St Shenouda is one of the fifth century’s most renowned Egyptian monastic leaders. During his monastic leadership his community grew to around four thousand monks and nuns. His spiritual ministry and miraculous works extended beyond the walls of his monastery to surrounding villages. He is known for his large library of Coptic Christian writings that are scattered today in museums and libraries all over the world. He did not gain much attention from the western writers of the time such as Jerome, Palladius, and John Cassian, because of his patriotism to the Coptic language and culture which dissociated him from many Greek and Latin writers. His life comes to us in Coptic in both dialects, Sahidic and Bohairic. This translation of the Arabic life of St Shenouda is from the edition by the French Coptologiest Amelineau. It is believed that this Arabic life is a translation from the Sahidic Coptic life, sometime in the seventh century.
By H.G. Bishop Youssef
“The orientation of the monk is towards heaven, towards the life of another world. For this reason they are referred to as ‘earthly angels’; for while dwelling on earth they live as true citizens of heaven. To visit them is to visit the earthly paradise.” – The Sayings of the Desert Fathers “Angels are a [...]
Eyewitness accounts of the lives and teachings of the fourth-century Desert Fathers from the Historia monachorum in Aegypto. In the year 394 seven monks from Palestine made a difficult journey through the Egyptian desert, drawn there by stories of remarkable men. What they found in the communities living far up the Nile Valley fully accorded [...]
On Ascetical Life Isaac of Nineveh was a native of Bet Qatraye near present-day Bahrain on the Persian Gulf. A teacher and monk, he was consecrated bishop (ca. 660-680), but preferred to live out his live as an anchorite. A Scriptural scholar, he studies Scripture so much that he became blind and had to dictate [...]
Journeys in Ancient and Modern Egyptian Monasticism Give me a word, Father. From the time of Saint Antony ‘at least ‘younger monks would ask older, experienced monks, abbas or ammas ( ‘fathers ‘ or ‘mothers ‘), for a saving word, for advice, for wise counsel on how to live. In this book, Coptic scholar and [...]