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Wadi El Natrun

Wadi El Natrun Egypt

Wadi El Natrun Egypt information, tours, prices, booking

Wadi El Natrun is a northwest oriented desert depression. Moreover, Wadi El Natrun located about 60 km in the Western Desert near the delta. Wadi El Natrun lies some 23 m below sea level. The lakes fed from the water table of the Nile dot the landscape. Wadi El Natrun also known as area for bird watching. Furthermore, Wadi El Natrun contains a series of nine small lakes. Its total area 200 km, scattered along its general axis. Juncus and Cyperus dominate the wet salt marshes on the waterlogged eastern shores. This creates one of the most characteristic and attractive habitats for water birds.

The history of the Wadi El Natrun and its importance to Coptic Christians, dates back to the 4th century AC. Christianity reached the area with St. Macarius the Great who retreated there in 330 AC. At that time, the monastic life not yet developed. During this period, holy men were hermits, living outside social structures. The reputation of St. Macarius attracted followers and they built cells nearby. They began a loose confederation of monastic communities. Many of these early settlers from Nitria, followed the Christian hermit lifestyle. Hence, Scetis was less a place of innovation than a locus of consolidation.

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In fact, monasticism developed a form of semi anchoritism there. Moreover, hermits lived in cells or caves comprising two or more rooms, one of which functioned as an oratory. A new monk apprenticed himself to an experienced desert father and became his disciple. Monks earned their living by plying crafts, especially basketry and rope making. On Saturday and Sunday the monks go to the church to celebrate Mass. Sometimes they take a Sunday meal in common. In end of the fourth century the of Christian settlers became four monastic communities. They were the monasteries of (old) Baramus, Macarius, Bishoi and John the Little.

Furthermore, the monasteries were collections of individual cells and dwellings which centered on specific churches. They developed into enclosures with walls and watchtowers for protection. That was because, like Nitria and Kellia, Scetis was at times subject to raids from desert nomads. The nomads of the Libyan desert sacked and destroyed the monasteries of Wadi El Naturn in 407, 434 and 444. Indeed, raids at the end of the sixth century almost depopulated the area. The monks built towers to live in. In the ninth century, they erected walls to fortify their monasteries. Many of monks were living outside the walls of the enclosed monasteries. Later on, the monks began to leave their scattered cells to live in the fortified monasteries.

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In fact, in the fourteenth century, monastic life became more cenobitic. That was because the monks went to the enclosure walls for protection. The plague decimated many residents in the monastery during the Middle Ages. The organizations of monks grew up and forced to be together by common needs. Each of the monasteries had a council. One of the council’s responsibilities was to communicate with the external world. The council was also responsible for keeping the general discipline in the monastery. Because of a poll tax on the monks from 705 onward, monasticism began to decline.

Nowadays, four active Monasteries remain at Wadi El Natrun. They are Baramous monastery, St. Bishoi Monastery, St. Makarius monastery and Suryan monastery. The monasteries welcome visitors, irregardless of their faith. The monks are in general friendly. Usually, most of the areas within the monasteries can visited. There is no problem taking photographs most anywhere, including inside the ancient churches. Wadi Naturn is a quick, easy journey from Cairo.

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Suryan Monastery Wadi El Natrun

Suryan Monastery Egypt

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Suryan monastery is one of the four monasteries which well known in Wadi El Natrun, Egypt. In fact, it also know as Syrian monastery, Al Sourian monastery and Deir al-Sorian. The monastery founded in the sixth century, though some might date it later. Moreover, it is about five hundred meters northwest of St. Bishoi monastery. In 550 there was approach to Julianist which owes its name to its principal exponent Julian. He was a theologian and bishop of Halicarnassus (Halicarnarsus) in Ionia. Furthermore, he also called Aphtartodocetism. Julian exiled to Egypt. He defined the doctrine of the incorruptibility of Christ’s body. Julianist is believing in an extreme view. It is that the body of the Jesus Christ was incapable of corruption. They held that Christ’s body united with the Holy Father.

Christ took human flesh which prevented him from being ideal. Thus, the Orthodox Church reaffirmed and clarified the idea of the real human nature of Christ. The majority of the monks became followers of Aphtartodocetism. Others who refused the doctrine obtained permission from the governor Aristomachus. It was to erect new churches and Monasteries. So, they could settle apart from the Julianists. In fact, Suryan Monastery established by those of St. Bishoi monastery who were against Julianist doctrines. The problems between the Orthodox Christians and the Julianists died out. It was in the beginning of the eighth century. And then, there was no longer any necessity to maintain two distinct Monasteries.

