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Anba Abraam - The Friend of The Poor

Anba Abraam, the Bishop of Fayoum "The Friend of The Poor" (AD; Departed 9 June 1914) A Brief Biography of St. Abraam He was born Boulos (Paul) Ghobrial in

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Anba Abraam - The Friend of The Poor

كُتب : [ 06-10-2009 - 02:14 AM ]


Anba Abraam - The Friend of The Poor


Anba Abraam, the Bishop of Fayoum
"The Friend of The Poor"
(AD; Departed 9 June 1914)


A Brief Biography of St. Abraam
He was born Boulos (Paul) Ghobrial in 1829 AD, 1545 Martyrs in a small village called Delga, 16 Miles (27 Km.) south west of Malawi in the episcopate of Dyrout. His parents were righteous and loved the Lord.
He was sent to the village school ('Kouttab') and learned under teacher 'Mualeem' Roufail reading, writing, arithmetic, and the Holy Bible. He also learned hymnals, psalms, and praises under mualeem Ghobrial. He desired to learn with meekness, politeness and humility.
At age 8, his mother had a serious illness which led to her departure. His father cared for him and he found in his love for the Lord Jesus Christ what filled his heart and comforted his soul.


At age 15, he distinguished himself in his knowledge of the Holy Books and Church Hymnals, so the village priest recommended him to the then bishop of Dyrout, Anba Youssab
(Joseph)


. Anba Youssab ordained him Deacon.
Boulos loved solitude, so he entered the Monastery of St. Mary Known as
"Al-Meharaq"
in mount qusqam, El-Quosseiah, south of Assiut. This was there when Arch-Priest Abd El-Malek was the head of Al-Meharaq monastery. At the monastery, he worked hard while being quiet and for this reason, he was loved by his fellow monks. They nominated him to be elevated from novas (beginner under test) to be a monk. He was only 19 years of age. He became monk in 1848 AD and kept his , Monk
Boulos El-Maharaquey.


Monk Boulos had two distinct qualities
Kindness with Self Control, and Amazing Love of Giving
(Charity).
He was selected by Anba Yakobos (Jacob), the then bishop of Menya to be his assistant. He was extremely generous with the poor. After four years, he wanted to go back to the monastery. In another story, some complained about his generosity with the poor calling it waste. The bishop ordained him priest before letting him go back to his monastery, this was in 1863 A.D..
At the monastery there was disagreement between some monks and their leader Arch-Priest Abd El-Malek. Fr. Boulos chose not to interfere, he kept quiet. The monks selected Fr. Boulos to become their leader in place of Fr. Abd El-Malek. He did two major things
He opened the doors of the monastery to the poor and needy, and he attracted the youth of the region to the monastery, and in a short period he had more than forty new monks join the monastery.
We here mention some of his disciples who became Priests/Bishops of good stature
Anba Markos (Bishop Mark), who became bishop of Essna and Luxor, was born in the village of Tasa, governorate of Assiut in 1848 AD. He became monk on the hands of Fr. Boulos in 1586 A.M. and ordained bishop in 1895 on he hands of then Pope Kyrillos V .


