanders of the army who (was) a papist (Babawiya) counselled him that he should endeavour to unite the Christians (an-Nasara) of Egypt (Misr) to the Church of Rome (Rumiah), and the Franks (al-Afrang) would find this a good deed and a favour equal to their favour. And he called for Al-Mu`allim Ghali and his son Basil (Basilius) Bey, the head of finances; and he commanded both of them that they should do this, and they were in difficulties (about what to do), and they feared the occurrence of a sedition in the denomination. And they answered the Pasha, saying: «To bring over all the denomination to the belief of the Church of Rome (Rumiah) at one time would not be achieved without troubles and the shedding of blood of many. And we see (it) better that this should be done with diplomacy and skill, and this (is), that we ourselves should first adopt the papal (al-Babawi) creed, on the condition that we should not be forced to change our Eastern rites and customs,

— 308 —

and thereby we should be able to bring over gradually the individuals of the denomination». And the Pasha accepted this opinion, and he informed the Franks (al-Afrang), and they rejoiced, and they thanked him for what he had done And for that reason Al-Mu`allim Ghali and his son Basil (Basilius) Bey and a small group of their associates in Cairo (Misr) and Akhmim went over to the papalists (al-Babawiyin) in appearance, but they had in their mind that, after a while, they would return to the bosom of their Church, and notwithstanding this, they continued to show genuine respect to the Orthodox priests and to baptize their children with them. And as for Abba (Anba) Peter (Butrus), he died (in the) year one thousand, five hundred and sixty-eight of the Martyrs [1852 A.D.] which corresponds to the year one thousand, eight hundred and forty-four of the Coptic (Kibtiyah) Christian (Masihiyah) (Year) (4).

Abba (Anba) Cyril (Kirillus) the Patriarch, and he is the one hundred and tenth of the number of the patriarchs.

Concerning him, he was head of the Monastery of Abba (Anba) Antony (Antunius). And when he was chosen for the patriarchate, there occurred a disagreement among the people, and some accepted him, and some rejected him, and his consecration was deferred. Then the opinion of the public was agreed upon him, and he was consecrated a general metropolitan (Mutran) (in the) year one thousand, five hundred and seventy of the Martyrs [1853 A.D.] which corresponds to the year one thousand, eight hundred and forty-six. And he continued (thus) a year and two months, and he displayed a good conduct (which) made him worthy to be a patriarch. And he was consecrated (in the)

(4) I.e. the Ethiopian Era.

— 309 —

year one thousand, five hundred and seventy-one of the Martyrs [1854 A.D.] that is, one thousand, eight hundred and forty-seven of the Christian (Masihiyah) (Year)(2). And to this father is due the refining of the Coptic (al-Kibti) people and their advancement in the stages of progress. And this (was) by what he effused with the utmost of his exertion in the way of educating its youth and teaching them knowledge. And he founded the great Coptic (al-Kibtiyah) School in the patriarchate (3), and he opened another school in the Harat as-Sakkayin and he renewed in it the teaching of the Coptic (al-Kibtiyah) Language at a time when its traces were about to be effaced, for at that time there was not anyone (who) used to speak it at all, but it was used only in all the churches of the Land of Egypt (al-Misri), and only a few people understood its meaning. And he introduced among these (studies) languages of the races, especially, the Arabic (al-`Arabiyah) Language. And he renewed a church in the Harat as-Sakkiyin (6). Then, at the end of his life, he began to build the present great Cathedral Church, after he had taken down the old church. And it was his earnest desire to see it, as it is, in its beautiful splendour and its present (8) fine appearance, but his absence in Ethiopia (al-Habashah) intervened, during which he met with terrifying dangers (which) almost ended his days. And this (was), that certain English (al-Inkliz) (people), after he had gone to Ethiopia (al-Habashah), calumniated him to the Negushe (an-Nagasi) Theodore (Taudurus)(9), and they charged him with the firm resolve to make Ethiopia (al-Habashah) subject to the

(2) I.e. the Ethiopian Era.

(3) This school is still existing.

(4) This school is also still existing.

(5) I.e. of the races living in Egypt.

(6) This is the Church of the Archangel Gabriel, cf. O.H.E. KHS-Burmester, A Guide to the Ancient Coptic Churches of Cairo, p. 52.

(8) I.e. at the time of the writing of this biography.

(9) For an account of Theodore, cf. E.A. Wallis Budge, A History of Ethiopia, vol. II, London, 1928, pp. 492-516.

— 310 —

Egyptian (al-Misriyah) Government, and that (therefore) he had journeyed to Ethiopia (al-Habashah), and (that) the troops of Egypt (Misr) were following behind him. The Negushe (an-Nagasi) flew into a passion (1) at this news, and he commanded the patriarch to be burnt alive. But the Queen resisted him, and she dissuaded him by her prudence from his resolve, and she caused the patriarch to journey to Egypt (Misr) in safety. Then, he (the patriarch) died a little after that. And with regard to his qualities, he was learned, very severe on the ecclesiastics and the people, strict (in observing) the Canons of the Church and its belief. He was on friendly terms with all the denominations, in the good graces of the Government of Egypt (Misr), (and) honoured by the Sons of the Church. He consecrated six bishops including among them Abba (Anba) Basil (Basilius), metropolitan (Mutran) of Jerusalem (Aurshalim) and Abba (Anba) John (Yuannis), metropolitan (Mutran) of (the Province of) Al-Manufiah. And in his time a number of churches were built. And he died (in the) year one thousand, five hundred and seventy-seven of the Martyrs which corresponds to the year one thousand, eight hundred and fifty-three of the Coptic (Kibtiyah) Christian (Masihiyah) (Year) [1861 A.D.], and one thousand, eight hundred and sixty-one of the Frankish (Afrangiah) Christian (Masihiyah) (Year) (5).