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They settled in Al Fustat in Old Cairo. Acertain Marutha from Takrit in eastern Syria converted it for use by Syrian monks. Moreover, they renamed it the Monastery of the Holy Virgin of the Suryan. Some manuscripts refer to it as the Monastery of the Mother of God of the Suryan at that point. In fact, there were Syrian monks at Wadi El Natrun since the end of the fourth century. They were living among the other monks. Perhaps, the Syrian wished to live in a monastic community. It would be ethnically and culturally homogeneous. All Monasteries in the Wadi El Natrun subjected to horrible attacks by desert tribes.

Berbers in 817 AD was particularly disastrous to Suryan Monastery. In 850, it rebuilt thanks primarily to the persistent labor of two monks, Matthew and Abraham. Moses of Nisibis (c. 907-943 AD) traveled to Syria and Mesopotamia in search of manuscripts. Moreover, he spent three years gathering material. He returned to Egypt bringing with him 250 Syrian manuscripts. Suryan monastery became an a prosperous and important facility. In fact, it has many artistic treasures and a library rich in Syrian texts. Suryan monastery became a fundamental source of history and culture of Syria.

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El Suryan Monastery walls enclose an unusual plan. It is in relationship to others in the Wadi El Natrun. They are form an almost rectangular quadrilateral. Moreover, they are with the short sides measuring 36 meters at one end and 54 meters at the other. The two longer sides measure some 160 meters. Furthermore, the height of the walls varies between nine and a half and eleven and a half meters. The monks explain this abnormal plan in an unlikely way. According to them, the monastery built on a model of Noah’s ark. These walls most likely date to the end of the ninth century. The entrance to the El Suryan monastery located at the west end of the northern side of this enclosure wall. The mammoth keep (qasr) situated west of the north entrance to Syrian monastery.

We believe it built in the middle of the ninth century. At any rate it built after the enclosure walls. In fact, it belongs to a less well developed type of tower. It is of which the oldest examples may found at Kellia. It consists of four stories, with access granted by a wooden drawbridge to the second floor. The bottom floor used for storage of food supplied. It also was for the production of flour, oil and wine to assure supplies during a siege. To further insure the complete autonomy during times of trouble, there was also a water well. The second floor used to house the precious library of manuscripts. They that surrendered. Some of the niches that once held the manuscripts are still visible. The third story consists of a corridor with four vaulted rooms to one side and two on the other.

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Moreover, the fourth floor of the keep reserved as a chapel dedicated to the Archangel Michael. Here, one finds a nave and a choir separated by the traditional wooden screen. The sanctuary surmounted by a brick cupola supported by four pendentives. Furthermore, the Church of the Holy Virgin inside Suryan monastery is ancient. It dates back to 645 (though some references date it as about 950 AD). It constructed in the basilica style with a wooden roof.

This church has an entrance on its north side through a court. The court is square and surmounted by a cupola. Moreover, it opens into the monastery courtyard. The main building of church divided between the nave, the khurus and the triple sanctuary. The nave completely roofed with a barrel vault and flanked by two small side aisles. Furthermore, there is a masonry balustrade somewhat over one meter in height. It divides the nave into two sections.

The Chapel of the Forty Nine Martyrs in Suryan Monastery Egypt:

Attached to the north side of the Church of the Holy Virgin is the Chapel of the Forty Nine Martyrs. Moses of Nisibis was also responsible for this building. It entered through the court at the north entrance of this church. Moreover, in 444, forty nine martyrs massacred during a bloody raid. It was by the Berbers who plundered the Monasteries of Wadi El Natrun. In fact, it is to them that the chapel dedicated. Buried within the chapel is Anba Christodulus. He was the abun of Ethiopia at the beginning of the seventeenth century. Recent restorations have also revealed ancient paintings in this chapel.