Arch-Priest Michael Al-Behairy, was a disciple of Fr. Boulos, and reached a high degree of righteousness and monastic life. The departed bishop Lucas, great bishop of Manflout wrote the story of Arch-Priest Michael Al-Behairy
under the title
"Reaching the Goal, One of the Ultimate Achievements of Anba Abraam: Fr. Michael Al-Behairy"
Anba bouttros (Bishop Peter), Metropolitan of All Ethiopia,
Anba Mattaous (Bishop Matthew), bishop of Addis-Ababba,
Anba Lucas (Bishop Luke), Bishop of Akssoum,
Anba Markos (Bishop Mark), Bishop of Quodgom
As in Menya, the devil caused some to disapprove of Fr. Boulos love for the poor, calling it waste. Also they disapproved of the many youth coming to the monastery all the time. Our saint did not argue, when he was removed from the position of head of the monastery after five blessed years of service. He left for Cairo with four of his disciples, the four who later became bishops on Ethiopia.
They met with the then acting in place of patriarch ('Qaem-Maqaam'), Anba Markos, bishop of Behira. He understood the situation and sent them in peace to the monastery of St. Bishoy in Wady El-Natroun. They stayed in this monastery for a short period and moved to the monastery of El-Baramous (d after the Roman Princes, turned monks St. Maximous and Domadeous, 7 miles away) in 1861 A.D..
At El-Baramous monastery they met Fr. Youhanna El-Nassekh (Fr. John the ***ibe). Fr. Youhanna was known in his time for ***ibing (writing by hand) church books. He later became Pope Cyril V. Fr. Youhanna received them with extreme affection, and gave them 'Kallaly' places for the residence of monk.
Fr. Boulos and his four companions spent most of their time in worship and studying the Holy Books. However, Fr. Boulos did not stop his love for the poor, He shared his food and clothes with the Bedouins ('Al-Erban') who lived in the desert surrounding the monastery.
In 1881 AD, when John Kama, then Emperor of Ethiopia asked Pope Cyril V to ordain a Metropolitan and 3 Bishops for his country, the Pope asked the advice of Fr. Boulos. Fr. Boulos nominated his 4 companions, and they were ordained as explained above. As for himself, he refused to accept any high position.
At the same time, Anba Isaac the then bishop of Fayoum and Guiza departed. The four disciples of Fr. Boulos begged their spiritual father and asked the pope to ordain him bishop of Fayoum and Guiza. The people of this episcopate were delighted to nominate him and have him as their bishop which also took place in 1881 A.D..
During his time as bishop of Fayoum and Guiza, 1881 - 1914 AD. The episcopate became a place of rest and comfort for the poor and rich alike.


