Anba Abraam, Bishop of El_Fayoum, (June 10th)

In 1829 A. D. (1545 A.M.), a child by the name of Boulos Ghobrial was born to righteous, God-loving parents in a village called 'Galad', 27 kms south-west of Mallawi, in the diocese of Deirout. He was sent to the church school and his teacher Roufail took care of him, taught him reading, writing, arithmetic, the Holy Scriptures and psalms, ecclesiastic hymns and the psalmody. He was very intelligent and anxious to learn everything.

When he was eight years old, his mother was very ill and a few weeks later she died, leaving her only child. As he loved praying and reciting psalms, he found in God what satisfied his emotions, filled his heart and gave him comfort. At the age of fifteen he became famous among his colleagues and the priests recommended him to Anba Youssab, the bishop of the diocese, who consecrated him a deacon during his visit to the village church. Boulos then joined the monastery of the Virgin Mary (El-Moharrak) where he was loved by all in the monastery and. was consequntly. Consecrated at the age of nineteen in 1848 A. D. (1546 A.M.) by the name of Fr. Boulos El- Moharraki. He was distinguished by his patience, selfcontrol and interest in almsgiving.

Bishop Yakoubos of El-Menia heard about Fr. Boulos and asked him to come to his residence and remain with him. Fr. Boulos worked day and night and changed the Bishop`s residence into a shelter for the poor. His great desire for solitude with God urged him to ask Bishop Yacoubos to allow him to return to the monastery after he had spent four years helping him. The bishop then ordained him as a priest and allowed him to return to the monastery in 1863. Due to a change in the abbot of the monastery, the monks chose him to be the new abbot; he opened the doors of the monastery to the poor. Many young men heard about this great monk and came, asking him to teach them -after a short time their number reached approximately forty. Despite this great work, some members of the monastery felt that he was wasting resources and subsequently asked him to step down from the leadership of the monastery. Fr. Boulos went with four of his disciples to Cairo to meet Bishop Marcos of El-Boheira who was also the acting-Pope (i.e. presiding as guardian of the Church in the period between the departure of one pope and the choice of another). The five asked permission to go to the monastery of Anba Bishoy at the Natroun Valley where they remained for a short period.

They then went to El-Baramous Monastery in 1587 A.M. (1871 A.D.). At that time the abbot of this monastery was Fr. Youhanna El-Nassekh, who later became Pope Kyrillos V. He was glad to receive them and offered them cells to stay in.Fr. Boulos devoted all his time to prayers and study, but his deep love for the poor did not end; he loved the Arabs who were living in the area of the monastery and he shared with them everything which he had -even his clothes.

After the departure of Metropolitan Isaac of EI-Fayoum and Giza, Pope Kyrillos V and the people of EI-Fayoum agreed upon the consecration of Fr. Boulos as Bishop Abraam, bishop or EI-Fayoum and Giza in Abib 1597 A.M. (1881 A.D.). Rulers and governors found comfort in his presence, and the simple bishop's home became their rest place.In the year 1893 he had some trouble with his leg which made the doctors decide to have it amputated When one of his spiritual children told him about this, he smiled, as usual, and said 'God will not let this happen. I am sure'.

After two months he recovered completely, and went out to the church, praising God. The Bishop's house was very crowded. The people held palm-leaves and they were waving olive branches with joy.After he had spent 33 years as a Bishop, rich with deep fellowship with God and real worship, serving everybody sincerely, tiring continuously for the poor, using the gift of healing and exorcising of evil spirits, he was ill in bed for a month. The people gathered to receive his blessing, especially when they knew that he refused to call a doctor saying, 'I am flying to the Lord Jesus'.

On Thursday 2 Baouna 1630 A.D., 9 June 1914, after sunset, our blessed father departed to Paradise. It is estimated that over twenty-five thousand people attended his funeral, Christians and Moslems, with many dignitaries amongst them. The history of Anba Abraam has not ended. In every Egyptian house there is still a lot to be told about him, for he was really a God-loving man.

On the third of Baouna 1860 A.M., 10 June 1964, the Church celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of his departure under the care of the Late Pope Kyrillos VI in the great hall of the Cathedral of St. Mark, Cairo. All the churches in the See shared in the deep religious and spiritual celebrations. The Holy Synod then approved his canonisation.

 May the prayers of this great contemporary saint be with us all; amen