In fact, the eastern wall of the sanctuary has three niches. They surrounded by the rich, decorative stucco work. It is like to that one in the central sanctuary of the Church of the Holy Virgin, revealed several scenes. In the central niche is a scene of the Holy Virgin holding Christ before her. The niche to the right adorned by a standing figure. It is with a Syriac inscription identifying him as “St. Mark the Evangelist”. Though the figure in the left niche not identified by text, he might be the Patriarch Athanasius. A similar composition found in the old Church of St. Antony (monastery) at the Red Sea. These paintings are newer than the tenth century stucco decorations that surround them. Dedicated to the Holy Virgin, this structure dates back to the ninth century.

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It also made up of a naos, khurus and triple sanctuary. They maybe built in the fourteenth or fifteenth century. Moreover, the nave entered through a portico on the south side. The entrance level is three steps lower than the present grounds of Suryan monastery courtyard. There are three more steps that connect this portico with the nave of the church. Contrary to other Coptic Churches, the nave is transverse in relationship to the main east west axis. This is a characteristic feature of Churches in Mesopotamia.

In fact, it has a barrel vaulted roof. It divided into three bays by arches resting on consoles, another Mesopotamian feature. In the west end within the floor the marble laggan (also called a lakan). There is a central large door and two smaller side doors that lead into the choir. The central door is of inlaid woodwork and dated back to the fourteenth or fifteenth centuries. The choir is also rectangular and transverse in relation to the principal axis. It likewise has a barrel vaulted roof which divided into three parts. The iconostasis is screen separating the choir from the sanctuary. It made of dark, inlaid wood and dates from the fifteenth century.

The Church of St. Honnos and Marutha in Suryan Monastery:

This church, which no longer in use, attached to the east wall of the Church of St. Mary. It dates back to the beginning of the fifteenth century. In this period, the monks from the ruined monastery of St. John Kama took refuge in this monastery. St. John Kama, who’s remains transferred here, associated with this monastery. Saint John Kama was a native of Jebromounonson (Shubra Manethou) in the district of Sais. At an early age he forced into marriage. He persuaded his wife to consent to a life of virginity. Furthermore, he permit him to live the life of a monk. He inspired by a vision to enter the Wadi El Natrun. It is where he became a disciple of Saint Teroti. He inhabited a cell in the vicinity of the Monastery of Saint Macarius.

The Church of St. John the Little in Suryan Monastery:

In fact, the ruins of the Church dedicated to St. John the Little. They stand in the northeast corner of the monastery enclosure wall. Ethiopian monks occupied this church after their own monastery had fallen into ruins. Moreover, Ethiopian monks lived in the monastic communities of Scetis in the twelfth century. At one time occupied a monastery dedicated to St. Elisha. After the monastery fell into ruins, they received by the monks of Holy Virgin of St. John the Little monastery. Furthermore, the monastery also abandoned because of its precarious state. Few remaining Ethiopian monks then welcomed by the monks in Suryan monastery.

The Refectory at Suryan Monastery Egypt:

West of the Church of the Holy Virgin is the ancient refectory, which is no longer in use. It is rectangular with a masonry table running down its axis. This table flanked by chairs that are also of masonry. The room roofed with a vast cupola in which small windows opened to admit illumination. Near the east wall of the refectory is a large stone pulpit. It is from which the sacred texts raid and the saints’ lives revealed during the common meal. Above Suryan monastery grounds are, of course, other buildings of various uses.

The cells of the monks and gardens occupy the eastern and southern parts of Suryan monastery grounds. A water tower built between 1955 and 1956 in the eastern part of Suryan monastery. It now provides it with running water. A guest house including a library and museum built by Qummus Maksimus Salib in 1914. It replaced during the 1960s with extra cells, a special library building and a museum. Today, this library contains over three thousand volumes including several hundred valuable manuscripts.

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Saint Macarius Monastery Wadi El Natrun

Saint Macarius Monastery

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Saint Macarius Monastery is the first monastery built in Wadi El Natrun. In fact, it also called Abu Makar Monastery. Byzantine rulers mandated that the Coptic Patriarchs no longer live in Alexandria. It was in the 6th century. That is why Saint Macarius Monastery acquired a new importance as the seat of the Coptic church. It remained an important monastery throughout the ages. St. Macarius lived as a hermit monk in a cave for over forty years. He received a divine revelation in the form of a dream to build a church. When he died in 390, he buried in his beloved cave. His monks remained and the cell where he buried became the center of the monastery. His relics kept as treasures and still remain.

