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History of the Monastery

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IV Century

There is no doubt that in Kalamoun many monks lived here at this site.

VII. Century

Saint Samuel was the head of the monastery and at his death the monks numbered about 120.

XI. Century

Abu-Salih the Armenian reported that:

  • There is a spacious church named after the pure Virgin Mary.
  • There is a large Garden.
  • There are four towers and twelve chapels.
  • Outside the monastery there is a cave in which a monk named Muhna lived and he never quit it by night or day. He used to fast the whole week.
  • Wild beasts used to come together to his cave and stay with him without doing him any harm. This monk Muhna (At the beginning of his monastic life) built a church that was dug in the rock and over it he dug cells for the monks. Up to the end of March (Amshir), in the year 894. Righteous Martyrs (AD. 1178), the number of monks in this monastery was 130, and they were virtuous and devout.

 

XIII. Century

Yakout the Romanian, the famous geographer, said in his geographical dictionary that Kalamoun monastery was famous and well known to people.

XV. Century

El-Makrizi that there are two towers built of stone, both large, high and brilliantly white. There are two wells of running water, there are many palm trees. El-Makrizi did not mention the twelve Chapels.

XVI & XIX Centuries

It is not easy to define the time at which the monastery was deserted by the monks. The experts think that the monastery continued to decline and the beautiful building fell into ruins.

The Visit of Belzoni in A.D.1819

There was nobody living in the monastery. He found a very large church and convent. Some of the paintings on the walls are very finely preserved particularly the figures on the top of the niche over an altar. Their faces are well preserved.

The Visit of Scheinfurth in AD.1886

There are two apses in the old church at the sides of the altar showing remains of religious drawings. We built the outer wall as well as the of stone blocks.

XX. Century

Father Issac El-Baramousy came to live in Saint Samuel Monastery where he was followed by a few other monks. Father Issac began to rebuild the monastery. He was the head of the monastery from 1895 to 1938. After him Father Awad Michael became the head of the monastery from 1938 to 1942, after him Father Mina the Hermit, Pope Cyril VI (Kirellos VI) patriarchs of Alexandria. After him Father Mina was the bishop of the monastery until 1989. After him Father BASILIOS the present BISHOP and Abbot of the monastery. You can see now some few Corinthian capital columns, decorate stones that belonged to church built on the name of Saint Missael the anachorite in the seventh century.

The monastery at the present time

There are now five churches named after the Virgin Mary, St. Samuel, St. Missael, the Angel Michael, St. Mina the Martyr, the Catacomb Church and there are many other buildings and gardens as well.

Saints of the monastery

  • St. Iostos and St. Apollo disciples of St. Samuel.
  • St. Missael the anchorite.
  • St. Ghalion the anchorite.
  • St. Stephen the anchorite.
  • St. Bisada whose body was found in the monastery the 10th November 1976.

 

 

About the monastery

St. Samuel Coptic Orthodox Monastery in the Kalamoun Mountain, under the auspices of His Grace Bishop Bassilios