When Khdev (king) of Egypt, Tawfik, visited Fayoum, the administrator of Fayoum made a big dinner reception for the Khdev of Egypt. Anba Abraam walked over to the place, did not ride as was the custom. He sat at the table near the Khdev, and ate only salad. When the Khdev noticed that he ate only salad, he asked him the reason. Anba Abraam replied that it was Friday, a day of fasting for Copts. The Khdev asked that they bring some fruits for Anba Abraam. At the railway station, Anba Abraam was there to pay farewell to the Khdev. Khdev Tawfik shook his hand warmly and commented: 'Enta Ragel Mabrook' (You are a Holy Man!)
The rulers, the heads of departments, and even the workers in many government offices, enjoyed visiting. The episcopate, simple and modest as it was, became their place of rest!
The nice Aroma of Christ in him, reached even the diplomatic corp. When the British Viceroy (Special Representative of England to Egypt) wanted to see him, the head of the region and the leaders of the Copts of Fayoum were embarrassed because the building of the residence of the bishop was old and the furniture was very modest and in bad shape. But when they saw how the Viceroy respected him and kissed the cross in his hand and his hands, they were all impressed.
In 1898, when the administrator of Fayoum, Mr. Mohammed Noohy was transferred from Fayoum to Quina, and in the first reception to welcome him to Quina, most of the talk in the reception was about Anba Abraam, his wonders, and his many virtues. This is according to Mr. Wassef Boctor Beshara, one of the famous residents of Quina at the time. The reason this story is so amazing is because Mr. Noohy was a Moslem Egyptian.
In 1902, Anba Abraam made a journey to southern Egypt (Saeed) with his disciple Anba Mattaus, the bishop of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. They visited most of the major cities of Saeed from Fayoum to Luxor. On their return, the administrator of the region of Fayoum and other government representatives joined the Coptic congregation in receiving them at the railway stations, which was very unusual for government representatives to welcome returning home clergy, but this was Anba Abraam.
In 1893, Anba Abraam had bad sores in one of his legs. The doctors who examined him recommended amputation. He smiled and said: "It is not God's will for this leg which serves him to be cut. God will make their effort fail (referring to the doctors), I put my trust in him!" After two months, his leg was completely healed, and he offered a special prayer of thanksgiving. The Church was full beyond capacity with parishioners carrying branches of palm trees and olive branches, waving and singing with great joy and happiness for the safety of their father.
One time, some rich people of Fayoum bought furniture for his reception room, bed room, and kitchen and brought it over. He ordered his deputy to put it in storage. When a woman approached him about her inability to buy the furniture needed for the wedding of her daughter, he gave her everything. The people complained to the pope, pope Cyril V.
The people of Fayoum also, collected funds to build a new Church for the episcopate and a new residence for the bishop. They gave him the money. He gave it to the needy each according to his need. Some of the people complained to the pope once more.
Pope Cyril V sent for him. Anba Abraam went to see the pope without delay. It was afternoon, he walked in, the shutters were closed. There was a beam of light that went through a pinhole in the shutter. Anba Abraam was then very old, he mistook the light beam for a laundry robe, it was a common practice to have a laundry robe for hanging cloths. He threw his 'Faragia' (overcoat) on the beam. The 'Faragia' stayed their. The pope was dumbfounded, he greeted him, inquired about his health, asked his blessings and prayers and did not even discuss the reason for the meeting. Later on, pope Cyril V gave Anba Abraam money from the patriarchate to pay for the projects at his episcopate. When the people of Fayoum went to see the pope complaining that nothing changed, the pope told them that he could not argue with the power of God in Anba Abraam and told them all that happened in front of his own eyes.
He spent 33 years as bishop. he was visited by people from all over Egypt and Europe who came to see a saint on earth in those days. He had a life of intimate communion with our Lord Jesus Christ and his saints. He knew the Holy Books and enjoyed the liturgy with all the hymnals and praises very intimately, and he lived a life of extreme monasticism even when he was close to death, at age 85. He chose poverty, and was extremely generous, loving, and kind to the poor, 'the Lord's Brethren'. He healed the sick and raised the dead as we will detail in a future article about his wonders and miracles. He was bed ridden for one month, and a multitude of people went to see him and inquire about his health, and receive his blessings in his illness especially when they learned that he refused to be seen by any physician. He informed those who were close to him that he was going away to be with the Lord Jesus Christ.
On June 9, 1914 AD, Baouna 3, 1630 Martyrs and after sunset, Anba Abraam the Bishop of Fayoum, the Friend of the Poor departed to heavenly Jerusalem. More than 10,000 people came to say their final good bye. According to another estimate more than 25,000 people Christians and Moslems alike came to say good bye. He is buried in the Church of the Monastery of Azaab in Fayoum to this day.
In 1964, 50 years after his departure according to Church tradition of waiting 50 years before canonizing a saint (declaring a departed person a saint), the Synod of the Coptic Orthodox Church declared unanimously the Sainthood of Anba Abraam the Departed Bishop of Fayoum d on first hand stories proven by many witnesses: Stories of his piety, wonders, and miracles. This happened when pope Kyrillos (Cyril) VI was pope and patriarch. The of Anba Abraam is mentioned in the congregation of the saints which is recited before the profession in the liturgy. May the Lord grant us the benefits of his prayers and intercessions. Glory be to the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. One God. Amen.
Please call or write. We really would like to hear from you. Also remember to pray continuously and rejoice always. A prayer of thanksgiving is always appropriate (In all conditions, concerning every condition, and upon all conditions). Pray for others before you pray for yourself, ask for spiritual gifts before you ask for material gifts. Follow the example of Anba Abraam and show more love for the poor.


Praises are the highest level of prayer, don't missthe praise (Tasbeha)
services of your Church.
God Bless
You and Yours.


Special thanks for
Dr. William A. Hanna



Anba Abraam - The Friend of Poor


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كُتب : [ 06-10-2009 - 04:41 PM ]


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