In fact, the monastery became a memorial to him so that people might not forget his story, devotion and piety. A team from Leiden University in the Netherlands excavating this site since 1995. It seems they may end up providing an analysis. Moreover, the analysis of how a loose group of hermits might have evolved into a monastic society. In fact, Saint Macarius Monastery began as an open, informal structure more like a village. Moreover, there was a church and a keep (tower). Most of the present Saint Macarius monastery rebuilt by Patriarch Shanudah (859-81). It was after attacked and destroyed for the third time by Berbers in 866. By the end of that century, the tower’s outer walls reinforced.

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In fact, most of the settlement surrounded by an outer defensive wall. It giving it the real appearance of a monastery. This wall may have encouraged hermit monks to live within, resulting in a true monastery. Moreover, the palace of Saint Macarius Monastery is a three story building. It accessed by a drawbridge at its first story level. There are mills, storeroom sand a well on the ground floor. The Chapel Virgin Mary is on the first floor. It has three alters (sanctuaries) of about 13th century origin. The second story has three churches. They are church of the Angle Michael to the North and the Church of St. Anthony, Paul & Pachomius. In the southernmost, there is the church of the Travelers (Al Sawwah)

In fact, much of the Church of St. Macarius destroyed in 1930, but there remains two alters dating to 830. St. Macarius and St. John the Short, among a few other saints buried there. There is a small church of St. Iskhirun of Killin with three alters and two alters which used for storage. Furthermore, there is also a church of the Forty-Nine Martyrs which used during fasts and the Feast of Nativity. In the church of Anba Makar there are icons of the three St. Macarii, which is the oldest icon in the monastery.

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Saint Macarius monastery is indeed the richest in the Wadi El Natrun. There is a coffin in the church of Abu Makar. It contains the relics of sixteen patriarchs of the Coptic church. Moreover, there is also the relics of the forty nine martyers whom killed by the Berbers. In fact, they buried in the church of the Elders. Relics also include those of the three Macarii. They are St. Macarius the Great, St. Macarius the Alexandrian and the Martyr saint Macarius. The last one was the Bishop of Edfu. Moreover, other relics include those of St. IIaria, the daughter of King Zenun. She disguised herself as a man to be a monk in the monastery. And finally there are the relics of St. John the Little (St. John Colobos or Anba Yoanis the Short).

Ancient icons within the monastery are the following:

Anba Makar the Great, the Egyptian carrying the cross. It is as a symbol of his perseverance, honesty and self mortification.

Anba Makar the Alexandrian carrying a ladder (as a symbol of his zeal to get virtues step by step).

Anba Makar the bishop of Edfu carrying a small lamb between his arms. He also was a Priest and martyr whom brought to slaughter. Moreover, he also painted with white clothes.

St. Yehnis the Short was the spiritual son of Anba Makar. He was of the second generation, and his monastery was 15 km south west of Saint Macarius monastery. His relics transferred to monastery of Saint Macarius Monastery when his monastery ruined.

It was the usual habit after a patriarch elected and consecrated to the See of St. Mark in Alexandria. It is that he would ordained and sanctified in this monastery. Many patriarchs ordained in this monastery and many of them buried here. In fact, Saint Macarius monastery seen west from the Cairo – Alexandria desert highway. Moreover, it is at about 129 Km. to Alexandria or 86 to Cairo.

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Saint Bishoy Monastery Wadi El Natrun Egypt

Saint Bishoy Monastery

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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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Sacred Heart Church Alexandria Egypt

Sacred Heart Church Alexandria

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Sacred Heart Church Alexandria built in 1924 in Alexandria city, Egypt. In fact, Sacred Heart Church Alexandria is a Catholic church. It visited by the Latin Catholics of Alexandria. In fact, St. Francis served as the patron saint. He was also an Italian monk and born in 1181. Furthermore, he lent his name to the many Franciscan schools found around the world. Sacred Heart Church Alexandria is indeed worthy to visit for its breathtaking religious art. Moreover, you will see icons, murals, figurines and most exquisite stained glass artwork.

When you enter the Sacred Heart Church Alexandria, you will find images from the life of the Christ. They portrayed on one side of the church’s walls. It facing images portraying the life of St. Francis on the opposite wall. St. Clara who founded the Franciscan Order for Girls also features in the glass icons of the church. There are several altars and a beautiful pulpit. In fact, they engraved with events from the life of St. Francis. Furthermore, there are swimming angels painting and a stunning painting of Jesus Christ. They connect the walls to the beautiful ceiling.  The ceiling holds more even more artistic delights.