Abba (Anba) Demetrius (Dimitrius) the Patriarch, and he is the one hundred and eleventh.

And concerning him, he was the head of the Monastery of Saint Abba (Abu) Macarius (Makar). And when he became patriarch (in the) year one thousand, five hundred and seventy-eight of the

(1) For Theodore's fits of rage, cf. E.A. Wallis Budge, op. cit., p. 493.

(4) I.e. the Ethiopian Era.

(5) I.e. A.D.

— 311 —

Martyrs [1862 A.D.] which corresponds to the year one thousand, eight hundred and fifty-four of the Coptic (Kibtiyah) Christian (Masihiyah) (Year) (2), he followed on the lines of his predecessors, and he followed in the trace of Abba (Anba) Cyril (Klrullus) his predecessor. He completed the building of the great Church (3), since it was lacking roofs and domes. Afterwards, Abba (Anba) Cyril (Kirullus), the one hundred and twelfth, embellished the whole of its interior with painting and golden icons, especially, the screen (4) and he paved its pavement which went round it with marble; and it is the best and the broadest and the highest building, and the most magnificent of the churches of the Copts (al-Akbat) in the Land of Egypt (Misr) (5). And this father Demetrius (Dimitrius) stimulated also the schools and the elementary schools. And good fortune increased for him on presenting himself before the presence of the Shah, the Sultan `Abd al-`Aziz (6), when he honoured the Land of Egypt (Misriyah) and attended the celebration of the opening of the Canal of Suez (as-Suiz). The celebration of its opening (was) on the ninth of the month of Hatur (in the) year one thousand, five hundred and eighty-six of the Martyrs [1869 A.D.] which corresponds to the seventeenth of November of one thousand, eight hundred and sixty-nine of the Frankish (Afranglah) Christian (Masihiyat) (Year) (8), and to the year one thousand, two hundred and eighty-six of the Hegira (Higriah). And he received from the majesty of the Sultan great favour, and he (the Sultan) bestowed on him an amount of cultivated lands for the expenses of the Patriarchate and the schools of the nation (9). And in his days Isma`il Pasha (10) was Khedive, (Khidiwi) of

(2) I.e. the Ethiopian Era.

(3) I.e. the Cathedral Church of St. Mark of al-Azbaktah. 

(4) I.e. the iconostasis.

(5) Of course, the new Cathedral of St. Mark at Al-`Abbasiyah is now the largest Coptic Church. 

(6) Sultan of Turkey (1861 A.D.). 

(8) I.e. A.D.

(9) I.e. the Coptic nation. 

(10) From 1863-1879 A.D.

— 312 —

Egypt (Misr), and he was the first who received from the Sublime Porte the title of Khedive (Khidiwi). And among the memorable acts of Abba (al-Anba) Demetrius (Dimitrius) (was), that he journeyed through Upper Egypt (al-Wagah al-Kibli) on a steamship (which) the Government assigned to him. And he built the western wing of the Patriarchate, and he completed what he had left incomplete of the building at the farm of the Monastery of Abba (Abu) Macarius (Makar)in Atris (Tiris), at the time of his headship. And it came about that he died on the eve of the Feast of the Epiphany (al-Ghitas), the eleventh of the month of Tubah (in the) year one thousand, five hundred and eighty-six of the Martyrs [1870 A.D.] which corresponds to the year one thousand, eight hundred and sixty-two of the Coptic (Kibtiyah) Christian (Masihiyah) (Era) after he had remained patriarch for seven years and seven months and seven days. And on account of the tardiness of the Government to issue the order to consecrate a patriarch for the denomination, the Throne remained vacant after him for four years and nine months and seventeen days. And, at that time, it was Abba (Anba) Mark (Markus), the metropolitan (Mutran) of Alexandria and the administrator of the Preaching of Mark (al-Markusiyah) (5), (who) administered the affairs of the Patriarchate until there took place the consecration of the next father to be mentioned.

Abba (Anba) Cyril (Kirullus) the Patriarch, the one hundred and twelfth of the number of the patriarchs.

And concerning him, (it was), that he was born at Tizmant in the mudiriah of Bani Suif, (in the) year one thousand, five hundred

(4) I.e. the Ethiopian Era.

(5) 'The Preaching of Mark' is a term used for the whole extent of the Patriarchate of Alexandria.

— 313 —

and forty-eight of the Martyrs [1831-1832 A.D.] which corresponds to the year one thousand, eight hundred and twenty-four of the Coptic (Kibtiyah) Christian (Masihiyah) (Era)(2). And he was named John (Hanna), and a short time after his birth, his parents migrated from their place of origin, and they both went to the mudiriah of as-Sharkiyah, and they settled at Kafr Sulaiman as-Sa`idi, and his kindred continued at that Kafr. And after a time (which) was not long, his parents were translated to the eternal abode, and his eldest brother who was called Al-Mu`allim Peter (Butrus) undertook his upbringing, and he took care of his education, and some priests assisted him with this. And he (John) was ordained a deacon at the hand of the father Abba (al-Anba) Abram, metropolitan (Mutran) of Jerusalem (Aurshalim), who was before Abba (al-Anba) Basil (Basilius) the aforementioned. And it was shown forth in this John (Hanna) from his earliest years, that he would become a model of Christian (al-Masihiyah) perfections. His character and instinctive nature were inclined to asceticism and mortification, and he scorned this world and its vanities, and he used to love solitude and the pursuit of learning and the restoring (of manuscripts), and he was given to the exercise of virtues. And he used to avoid the society of youths of his age, fearing lest something of their worldly inclinations might affect him, and (that) his disposition be nourished by their dispositions through the contact of his thoughts with their thoughts. And he was wont to honour his spiritual father, that is the hegoumenos (al-Kummus), to whom he used to confess with an honour surpassing description, and he held him in awe. And, finally, he left the house of his parents, and he went to the Monastery of the Syrians (as-Suryan), and it is one of the four monasteries existing

(2) I.e. the Ethiopian Era.

