The Monastery of Virgin Mary in Koskam (Coptic: ⲡⲓⲙⲟⲛⲁⲥⲧⲏⲣⲓⲟⲛ ⲛ̀ⲧⲉ ϯⲑⲉⲟⲧⲟⲕⲟⲥ ⲙⲁⲣⲓⲁ ϧⲉⲛ ⲕⲟⲥⲕⲁⲙ) or Deir el-Muharraq (Arabic: الدير المحرق, lit.'burned monastery', ad-Dayr al-Muḥarraq), also known as the Muharraq Monastery, Virgin Mary monastery and Mount Koskam Monastery, is a monastic complex of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria in Egypt.

Deir el-Muharraq
Monastery of Virgin Mary in Koskam
ⲡⲓⲙⲟⲛⲁⲥⲧⲏⲣⲓⲟⲛ ⲛ̀ⲧⲉ ϯⲑⲉⲟⲧⲟⲕⲟⲥ ⲙⲁⲣⲓⲁ ϧⲉⲛ ⲕⲟⲥⲕⲁⲙ
The main gates of the monastery
Deir el-Muharraq is located in Egypt
Deir el-Muharraq
Location within Egypt
Monastery information
Other namesad-Deir al-Muḥarraq,
Burned Monastery
Virgin Mary monastery
Established4th century
Dedicated toVirgin Mary
Consecrated1st century by baby Jesus
DioceseCoptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria
Controlled churchesSt. George Church, Virgin Mary's Ancient Church, Holy Virgin Mary's Recent Church
Founder(s)Holy Family in Egypt
LocationEl-Qusiya, Asyut Governorate
Country Egypt
Coordinates27°23′04″N 30°46′46″E / 27.3845°N 30.7795°E / 27.3845; 30.7795
Public accessYes

Geography Edit

The Deir el-Muharraq complex is located on the Nile just south of Cusae (Coptic: ⲕⲟⲥⲕⲁⲙ, Arabic: القوصية), in Asyut Governorate in Upper Egypt. It is south of Greater Cairo.

Features Edit

The monastery is within the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria diocese, with about 100 monks of Koinonia or community monasticism in residence.[1]

The stone fortress on Mount Koskam at Muharraq Monastery was built in the 6th or 7th century. The fortress chapel has a 12th-century lectern, dating to when the fortress was first repaired.[2]

The monastery's library has two entities, an ancient Coptic manuscripts library and archives, and a contemporary research and reading library.

Screen of the Church of St. Michael

Churches Edit

The monastery complex has three churches:

  • 12th century Virgin Mary's Ancient Church (with 16th and 19th century domes additions),[3]
  • 19th century Neoclassical style St. George Church (1878-1880),[4]
  • Mid-20th century Holy Virgin Mary's Recent Church (1940-1964).[5]

The Church of al-Adhra (Church of the Virgin) at the monastery was built over an ancient cave. It is claimed that Mary and Jesus spent six months and ten days here on their flight into Egypt from King Herod.[6] The altar stone is dated 747 CE.

The monastery served as a host for Ethiopian monks in 17th century.[6]

Many Coptics hold this church in high veneration, believing it to be one of the first Christian churches in ancient Egypt.[citation needed] It was associated with a Marian visionary event claimed in the early 2000s.

Arson of 2013 Edit

In August 2013, rioters committed arson, setting fire to the Muharraq Monastery.

Its archival manuscript library holds, or held, many ancient Coptic manuscripts dating back as early as the 13th century.[7] Another section contained a collection of thousands of modern books and reference material dating from the 19th and 20th centuries.[7] The flames from the monastery's substantial fire reached surrounding Coptic homes in the complex, destroying 15 and damaging others. The fate of the ancient Coptic manuscripts and the monastery's 2 libraries is unknown.[7][8]

See also Edit

References Edit

  1. ^ " Monasticism at the Mount Koskam Muharraq Monastery". Archived from the original on 2008-06-21. Retrieved 2014-07-30.
  2. ^ " The Ancient Fortress". Archived from the original on 2008-06-21. Retrieved 2014-07-30.
  3. ^ " Church of al-Adhra (Ancient Church of the Virgin)". Archived from the original on 2008-06-21. Retrieved 2014-07-30.
  4. ^ " St. George Church". Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2014-07-30.
  5. ^ " Holy Virgin Mary's Recent Church". Archived from the original on 2015-02-15. Retrieved 2014-07-30.
  6. ^ a b Timm, Stefan. Das christlich-koptische Agypten in arabischer Zeit. p. 751.
  7. ^ a b c Blog: "Coptic monastery set alight; fate of Coptic manuscripts unknown"—(16 August 2013) . accessed 28 July 2014
  8. ^ Manuscripts' and libraries' fate unknown via English language online searches, as of July 2014.

External links Edit