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In fact, the mosaics at the Church designed by Gabriel Pippet and carried out by Maurice Josey . They begun in 1921 and took 12 years to complete. Eight and a half tons of quarter inch glass imported from Venice for the purpose. Pippet traveled to Ravenna and Rome to study the mosaics before completing the designs. Walter Loveridge Hodgkinson was a main benefactor of the church. The architect was Frank Barry Peacock.

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Saint Mina Monastery Egypt

Saint Mina Monastery Egypt

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Saint Mina Monastery Egypt located approximately 50 km southwest of Alexandria city, Egypt. In fact, Saint Mina Monastery Egypt nestled in the small village-town of Abu Mina. That is why, sometimes the monastery called Abu Mina Monastery. Saint Mina believed to have fallen as a martyr in the early 4th century. It was when the Roman Empire was persecuting Christians. Moreover, a modern monastery built on the location of an ancient church. It is where the Saint’s remains believed to be buried. A German archaeological team work at Abu Mina since 1969.

Buses depart regularly from Alexandria’s new station (Baheej Station) to Abu Mina town. After reaching Abu Mina town, you can catch a micro-bus to get to Saint Mina Monastery Egypt. The great martyr Saint Mina was an Egyptian young man who came from a large family, with rulers’ status. He left the army to live in the desert and be filled with the blessings of the heavens. Saint Mina then publicly declared his faith in Christ. Furthermore, Saint Mina martyred for Christ’s beloved name. It was after suffering great tribulations.

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God declared the greatness of Saint Mina through the blessings from his relics and countless miracles at Mariut, Egypt. Moreover, several churches built in his name, in that area. The largest of which was the great Cathedral (Basilica) built with seven altars by the Roman emperor Arcadius. He built it with marble and precious stones. Along with the other churches in the area, it attracted many pilgrims. The pilgrims who visited the site to receive the blessings of Saint Mina. In fact, the area turned into a city with homes, mansions, factories, markets and much more. This shows us the saint’s rank among Church saints. Time passed and the area along with its churches faced tribulations, then destruction.

Saint Mina’s relics moved from city to city in threat of being lost. God has preserved this saint’s relics from many dangers. Moreover, Saint Mina’s relics thrown into fire and did not burn, but instead shone a bright light. In fact, these relics lost and moved to another place many times. Every time, God would show that they are the relics of his beloved soldier, the martyr Saint Mina. There is no doubt that it was God who guided the late Pope Kyrillos (Cyril) VI to revive the glorious memory of this magnificent saint. It is besides to bring back life to that land (Mariut). It is which St. Mina once filled with life and miracles. What Pope Cyril did was a noble accomplishment. In fact, it was itself a miracle more than anything. It was that God used to keep this saint’s memory alive.

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Saint Mina’s memory brought back in an extraordinary way. In fact, he left a flame burning in many people’s hearts, until this day. The Pope’s relationship with Saint Mina goes back to the years of his childhood. When he was ordained a monk,  Anba Youaness ordained him with the name Mina. In fact, it was God’s will that. It was in the Baramous Monastery. He also became closer to Saint Mina by using him as an example and praying for his intercession. When he forced to leave the windmill, he built a church in the saint’s name in Old Cairo. In fact, it was not enough to quench his fire of love for this saint.

He kept sending requests for permission from the agency of Archaeology. It was to live in the lower room of Saint Mina’s ancient church in Mariut. He waited for an answer prolonged. Furthermore, he remained persistent until he received the approval. After the altar lot announced him to be the new Patriarch of the See of St. Mark. This was a sign from heaven that the Pope understood. He would not live in a room, which he remained persistent in getting. Instead he would liven up the whole area after becoming Pope of Alexandria. Visitors to Saint Mina Monastery Egypt region used to look at it. They look with sad heart, for the destruction that came about it.

