This church has been named after Father Abram son of Zara the syriaque, the 62nd pope for the Mark’s Chair , in commemoration of the miracle of transferring the Moqattam Hill which took place during his time. He was the one who introduced the three day fasting, which the church had fasted at the time of the miracle, prior to the Christmas fasting, which has become 43 days instead of 40. In addition, he also introduced the Nine’ve fasting to the Coptic church, and also he was the one who rejected the habit of women slavery which was spread at that time.This place was discovered as it is during the excavation operations of the caves present in the area in 1992. It was prepared to become a church after expanding and disciplining it.
The first Holy mass took place at this church in 1993.
This church is also used for spiritual and prayer meetings, besides the Holy mass services. This church is considered the smallest in the monastery. And God saved His church with the prayers of this Saint and his people. Let the Lord save us all from temptations to glorify his sacred name.
Psalms 50:15 “And call upon me in the days of trouble, I will deliver three and thou shall glorify me.
With the prayers of Virgin Mary, Father Abram and all the saints may the Lord give us forgiveness for our sins and make us worthy to say ” Our Father who art in Heaven…..”
Virgin Mary and St. Simon the Tanner Cathedral
This church was named AFTER Virgin Mary and ST. Simon the Tanner, in commemoration of the miracle of transferring the Moqattam Hill on the 27th of November 979, where the Lord used ST.Simon the Tanner to fulfill this miracle in the Era of Pope Abram the son of Zara the Syriaque the 62nd pope. During this time after praying and fasting for three days in the church of Virgin Mary in Old Egypt, Virgin Mary has made her revelation to pope Abram to announce upon whosew hands the transference of the hill would take place (ST. Simon the Tanner) See the book.
This church has been constructed at 2 stages:
The first stage:
the church was only a huge cave of limestone in the bosom of the hill, the height of which does not exceed one meter. The church has been made made use of by some servants to run prayer servants to run prayer services for the redemption of souls in the area. During this stage, the monastery and the audience were seated on straw rugs which were laid in front of the alter, and on few scattered chairs around.
The second stage:
owing to the increase of the number of audience, God blessed in expanding the church.
On the 27th of November 1994, which falls as the feast of saint Simon the Tanner, the church was constructed around in the form of quarter circle to accommodate a few thousands of people and thus to become the biggest church in the monastery.
A well developed sound system and a vast visual screen to transfer a clear sound and picture to the audience was installed in the church.
The church is used for holy mass services and spiritual films and meetings held every Thursday.
In front of the alter and to the right side, the church keeps the remains of st. Simon’s body which were discovered and brought in the year 1991 from Virgin Mary’s church in Babylon Al Darg, in Old Egypt, and were transferred to his church on july 11th, 1992, by a document from the church on the hands of Anba Mataos, the Bishop of Old Cairo at that time, under the supervision of pope Shenoda the Third.
The church is also characterized by the presence of the pot of clay belonging to St. Simon the Tanner, which was discovered beside his remains. In the year 1974, upon the ceiling and to the right side of the church an obvious engraved figure of the Virgin Mary holding the baby Lord Jesus Christ was discovered, not touched by any human hand, and was later revised in the year 1994. And this is all a testimony for the truthful promises of God who works continuously. Let us ask Him to prepare our hearts so that they become temples of His Holy Spirit ,which the prayers of Virgin Mary, St. Simon and all the saints may the Lord give us forgiveness for our sins and make us worthy to say” Our Father wh arts in heaven.
Saint Simon the Tanner Hall & ST. Mark’s Church
This huge cave was discovered in the year 1974. It was full of hundreds of tons of stones even up to the ceiling of the cave (which is 17 meters high from the ground), and was later prepared to contain “St.Simon the Tannewr Hall” and “St.Mark’sChurch”
The cave had only one sloap entrance and it was extremely difficult to pass through it( that is is the present big glass window overseening the area).
In the year 1991, after continuous prayers for seven years seeking God’s guidance on how to enter the cave, work began to find a path in order to enter the cave and and start removing the huge quantities of debris and demolishing 140thousand tons of stones from the walls and ground of the cave.
Finally, it was prepared to contain two storeys. The upper storey is “ST. Samaan the Tanner Hall” prepared to accommodate 2000 people in spiritual meetings. The walls are decorated with many wonderful pictures engraved on therocks representing scenarios from the Bible. The most unique sceneryis of Jesus Christ opening His arms for all those who ask for Him. Mathwew 1125 ” come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy burden and Iwill give you rest”. John 6:37″ And >>> comes to me I will cast out”
The lower storey is “St. Mark’s Church”, which was named after St. Mark the first preacher in Egyptian heritage. It was inaugurated in March 1993.
The church dome at the Hall entrance is decorated from the outside by three great artistic pieces made of small coloured mosaic , on top of the dome representing important scenes from the Bible ( crucifixion, Resurrection, rising to heaven)
Lord grant us to come to you with all our hearts and live for you all our lives.
With the prayers of St. Mark, St.Simon and all saints may the Lord give us forgiveness for our sins and make us worthy to say “Our father who art in heaven…..”
Church of ST.Paula
This church was named after St. Paula the first pilgrim for what he possesses of virtues as seclusion in the mountains, living in caves and the solitude that he had spent in fellowship with the Lord, which had lasted for 70 years, during which he had not set eyes upon a human face, to the extent that he was testified to be a man that the world does not deserve the step of his feet, Hebrews 11:38 ” Of whom the world was not worthy : they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth”.
And therefore the Lord graced this church with serenity and divinity ,Isaiah 30:15 ” In returning and rest shall ye be saved: in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength”.
This place was discovered in 1986, during the work of a loader there, when a huge rock fell showing an opening in the ceiling of this church.
This church is characterized by the presence of three sections, similar to the order of the first church. The first holy mass was held in the year 1991. The location is also used for prayer meetings as well as holy mass services.
In January 5th , 1992, the church has been endangered by a fire caused by an electric spark. With only divine care the church pictures and the alter were not by any means destroyed which shows us the divine protection of the Lord to his church, Mathew 16:18″ And the gates of hell shall not prevail against it”.
The Lord who prepared this place to become a church, may He give us a prepared heart for Him to abide and glorify His sacred name.
1 Corinthians 3:16 ” Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy spirit of God dewelleth in you?”
1 Corinthians 6:19&20 ” what? Know ye not that your body is the yemple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s”.
Let God awaken us to ask him humbly with all our hearts to resurrect our spirits which are of God, with the prayers of Virgin Mary, St Paula and all the saints may the Lord give us forgiveness for our sins and make us worthy to say “Our Father who art in heaven…”
Click on the thumbnails below for the full articles
The Coptic Museum in Cairo is located inside the ruins of the Roman Babylon Fort
The monastery is about 40 Km to the south of the monastery of St. Anthony
St. Barbara is one of the oldest and the most remarkable churches in Cairo
St Samaan( Simon) the Tanner Monastery(Garbage Village Churches)
is the centre of many Monasteries dating back to the fourth century AD