St Macarius the Great القديس الأنبا مقار الكبير Featured


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St. Abba Macarius the Great (295-392 A.D.; also known as Macarius the Egyptian) was among the most influential Desert Fathers of Egypt, and a disciple of St. Anthony the Great. The Coptic Orthodox Church celebrates his feast day on April 5 (Baramhat 27) and the return of his body to his monastery at Scetis on August 25 (Mesra 19). The day appointed for his feast in Eastern Orthodoxy is January 19, while the Roman Catholic Church celebrates it four days earlier on January 15.

The current Coptic Orthodox Monastery of St. Macarius the Great [1] (video), which lies in Wadi Natrun, the ancient Scetis, 92 kilometers from Cairo on the western side of the desert road to Alexandria, was founded in 360 A.D. by the saint, who during his lifetime was spiritual father to more than four thousand monks of different nationalities-Egyptians, Greeks, Ethiopians, Armenians, Nubians, Asians, Palestinians, Italians, Gauls and Spaniards.

Not to be confused with St. Macarius of Alexandria [2], [3]; and St. Macarius the Martyr and Bishop of Edkao (near Assiut, Upper Egypt) [4]. The relics of the three Macarii are today preserved at the aforementioned monastery.

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