The story of Anba Abraam

In 1829 (1545 Coptic) in the village of Calad in Egypt, Paul Gabriel was born. His Christian parents sent him to a nearby Church

School but, when he was only eight, his mother died. Young Paul Gabriel was a lonely child but he loved prayers and psalms

and through them discovered that God could fill his heart.

At 15 years old, he possessed great knowledge of Holy Books and Church Hymns. The village priest recommended him to the

bishop of Dyrout, Anba Youssab who ordained him a deacon for the church of Gilda.

However, young Paul Gabriel longed for monastic life so he joined St Virgin Mary Monastery at Assuit in Egypt where he

worked hard and was loved by his fellow monks. In 1848, at only 19 years old, he was ordained as a monk with the name Rev.

Paul Meharraki.

In 1859, Bishop Anba Yakoubos asked Rev. Paul to join the bishop’s house where he worked day and night to convert it into a

shelter for the poor.

He returned to the monastery in 1863 where he was ordained a priest and chosen by the monks to become the abbot of the

monastery. Fr Paul opened the doors of the monastery to create a refuge for thousands of the poor. During his time as abbot,

he improved the monastery both spiritually and financially by developing its agricultural land.

In 1881, Fr Paul was ordained a bishop for the province of Fayoum and Gieza and given the name Anba Abraam by Pope

Kyrillos V. His Diocese became a resting place for poor and rich and rich alike. Rulers of the world found rest there. The

bishop’s house provided money, shelter, food and clothing to the poor. He was known for never accepting food that was

better than that offered to the poor.

Anba Abraam became renowned for performing miracles through prayers and fasting. As his fame spread around Egypt and

to Europe, many people of different religions came to seek the blessing of his prayers and were healed.

In 1893, Anba Abraam was seriously ill with bad sores in one leg. The doctors recommended amputation but he smiled and

said, “It is not God’s will for this leg which serves him to be cut. I put my trust in him!” After two months, he recovered

completely and attended Church to offer a special prayer of thanksgiving. The Church was full beyond capacity with

parishioners carrying branches of palm and olive trees, singing with great joy for the health of their father.

In his final days on earth, many people travelled to see Anba Abraam and to receive his blessings. After sunset on 9 June 1914,

Anba Abraam, the Friend of the Poor, departed to heaven. More than 10,000 Christian and Muslims walked in his funeral

precession to lay his body in a tomb in the Church of the monastery of the Virgin Mary in El-Azab, Fayoum. Today, his tomb is a

pilgrimage for many seeking his help for infirmities and special needs.

In 1964, the Holy Synod of the Coptic Orthodox Church declared unanimously the Sainthood of Anba Abraam based on first

hand stories of his piety, wonders, and miracles.

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Micham North, VIC 3132, Australis info@coptichope.org.au www.coptichope.org.au
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Vision

We believe that all people are created in the image of God

and are loved equally by Him.

We believe all people have a right to the basic necessities

of life, such as clean water, food and shelter, as well as

opportunities to grow and develop as dignified members of

healthy and happy communities.

The story of Anba Abraam

In 1829 (1545 Coptic) in the village of Calad in Egypt, Paul

Gabriel was born. His Christian parents sent him to a nearby

Church School but, when he was only eight, his mother died.

Young Paul Gabriel was a lonely child but he loved prayers

and psalms and through them discovered that God could fill

his heart.

At 15 years old, he possessed great knowledge of Holy

Books and Church Hymns. The village priest recommended

him to the bishop of Dyrout, Anba Youssab who ordained

him a deacon for the church of Gilda.

However, young Paul Gabriel longed for monastic life so he

joined St Virgin Mary Monastery at Assuit in Egypt where he

worked hard and was loved by his fellow monks. In 1848, at

only 19 years old, he was ordained as a monk with the name

Rev. Paul Meharraki.

In 1859, Bishop Anba Yakoubos asked Rev. Paul to join the

bishop’s house where he worked day and night to convert it

into a shelter for the poor.

He returned to the monastery in 1863 where he was

ordained a priest and chosen by the monks to become the

abbot of the monastery. Fr Paul opened the doors of the

monastery to create a refuge for thousands of the poor.

During his time as abbot, he improved the monastery both

spiritually and financially by developing its agricultural land.

In 1881, Fr Paul was ordained a bishop for the province of

Fayoum and Gieza and given the name Anba Abraam by

Pope Kyrillos V. His Diocese became a resting place for poor

and rich and rich alike. Rulers of the world found rest there.

The bishop’s house provided money, shelter, food and

clothing to the poor. He was known for never accepting food

that was better than that offered to the poor.

Anba Abraam became renowned for performing miracles

through prayers and fasting. As his fame spread around

Egypt and to Europe, many people of different religions

came to seek the blessing of his prayers and were healed.

In 1893, Anba Abraam was seriously ill with bad sores in one

leg. The doctors recommended amputation but he smiled

and said, “It is not God’s will for this leg which serves him to

be cut. I put my trust in him!” After two months, he

recovered completely and attended Church to offer a

special prayer of thanksgiving. The Church was full beyond

capacity with parishioners carrying branches of palm and

olive trees, singing with great joy for the health of their

father.

In his final days on earth, many people travelled to see Anba

Abraam and to receive his blessings. After sunset on 9 June

1914, Anba Abraam, the Friend of the Poor, departed to

heaven. More than 10,000 Christian and Muslims walked in

his funeral precession to lay his body in a tomb in the

Church of the monastery of the Virgin Mary in El-Azab,

Fayoum. Today, his tomb is a pilgrimage for many seeking

his help for infirmities and special needs.

In 1964, the Holy Synod of the Coptic Orthodox Church

declared unanimously the Sainthood of Anba Abraam based

on first hand stories of his piety, wonders, and miracles.

HEADING TEXT

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