— 314 —

in the Western Desert. And he did not remain, except a few days, before his family took him back from the monastery through the medium of the priest who had helped in his upbringing, and he returned, but his spirit did not cease to be enamoured with monasticism. And the appeal of the people did not alter the calling of God — magnified and exalted be He! And he abode among his people for a short time, and they humoured him with every expedient, and they used to attract his attention to worldly affairs, and they embellished for him its delights, and they magnified to him the toils of the monks and their heavy yoke. But all these endeavours were of no (avail), except to increase in him an ardent love and passion for the monastic life. And he began to wait for an opportunity, so that he might be able to flee from his people; and he set off headlong for the Monastery of Al-Baramus in the Desert of Scetis (Shihat), and it is the furthest of the four monasteries of the Western Desert. And this (was) in (the month of) Tut (in the) year one thousand, five hundred and sixty-seven of the Martyrs [1850 A.D.] which corresponds to the year one thousand, eight hundred and forty-three of the Coptic (Kibtiyah) Christian (Masihiyah) (Era), and it was the twentieth year of his age. After about a month, he was made a monk, and this monastery was, at that time, in very great indigence, both economically and culturally. Its revenues were very low; they were not sufficient for the needs of its monks, and its lands were in the hands of others who took the proceeds for others than it. And its monks did not obtain the necessary food, except with extreme difficulty; but there used to pass days on which they did not feed on (anything) except the lupines which had been stored up in the monasteries

— 315 —

from the days of the late Abraham (Ibrahim) al-Gawhari the possessor of excellent deeds and noble actions — may God sanctify his spirit! — and for these reasons the number of its monks decreased, so that it arrived at four persons. And some people reported that the monastery contained once (only) one person, and he remained in it alone about three years. And this was some years before the monkhood of the possessor of this biography (2). And the possessor of this biography conducted himself in the monastery in the best conceivable manner of asceticism. And when the monks saw this in him, their opinion was agreed upon with the father `Awad al-Barhimi, the steward at the monastery, at that time, for his advancement to the rank of the noble priesthood. And they wrote for him a testimonial letter (at-Tazkiyah), and they sent him to Cairo (al-Kahirah) (to) the Harat Zuwailah, in the first (days) of the year one thousand, five hundred and sixty-eight of the Martyrs [1851 A.D.], that is, one thousand, eight hundred and forty-four of the Coptic (Kibtiyah) Christian (Masihiyah) (Era) (5). Then he returned to the monastery, and the monks chose him to be the intendant of their affairs, and he undertook the duties of monasticism, and he performed its obligations well. And I am not able to describe what he possessed in the way of virtues, chastity and faithfulness, and asceticism and surpassing humility and meekness and longsuffering, and sincerity in word and in deed with God and man; and his extreme love for the stranger and the neighbour, and his charity for the needy and his alms-givings to the monks from his personal income which he used to gain from copying manuscripts. And he was a great consolation to those who observed his sayings and his deeds. And the conditions of the monastery were ameliorated through his efforts, and the number of the monks increased in it, and they followed on his straight paths

(2) I.e. the Patriarch Cyril V.

(5) I.e. the Ethiopian Era.

— 316 —

in the way of Christian (al-Masihi) perfection, and they used to scorn the vanities of this world. And the number of the monks after this reached up to thirty and above it, among whom several had migrated from other monasteries to it, by reason of the good conduct of this father and his good treatment. And this father continued to perform the affairs of his office with all his energy and ability, directing and teaching and instructing and discipling, carrying out the voice of the Apostle which says: «Let everyone be according to whatever gift he has received, ministering it among one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God; if anyone speaks (speaking) as (it were) the oracles of God, and if anyone ministers (ministering) as of the strength which God bestows; that He may be glorified in everything through Jesus (Yasu`) Christ (al-Masih)» — First Peter (Butrus) chapter IV, verses 10-11 — . And the saying of our teacher Paul (Bulus): «We were gentle in your midst, as the nurse fosters her children — First Thessalonians (Tasaluniki), chapter II, verse seven. In brief, he reached in the way of sanctity and good devotion the climax of what was possible in his generation. And, in the meanwhile, the distinguished hegoumenos (al-Kummus) `Abd al-Masih al-Mas`udi, son of George (Girgis), associated with him, and he was from the people who supported him and who helped him together with the mentioned father `Awad. Then (it was), that the patriarch Abba (Anba) Demetrius (Dimitrius) called the possessor of the biography, (in the) year one thousand, five hundred and seventy-nine of the Martyrs [1862-1863 A.D.] to the Patriarchal Residence, and he ordained him hegoumenos (Ighumanus), and he appointed him an assistant at the Cathedral Church at Al-Azbakiah. And his parting was very hard to bear for the monks, and they were not able to bear patiently his separation, and they wrote to the preceding patriarch, beseeching him to send him back to

(3) I.e. the patriarch Cyril V.