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However, today, they can look at it from a joyful angle for the glorious works that Pope Cyril accomplished. It is in an area that deserted for centuries. He covered it with his faith and gave it his building spirit. This gave the land the heart beat of life and raised the voice of praises within it once again. Its old owner, the Martyr Saint Mina, returned to his land, dressing it once more with the attire of peace. The Pope never discouraged, from work, by the hardship of the way. His old age, the danger of the place, the difficulty of bringing water or building tools to it. And thus many miracles manifested on his hands. The Pope sent to the agency of “desert development” a request. It was to purchase 50 acres next to the ancient city in Mariut.

And the, he also sent another request for 50 more. In 1959, on the first feast for Saint Mina after the Pope’s ordination a large festival tent put up. The Pope sent his secretary to pray evening and raise of incense. He also sent him to ensure that everything was ready for the feast’s Holy Liturgy in the morning. In the morning, his holiness prayed the hymns and the Holy Liturgy. Those who received Holy Communion that morning were about 500 men and women. He then went to the land, which he had bought from the agency of desert development. He prayed, blessed it and placed the cornerstone of Saint Mina Monastery Egypt Alexandria. During the feast, the Pope asked by some of those who were present. It was to sit in the large chair prepared for him. But he refused saying: “This chair is for Saint Mina”.

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The two Alexandrian contractors, Sharobeem and Farag Akladious, built a small church and two rooms for his holiness. They built also another for making the holy host. The Pope and those accompanying him spent months in these two rooms with no safety nor rest. It was just to ensure that the work completed. The Agency of Archaeology agreed to transport of bricks. The brickes had no archaeological value to use in the building of Saint Mina Monastery Egypt. The students used tractors to transport these stones.  It took two full years. A brick wall built around about fifteen acres from Saint Mina Monastery Egypt’s land. Some monk cells built along with another church which blessed in a large celebration attended by thousands of people.

Pope Kyrillos’ yearning for Saint Mina’s ancient church pushed him to ride a donkey to the ancient church. It was to receive the blessing of Saint Mina’s land. The ancient church or Basilica of Abu Mina with its seven altars was taking Pope Cyril’s mind. So he planned to build something similar to liven up the memory of his beloved hero.  The hero who was once visited in this same land by people. The people from all corners of the Earth and all walks of life seeking his prayers and intercession. The area occupied by the new Saint Mina Cathedral in Mariut is more than that of the old St. Mark Cathedral in Cairo. Before his death, Pope Cyril left 55,000 Egyptian pounds to complete this cathedral. It was to suit the glory of that heroic martyr, Saint Mina.

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Saint Mark Coptic Orthodox Cathedral Alexandria

St. Mark Coptic Orthodox Cathedral Alexandria

Saint Mark Coptic Orthodox Cathedral Alexandria information, tours, booking

Saint Mark Coptic Orthodox Cathedral Alexandria located in Alexandria city, Egypt. In fact, It is the historical seat of the Pope of Alexandria. The Pope of Alexandria is the head of the Coptic Orthodox Church. Moreover, Saint Mark Cathedral stands on the site of the church founded by St. Mark the Evangelist in AC 60. St. Mark the Evangelist is author of the second Gospel. He connected with the city of Alexandria since earliest Christian tradition. Coptic Christians believe he arrived in Alexandria around AD 60 and stayed for about seven years. In fact, during this time, Mark converted many to Christianity and performed many miracles. He is indeed the founder of the church in Alexandria and the first Bishop of Alexandria.

According to tradition, St. Mark was arrested during a festival of Serapis in AC 68. And then, he martyred by dragging through the streets. Moreover, he was buried under the church he had founded. In 828, the body of St. Mark was stolen from the Alexandrian church by Venetians. It was to enshrine in the grand new St. Mark Basilica in Venice. Moreover, the head of the saint remained in Alexandria. Every newly appointed Patriarch of Alexandria begins his service with holding the holy head of St. Mark in his lap. He also changed its cloth shroud.

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The head of St. Mark moved around a great deal over the centuries. Furthermore, it lost for over 250 years. Some of the relics from the body of St. Mark, however, returned to Alexandria from Rome. It was in 1968 during the papacy of Pope Cyril VI. In fact, the present Saint Mark Coptic Orthodox Cathedral Alexandria is of recent date. In fact, it said to stand on the site of church founded by St. Mark himself. Take notice of the beautiful icons and mosaics that fill the silence of Saint Mark Coptic Orthodox Cathedral Alexandria. Make sure to dress conservatively and respect the sanctity of the location.

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