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.
ⲡⲓⲙⲟⲛⲁⲥⲧⲏⲣⲓⲟⲛ ⲛ̀ⲧⲉ ϯⲑⲉⲟⲧⲟⲕⲟⲥ ⲙⲁⲣⲓⲁ ϧⲉⲛ ⲕⲟⲥⲕⲁⲙ
|Other names||ad-Deir al-Muḥarraq,|
Virgin Mary monastery
|Dedicated to||Virgin Mary|
|Consecrated||1st century by baby Jesus|
|Diocese||Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria|
|Controlled churches||St. George Church, Virgin Mary's Ancient Church, Holy Virgin Mary's Recent Church|
|Founder(s)||Holy Family in Egypt|
|Location||El-Qusiya, Asyut Governorate|
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.
The monastery's library has two entities, an ancient Coptic manuscripts library and archives, and a contemporary research and reading library.
The monastery complex has three churches:
- 12th century Virgin Mary's Ancient Church (with 16th and 19th century domes additions),
- 19th century Neoclassical style St. George Church (1878-1880),
- Mid-20th century Holy Virgin Mary's Recent Church (1940-1964).
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. The altar stone is dated 747 CE.
Many Coptics hold this church in high veneration, believing it to be one of the first Christian churches in ancient Egypt. 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. Another section contained a collection of thousands of modern books and reference material dating from the 19th and 20th centuries. 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.
See also Edit
- "AlmuharraqMonastery.com: Monasticism at the Mount Koskam Muharraq Monastery". Archived from the original on 2008-06-21. Retrieved 2014-07-30.
- "AlmuharraqMonastery.com: The Ancient Fortress". Archived from the original on 2008-06-21. Retrieved 2014-07-30.
- "AlmuharraqMonastery.com: Church of al-Adhra (Ancient Church of the Virgin)". Archived from the original on 2008-06-21. Retrieved 2014-07-30.
- "AlmuharraqMonastery.com: St. George Church". Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2014-07-30.
- "AlmuharraqMonastery.com: Holy Virgin Mary's Recent Church". Archived from the original on 2015-02-15. Retrieved 2014-07-30.
- Timm, Stefan. Das christlich-koptische Agypten in arabischer Zeit. p. 751.
- Roger-pearse.com Blog: "Coptic monastery set alight; fate of Coptic manuscripts unknown"—(16 August 2013) . accessed 28 July 2014
- Manuscripts' and libraries' fate unknown via English language online searches, as of July 2014.