— 317 —

administer their affairs, but he did not comply with their entreaty, and they reiterated the entreaty several times, and the patriarch accepted at the end of the affair their entreaty, and he sent him back to his place. And he remained undertaking the charge of his functions in the best way, so that the metropolitans (al-Matarinah) and the bishops and the notables of the Coptic (al-Kibtiyah) denomination chose that he should be patriarch. And the Government charged the governor (Mudir) of (the Province of) Al-Buhairah (to bring him) to Cairo (al-Kahirah), and he came to it, willingly or unwillingly, and after some days, his consecration took place on Sunday, the twenty-third of (the month of) Babah (in the) year one thousand, five hundred and ninety-one of the Martyrs which corresponds to the year one thousand, eight hundred and sixty-seven of the Coptic (Kibtiyah) Christian (Masihiyah) (Era)(2), and to the year one thousand, eight hundred and seventy-five of the Frankish (al-Afrangiyah) Christian (Masihiyah) (Era)(3), with great celebrations by all of the denominations, with the name Cyril (Kirullus) the Fifth, as regards his name, and the one hundred and twelfth of the number of the patriarchs. And he commenced to undertake the charge of his office and its affairs, and he turned to the care, for example, of the management of the schools and their organization, and he multiplied the teachers in them, so as to hasten the progress of the scholars; and he introduced into them the Arabic (al-`Arabiyah) studies and mathematics, as arithmetic and algebra and geometry. And when he saw that the two schools, that is, the Patriarchal School and the school in the Harat as-Sakkayin were not sufficient for the teaching of the scholars of the children of the denomination, he established a new school in the Harat Zuwailah and another at Bulak. Then he turned his

(2) I.e. the Ethiopian Era. 

(3) I.e. A.D.

— 318 —

care, for example, to the monasteries which (were) in the neighbourhood of Cairo (al-Kahirah). And he found them on the point of declining to extinction, and he commenced to exert his utmost care in repairing them and in renewing them. And these his memorable acts are in the Monastery of Saint Barsum (Barsum) the Naked in the way of a beautiful mansion (al-Kasr) which he constructed, and the beautiful garden which he planted on the right of the Monastery, and he planted in it all kinds of trees; and the graceful buildings which he erected at the Monastery of Saint Mercurius (Markurius) at the side of Tamwai, and the church and the mansion (al-Kasr) which he built at the Monastery of the Saint, my lord (Mari) George (Girgis), at Turah on the bank of the Nile (an-Nil), and the mansion (al-Kasr) which he constructed at the Monastery of Al-`Adawiyah And these are his memorable deeds in Cairo, (al-Kahirah), in the way of the screen of the great Cathedral Church, and the paintings and sculptures which gave to this church its splendour and its beautiful appearance; and the beautiful wing which he built on the southern side of the Patriarchate, and a school for girls which he built on the north-eastern side of the Patriarchate at the large street; and a school for boys which is in the Patriarchate of Alexandria (8), and other (things) than these, in the way of assisting in the building of churches, as the Church of the Harat as-Sakkayin and the Church of Al-Faggalah, and others

(8) This school is still existing. 

(10) Church of the All-Holy Virgin Mary.

— 319 —

than these two. And, on the other hand, he took care of the affairs of the Church, and he commanded the propagation of religions books among its sons, and he urged the monks to study and to read the Holy Scriptures, and he opened for them schools in the monasteries. And the Western Monasteries(1) had a school at the Monastery of Al-Baramus, and the two Eastern Monasteries (3) had a school at the Monastery of Antony (Antunius) and at (the Monastery) Al-Muharrak (there was) a school. And he opened the Ecclesiastical School in Cairo (al-Kahirah) for students from among the youths and the priests of the churches and the monks. And in these his days there were published by the sons of the Coptic (al-Kibtiyah) community (millah) and its priests a quantity of books of sermons and books on religions instruction and scientific and historical works. And His Grandeur had a great hand in the publication of these books and, in his time, the standard of degree of the Clergy was raised somewhat in learning and knowledge. Also the knowledge of the Coptic (al-Kibtiyah) Language increased and spread; and it was, (that) many were able to speak in it, and they compiled in it a number of books for studying (it), and they printed them. And it was, (that) some (people) used to present to His Grandeur sometimes a petition or letter in Coptic (al-Kibtiyah), since he understood it well. And he himself visited Lower Egypt (al-Wagah al-Bahari) twice, and Upper Egypt (al-Wagah al-Kibli) once only. He received from the sons of the denomination the best of receptions, and intense satisfaction and the greatest joy and delight on his arrival, even as they found in him the greatest consideration for their interests. And he attended well to the Ethiopian (al-Habasiyah) Diocese (e0parxi/a),

(1) I.e. the monasteries in the Wadi 'n-Natrun.

(3) I.e. in the Eastern Desert.

