Information about Saint Bishoy Monastery

Saint Bishoy Monastery is the most famous Coptic Orthodox monastery named after Saint Bishoy. Moreover, it located in Wadi El Natrun. It is the easternmost monastery among the four current monasteries of the Nitrian Desert. The monastery founded by St. Bishoy in the fourth century. On 13 December 841 Pope Joseph I fulfilled the desire of Saint Bishoy. He moved his body as well as that of Saint Paul of Tammah to this monastery. Up to that date, the two saints bodies were at the monastery of Saint Bishoy at Deir El Barsha. Today, the two bodies lie in the main church of Saint Bishoy Monastery.

Saint Bishoy monastery contains the relics of Saint Bishoy, Saint Paul of Tammah. It is besides to the relics of other saints. The body of Saint Bishoy remains in in-corruption until the present time. Pope Shenouda III also interred there. Saint Bishoy monastery has five Churches. The main one named after Saint Bishoy. The other Churches named after the Virgin Mary, Saint Iskhiron. They also named after Saint George and Archangel Michael. The monastery surrounded by a keep. It built in the fifth century AD to protect the monastery against the attacks of the Berbers. An initial castle built early in the twentieth century.

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Later, it replaced by a four-storied castle built by Pope Shenouda III. Besides, the monastery contains a well known as the Well of the Martyrs. Berbers washed their swords in this well after killing the Forty Nine Elder Martyrs of Scetes. They threw the bodies of the martyrs in the well. Christians buried the bodies in the nearby Monastery of St. Macarius the Great. Under the reposed Pope Shenouda III, the Monastery of Saint Bishoy began to expand. It was with new land around the monastery which purchased and developed. Cattle breeding, and poultry dairy facilities also developed. Ancient buildings and churches also restored.

Cells for monks, retreat houses, a house for the Coptic Pope built. Annexes for a reception area, an auditorium, conference rooms, fences and gates also built. Pope Shenouda buried here after his death in March 2012. You can sit in the garden of Saint Bishoy monastery. Moreover, you can wander around the new cathedral. You can watch the resident monks go about their daily chores. You can also enjoy lovely views of the desert from its rooftop. Please dress while visiting the Coptic monasteries. Wadi El Natrun located 100 km northwest of Cairo in the Western Desert. The only way to get there is by car or by bus. West Delta Buses leave every hour from the Heliopolis station.

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