— 320 —

and he consecrated for it a metropolitan (Mutran) and three bishops together, on account of its extent; and this was in the days of Tawfik Pasha (1), the exalted Khedive (Khidiwi) of Egypt (Misr), and of His Majesty, the King John (Yuhanna) (2), Sultan of Ethiopia (al-Habas). And the name of the metropolitan (al-Mutran) (was) Abba (Anba) Peter (Butrus), and (those of) the bishops (were) Abba (Anba) Matthew (Mattaus) and Abba (Anba) Mark (Markus) and Abba (Anba) Luke (Lukas). And no matter what exaggeration (there be) in eulogizing the continence of the mentioned patriarch, and his asceticism and his endurance of hardships and his patience in afflictions, I am not able to complete the description of a part of the excellent features of his character and the praise of his sobriety, that is, his spiritual affairs, and, in short, he excelled others in the course of virtue, and his heart became a captive of compassion and pity, and he was moulded for the love of the needy and for assisting them. And all the sons of the denomination testified concerning him (that) he was wont to wipe away the tears of the widow and the tears of the aged by the hand of alms, and to feel for the bereaved, and to grieve for the dejected, and to exert himself and to labour to remove the anguish of the afflicted, and not to spare pains to find a livelihood for households which were crushed by the vicissitudes of the times (which) subjected by their destructive power the calamities of events. And the conduct of this good father towards God and the neighbour and himself doubled his esteem, and created for him a great place in the eyes of kings and rulers and governors, and they presented him with decorations. And the late Khedive (Khidiwi) Tawfik Pasha (4) conferred on him the Order of Al-Medjidi (al-Magidi), first class, and our beloved sovereign, the Khedive (Khidiwi) `Abbas Hilmi Pasha (5), the second son of Tawfik Pasha, conferred on him the same mentioned Order. And His Majesty, the

(1) I.e. 1879-1892 A.D.

(2) I.e. John IV.

(4) From 1879-1914 A.D.

(5) From 1892-1914 A.D.

— 321 —

Sultan `Abd al-Hamid Khan the Greatconferred on him the Ottoman (al-`Uthmani) Order of the first class, and the Muscovite (al-Muskub) Tsar (Kaisar) conferred on him an Order of the first class, and John (Yuhanna) Kasa, the aforementioned King of Ethiopia (al-Habas), presented him with a crown and a cross and magnificent gifts. And over and above this, the Egyptian (al-Misriyah) Government appointed him a member in the Advisory Council amongst the deputies of the nation. And up to the end of (the year) one thousand, six hundred and ten of the Martyrs [1894 A.D.] which corresponds to (the year) one thousand, eight hundred and eighty-six of the Coptic (Kibtiyah) Christian (Masihiyah) (Era), the number of those whom he elevated to the rank of the metropolitanate (al-Matraniah) and the episcopacy (was) nineteen, and they (were) from all the monasteries, and mostly from the two monasteries Al-Muharrak and Abba (Anba) Antony (Antunius). And there befell this father some reproaches in (the) year one thousand, six hundred and eight and one thousand, six hundred and nine of the Martyrs [1891-1893 A.D.] on account of disputes which occurred at that time. And this (was) that, when Abba (Anba) Mark (Markus), Metropolitan (Mutran) of Alexandria, was in charge of the direction of the affairs of the denomination, after the decease of Abba (Anba) Demetrius (Dimitrius), as was said before, he formed a council of twelve members, so that they might share with him in the work, and he acted on this wise, and the mentioned council lasted until the time of the father Abba (Anba) Cyril (Kirullus); and sometimes during the years the council was in abeyance, and sometimes it held its sessions. Then (it was), that

(1) Sultan of Turkey, 1876 A.D. 

(2) Probably Alexander II.

(5) I.e. the Ethiopian Era.

— 322 —

the members of the council wished to look after the interests of the churches and their conditions, and after the schools and the inalienable endowments (al-Aukaf), and the ordination of the priests, and other (things) than these, with regard to setting right matters which (were) unbecoming. Especially, their purpose (was) to bring under their hands the inalienable endowments (al-Aukaf) of the monasteries and the churches and the cells of the bishops and the metropolitans (al-Matarinah), and to expend from them (the inalienable endowments) on them (the monasteries, etc.) money, besides taking salaries from them (the inalienable endowments) for those whom they used to employ to define their (the monasteries, etc.) limits, such as the scribe and the overseer. And this occasioned for the inalienable endowment (al-Wakf) a dispersal and a loss for its beneficiaries. And this father, the patriarch, and the bishops and the monks and others than they, did not wish for this. And the disagreement between the two parties continued, but the members of the council were supported by the Government, and they induced it to remove him (the patriarch) to the Monastery of Al-Baramus And he (the patriarch) journeyed from Alexandria on Friday, the twenty-eighth of (the month of) Misra (in the) year one thousand, six hundred and eight of the Martyrs [1892 A.D.]. Then it (the Government) brought him back with respect and honour, and he reached Cairo (al-Kahirah) on Saturday, the twenty-eighth of (the month of) Tubah (in the) year one thousand, six hundred and nine [1893 A.D.], as the writers of undoubted word have explained. And all the community (al-millah) and also the Government itself knew that the right lay in the hand of the father, the patriarch, and that he strove for it. As regards the Egyptian (al-Misriyah) Government in the days of this father — we have said that his consecration took place in the year one thousand, five hundred and ninety-one of the Martyrs [1874 A.D.], as

— 323 —

has been stated, and this (was) in the days of Isma`il Pasha (1) Khedive (Khidiwi) of Egypt (Misr), son of Ibrahim, son of Muhammad `Ali Pasha the Great — there occurred on the nineteenth of (the month of) Bau'unah (in the) year one thousand, five hundred and ninety-five which corresponds to the twenty-fifth of the European (month of) Huzairan (3) (in the) Frankish (Afrangiah) year one thousand, eight hundred and seventy-nine, the abdication of the mentioned Khedive (Khidiwi). And his son, Tawfik Pasha (4) governed, and he continued in the Khedivate (al-Khidiwiah) for twelve years and a half. And in the days of this Khedive (al-Khidiwi) an important event occurred which spread abroad in all the world. And this (was), that towards the end of the year one thousand, five hundred and ninety-eight [1882 A.D.] Ahmad `Urabi Pasha director of the Egyptian (al-Misriyah) military service, whose origin (was) from the Province (Mudiriah) of As-Sarkiah, rebelled against this Khedive (al-Khidiwl). And the two States, England (Inklitara) and France (Faransa), threatened him, and they commanded him to desist, and he did not desist. And they both sent their fleets to the harbour of Alexandria, and they threatened him with bombardment. And he began to fortify the forts and to raise armies. And the English (al-Inkliz) fought against him, and they routed him at Tall al-Kabir, on the fifth of (the month of) Tut (in the) year one thousand, five hundred and ninety-nine of the Martyrs which corresponds to the fourteenth of the European (month of) Ailul (11) of the Frankish (Afrangiah) Year, or (Year) of the Incarnation, one thousand, eight

(1) From 1863-1879 A.D. 

(3) I.e. June.

(4) From 1879-1892 A.D.

(11) = September.

— 324 —

hundred and eighty-two. And they dispersed the gathering of his troops, and their armies marched to Cairo (al-Kahirah), and they entered it on the following day without the least resistance; and there did not occur from them the least harm to anyone, and not the least injustice to anyone, and this was marvellous to us. And they took the Citadel and they seized `Urabi and his company, and they proclaimed the supremacy of the Khedive (al-Khidiwi). And after they had judged them and had proved their treason, they exempted them from the death penality, and they exiled them to the Island of Ceylon (Silan) in India (al-Hind). And this is the cause of the entry of the English (al-Inkliz) (into) the Land of Egypt (Misr), and their interference in its administration together with the Khedive (al-Khidiwi), but it did not cease to be subject to the Ottoman (al-`Uthmani) State, as (it was) before. And, again, while the revolt of `Urabi (al-`Urabiah) was taking place in Egypt (Misr), there arose a man from the Arabs (`Arab) of the south of Africa (Afrika)(3), whose name was Muhammad Ahmad (who) surnamed himself the Mahdi (al-Mahdi) And he gathered around him armies from among the people, and he advanced with them to the Sudanese (as-Sudaniah) lands which (were) under the rule of Khedivial (Khidiwiah) Egypt (Misr), and little by little he gained possession of these districts, and the furtherest rule of Egypt (Misr) to the south was up to Wadi Haifa. And the Egyptian (al-Misriyah) armies repulsed and overcame them there, and they took captive a great number of them; and, also, Suakin remained in the hand of Egypt (Misr). And on the twenty-ninth of (the month of) Kihak (in the) year one thousand, six hundred and eight of the Martyrs which corresponds to the year one thousand, eight hundred and ninety-two of the

(3) The term 'Afrikah' was formerly applied to the northern littoral of the Continent of Africa, and, consequently,'south of Africa' would be those districts bordering the Sudan.

— 325 —

Frankish (Afrangiah) (Era) (1), Tawfik Pasha died, and a few days after that his son, His Honour, the great Khedive (al-Khidiwi) `Abbas Pasha Hilmi the Second, governed in his stead. And Muhammad `Ali Pasha the Great was the head of this Muhammad (al-Muhammadiah) family, and he had made it a condition (that) after him the inheritance of the rule (should be) for the eldest of his family. And when the rule was confirmed for Ismail Pasha the aforementioned, he made it a condition (that) after him the inheritance of the rule (should be) in his own family, that is, for his first-born son, then for the son of his son in accordance with the European (al-`Urubiah) way, contrary to the aforementioned way. And in the matter of inheritance, the end aimed at is the benefit and tranquillity and uprightness of conditions for both the rulers and their subjects, in view of affairs to which a nation does not attain, (when) the rule of it is transferable, not hereditary, as is apparent to those who have intelligence and (are) statesmen. And among these matters (is that) he whose investiture is sought, being (already) designated, (there will be) no apprehension and no contention at the time of the investiture. Secondly, being brought up in the house of princedom, he will not be ignorant of the affairs of State and its laws and its politics. Thirdly, not being antagonistic to his predecessor, he will not reject his (the predecessor's) laws and his good regulations in which his experiences were put to the test, both he and his men, but he will walk according to them, and will increase them in goodness. Fourthly, all what belongs to his father being his, he will not oppress the subject, and he will not wrong him by amassing perishable money or other than this of good things which proceeds from the inheritance and passes away after it; and, in a word, we say that the Egyptian (al-Misriyah) State in the days of this father (3) was at the highest degree of justice and good order and arrangement. And it removed religious fanaticism, and almost established equality

(1) I.e. A.D.

(2) From 1863-1879 A.D. 

(3) I.e. Cyril V.

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between its subjects, Christian (Nasara) and Islam (Islam), and it eliminated most of the injustice, and it realized much in the way of beneficial works for the benefit of all the inhabitants. Among which the making of the railway and the telegraph and the post, and the creating of canals and causeways and dams for irrigating the lands, and the founding of paper and sugar factories; and there multiplied fire or steam machines, and enactments of regulations and laws and severe control together with the generalization of personal and religions liberty, and the opening of schools and the diffusion of sciences and arts. And the conditions of the city of Cairo (al-Kahirah), the capital of this country, improved, its buildings extended and its streets were arranged and lighted by gas, and water-pipes were laid in them, and schools and printing-presses, besides other arrangements multiplied in it; and, likewise, the city of Alexandria. And, also, in these days relations and trade between the countries of the world multiplied, since journeys to them were facilitated on account of trains on land and steamships, and the transmission of news was facilitated on account of the telegraph and the post, and the multiplication of newspapers and printed books. And scholars multiplied greatly, especially, in Europe (Auruba), and the Europeans (al-Aurubiun) multiplied in the Land of Egypt (Misr), and by means of them, especially, the French (al-Faransawiyin) and the English (al-Inkliz), these engineering and scientific and political works have come into existence, in order to organize the country. The beginning of these organizations was in the days of Muhammad `Ali Pasha, and they have not ceased to increase up to our present time. And, in short, the Land of Egypt (Misr) was similar to the European (al-Aurubiah) kingdoms in organizations; and praise (be) to God for His graces! Now we turn to the mention of the monasteries in the days of this father (1) and we say that from the study of Church histories it is learned that in the first generations of monasticism there were in the Land of Egypt (Misr) hundreds of monasteries inhabited by monks, but (that) after that, they became devastated, and they became few.

(1) I.e. Cyril V.

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And we know that some of them were rebuilt in the last generations, as the Monastery of Abba (Anba) Pishoi (Bishui) and the Monastery of Abba (Anba) Antony (Antunius) and the Monastery of Abba (Anba) Paul (Bula). And the monasteries of the monks which were in the days of this father (4) (are) seven, of which four (are) in the Desert of Scetis (Shihat) in the Western Desert. And the first (is) the Monastery of the Virgin, the Monastery al-Baramus, the place of origin (6) of His Grandeur as has been stated, only it is called the Monastery Baramus, in the name of the sons of Rome (ar-Rum) (7), the Saints Maximus (Maksimus) and Dometius (Dumadius), and the second (is) the Monastery of the Virgin, known as the Monastery of the Syrians (as-Surian), and it is called by this name, because, formerly, it comprised a number of Coptic (al-Kibti) monks and Syrian (as-Surian) monks together, but, afterwards, not one of the Syrians (as-Surian) remained. And the third (is) the Monastery of Saint Abba (Anba) Pishoi (Bishui) in proximity to the mentioned monastery, and the two of them (are) to the south-east of the Monastery Baramus, at a distance of two hours. And the fourth (is) the Monastery of Saint Abba (Abu) Macarius (Makar), father of the Western Desert, and it is to the south-east of the Monasteries of the Syrians (as-Surian) and Abba (Anba) Pishoi (Bishui), at a distance of two hours and three-quarters of an hour (9). And these four monasteries

(4) I.e. Cyril V.

(6) I.e. where the Patriarch was a monk.

(7) I.e. of the Roman Emperor Valentinian I, cf. O.H.E. KHS-Burmester, A Guide to the Monasteries of the Wadi 'n-Natrun, p. 8.

(9) I.e. on foot.

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are situated west of the Province (Mudiriah) of Al-Bahairah, west of Bani Salamah and At-Tarranah and Kafr Dauud and they are termed the northern and the western monasteries. And two monasteries in the Eastern Desert, and they (are) the Monastery of the great Saint Abba (Anba) Antony (Antunius), father of the monks in all the world, and the Monastery of Saint Abba (Anba) Paul (Bula): and these two monasteries are next to the Province (Mudiriah) of Bani Suif, to the east, in the Eastern Desert and, therefore, they are termed the eastern monasteries. And one travels to the Monastery of Antony (Antunius) three days in the desert, and as for Abba (Anba) Paul (Bula), (it is) four days and a fraction, passing by the Monastery of Antony (Antunius). And the seventh (is) the Monastery Al-Muharrak in the Province (Mudiriah) of Asyut, at the foot of the western mountain, and it is now the most (populated) of the monasteries with regard to monks; and it is thought that it is (one) of the monasteries of Saint Abba (Anba) Pachomius (Bakhum), father of coenobitic life, and God knows (best). And in these seven monasteries (there are) about four or five hundred monks; and each of these monasteries has its own lands to cultivate from gifts and from purchase, in addition to the inalienable endowments. And of the devastated monasteries, traces of which remain to this our day, (there are) in proximity to the inhabited monasteries, the Monastery of Abba (Anba) Moses (Musa) the Black at the side of the Monastery Al-Baramus in the north, and the Monastery

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of Abba (Abu) John (Yuhinnis) (which) is separated from the Monastery of the Syrians (as-Surian) and (that of) Abba (Anba) Pishoi (Bishui) by some distance to the south-east, and (there are) a group of monasteries near the Monastery of Saint Macarius (Makarius) Then the Monastery of Saint John (Yuhanna) Climax (ad-Daragi) near by the Gulf of Suez (as-Suiz), in the direction of the Monastery of Antony (Antunius), to the north of it. And, in addition to this, many monasteries are found in the Rif (which are) completely devoid of monks, but they are used as churches for prayer by the people of the district, such as the Monastery of (Barsum) the Naked, called also the Monastery of Shahran, and the Monastery of Mercurius (Markurius) Abba (Abu) Saifain at Tammuah, south of Cairo (al-Kahirah), and the Monastery of Abba (Anba) Shenouti (Shanudah) and the Monastery of Abba (Anba) Pishoi (Bishai) in the Province (Mudiriah) of Girga (Girga), and there are many others than these. Note: Know that the Monastery al-Muharrak was reduced in monks in the early part of the sixteenth century of the Martyrs, that is the nineteenth (century) of Christ (al-Masih) (14). And it was (that), at that time, a secular (15)

(14) I.e. A.D.

(15) I.e. a priest who has the title «Kummus» though he is not a monk.

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hegoumenos (Kummus) from Al-Kusiah, called Al-Kummus `Abd al-Masih, (who) used to serve it. And after this, the monks increased and multiplied little hy little, and they enlarged the place and multiplied its possessions. And since the Monastery was the sole one in Upper Egypt (as-Sa`id), (where there are) many Christians (an-Nasara), Copts (al-Kibt), and no other monasteries are neighbouring to it, therefore, it became the greatest of the monasteries (as regards the number of) monks. As for the convents of the nuns which were inhabited in the days of this father (2), there were five of them, three in Cairo (al-Kahirah and they are the Convent of my lord (Mari) George (Girgis) in the Harat Zuwailah, and the Convent of the Virgin mentioned and the Convent of the Harat ar-Rum; and two in Old Cairo (Misr), and they are the Convent of Saint Mercurius (Markurius), Abba (Abu) Saifain, and the Convent of my lord (Mari) George (Girgis); and in each of these five (convents) there is a number of nuns. And, in addition to this, nuns were found in the houses of their fathers from the beginning of their nunhood. As for the sees of the metropolitans (al-Matarinah) and the bishops, there were in the days of this father nineteen, and these are: the first (is) the See of the Metropolitan (Mutran) of Jerusalem (Aurushalim) who has greater and wider districts than (those) of the Land of Egypt (Misr), and he used to reside at Al-Mansurah or at other than it of the towns of Egypt (Misr), and, occasionally, at the noble Jerusalem (al-Kuds) or at Jaffa (Yafa). And the second (is) the Metropolitan (Mutran) of Al-Manufiah, and the third (is) the Metropolitan (Mutran) of Alexandria and vicar of the Preaching of

(2) I.e. Cyril V.

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Mark (al-Markusiah)(1). And in the year one thousand, six hundred and ten of the Martyrs [1893-1894 A.D.], the See of Al-Manufiah was added to him, after the going to his rest of Abba (Anba) John (Yu'annis) its metropolitan (Mutran). And the fourth (is) the bishop of Al-Fayum and the fifth (is) the bishop of Al-Bahnasah, and the sixth (is) the bishop of Bani Sulf, and the seventh (is) the bishop of Al-Minya, and the eighth (is) the bishop of Sanabu, and the ninth (is) the bishop of Manfalut, and the tenth (is) the bishop of Asyut, and the eleventh (is) the bishop of Abu Tig, and the twelfth (is) the bishop of Akhmim and the thirteenth (is) the bishop of Kina and the fourteenth (is) the bishop of Isna. All these (are) in the Land of Egypt (Misr), and the fifteenth (is) the bishop of Al-Khartum (15), who is the bishop of Nubia (an-Nubah), who, when the Sudan (as-Sudan) revolted against the Egyptian (al-Misriah) Government, as stated, and there befell the Christians (an-Nasara) affliction and fear, left his place and returned to Old Cairo (Misr) and resided at it. And the sixteenth up to the nineteenth (are) the Metropolitan (Mutran) of Ethiopia (al-Habashah) and his three bishops. Nevertheless, these sees are susceptible to increase and decrease, for instance, when the Metropolitan (Mutran) of Cairo (Misr), Abba (Anba) Mark (Markus) went to his rest, no one was consecrated in his stead, and other than what we have mentioned.

(1) I.e. the whole extent of the See of Alexandria.

(15) The Capital of the Sudan.

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Then, when Thursday the twenty-third of (the month of) Babah in the year one thousand, six hundred and eleven of the Martyrs [1894 A.D.] came, there was completed the twentieth year for the father, the patriarch, in his leadership. And, at that time, the vicar of the patriarchate, the hegoumenos (al-Kummus) Theodore (Tadrus) Menas (Mina), minister of the Church of my lord (Mari) Menas (Mina) published announcements in Cairo (al-Kahirah) and in all the churches in the Land of Egypt (Misr), so that all the priests and the rest of the Orthodox (ὀρθόδοξος) Christian (al-Masihi) people should observe the feast of the enthronement of the father, the patriarch, on the Apostolic Throne (3), on the twenty-third of (the month of) Babah (4) with festivities on this day, celebrating the Divine Liturgy (al-Karabin al-Mukaddasah) and prayers to the Divine Majesty in commemoration of the enthronement of His Exalted Eminence, the upholder of the succession (5), that He may bring back this day to the Patriarchal See for numerous years and long, peaceful times, happy and gladdened with health and soundness, (with) all his Orthodox Christian (al-Masihi) people, enjoying in his prosperous days good things and blessings and felicity and happiness, under the shadow of His Magnificent Khedival (al-Khidiwiah) Presence(6); that He (God) may grant to all the great kings and the majestic sultans power and soundness and health. And thus it (the anniversary) became (a custom), especially, at the great Patriarchal Church, when the people of Cairo (al-Kahirah) and their notables and some of the heads of the monasteries and the priests celebrated it on the mentioned day. And after the Divine Liturgy, they congratulated His Lordship (7) and they pronounced speeches before him, and the rejoicing was general and universal.

Finished.

(3) I.e. the See of Alexandria founded by Saint Mark. 

(4) = 1st November, 1874 A.D.

(5) I.e. the succession of patriarchs from Saint Mark. 

(6) I.e. the Khedive. 

(7) I.e. Cyril V.

ERRATUM

Pages viii and xi of the Introduction, read Cyril IV (1854-1861 A.D.) instead of Cyril IV (1853-1870 A.D.).

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