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E01645: A short anecdote from the Coptic Sayings of the Desert Fathers (Apophthegmata Patrum), presenting the monk Apa *Makarios ('the Egyptian', monastic founder in the Sketis, ob. 391, S00863) of the monastery in the Sketis (Wadi Natrun) as a miracle worker who raises a man from the dead to ask him a question, before he lets him go back to rest, 4th–6th century.

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posted on 2016-06-20, 00:00 authored by gschenke
Apophthegmata Patrum

This anecdote is recorded by the monk Apa Jijoi who went with other monks to help Apa Makarios in the Sketis
(ϣⲓⲏⲧ) with the harvest. There they encounter a distraught widow who receives help through a miracle performed by Apa Makarios.

Ed. Chaine, no. 225, p. 65:

ⲁϥϫⲟⲟⲥ ⲛϭⲓ ⲁⲡⲁ ϫⲓϫⲱⲓ ϫⲉ ⲙⲡⲉⲟⲩⲟⲉⲓϣ ⲉⲓϩⲛ ϣⲓⲏⲧ ⲙⲛ ⲁⲡⲁ ⲙⲁⲕⲁⲣⲓⲟⲥ ⲁⲛⲃⲱⲕ ⲉϩⲣⲁⲓ ⲛⲙⲙⲁϥ ⲁⲛⲱϩⲥ ⲉⲛⲟ ⲛⲥⲁϣϥ ⲛⲥⲟⲛ ⲁⲩⲱ ⲉⲓⲥ ⲟⲩⲭⲏⲣⲁ ⲉⲥⲥⲣⲓⲧ ϩⲓ ⲡⲁϩⲟⲩ ⲙⲙⲟⲛ ⲉⲥⲣⲓⲙⲉ ⲁⲩⲱ ⲙⲡⲉⲥⲕⲁ ⲧⲟⲟⲧⲥ ⲉⲃⲟⲗ ⲉⲥⲣⲓⲙⲉ · ⲡϩⲗⲗⲟ ⲇⲉ ⲁϥⲙⲟⲩⲧⲉ ⲉⲡϫⲟⲓⲥ ⲙⲡⲉⲕⲧⲏⲙⲁ
ⲡⲉϫⲁϥ ⲛⲁϥ ϫⲉ ⲁϩⲣⲟⲥ ⲧⲉⲓϩⲗⲗⲱ ⲉⲥⲣⲓⲙⲉ ⲛⲧⲉⲓϩⲉ ·
ⲡⲉϫⲁϥ ⲛⲁϥ ϫⲉ ⲉⲧⲓ ⲉⲣⲉⲡⲉⲥϩⲁⲓ ⲟⲛⲁϩ ⲉⲣⲉϩⲛⲛⲕⲁ ϭⲁⲗⲱⲟⲩ ⲉⲣⲟϥ ⲛⲧⲉ ⲟⲩⲣⲱⲙⲉ ⲁϥⲙⲟⲩ ⲇⲉ ϩⲛ ⲟⲩϣⲡⲉⲛϣⲱⲡ ⲛⲟⲩⲉϣⲛϣⲁϫⲉ
ⲙⲡⲉϥϫⲟⲟⲥ ϫⲉ ⲛⲧⲁϥⲕⲁⲁϥ ⲧⲱⲛ
ⲉⲣⲉⲡⲉⲛⲧⲁϥϭⲁⲗⲱⲟⲩ ⲇⲉ ⲟⲩⲱϣ ⲉϫⲓ ⲙⲡⲉⲧⲉ ⲡⲱϥ ⲡⲉ ⲙⲡⲉⲥϭⲛⲧϥ ⲉϥⲟⲩⲱϣ ⲉϫⲓⲧⲥ ⲙⲛ ⲛⲉⲥϣⲏⲣⲉ ⲉⲁⲁⲩ ⲛⲁϥ ⲛϩⲙϩⲁⲗ ·
ⲡϩⲗⲗⲟ ⲇⲉ ⲡⲉϫⲁϥ ⲛⲁϥ ϫⲉ ⲁϫⲓⲥ ⲛⲁⲥ ⲙⲉⲣⲉⲥⲉⲓ ⲉⲡⲙⲁ ⲉϣⲁⲛⲉⲙⲧⲟⲛ ⲛϩⲏⲧϥ ⲙⲡⲕⲁⲩⲙⲁ ·
ⲛⲧⲉⲣⲉⲥⲉⲓ ⲇⲉ ⲡⲉϫⲉ ⲡϩⲗⲗⲟ ⲛⲁⲥ ϫⲉ ⲉⲧⲃⲉ ⲟⲩ ⲧⲉⲣⲓⲙⲉ ⲛⲛⲁⲩ ⲛⲓⲙ ·
ⲡⲉϫⲁⲥ ⲛⲁϥ ϫⲉ ⲛⲧⲁⲡⲁϩⲁⲓ ⲙⲟⲩ ⲉⲁϥϫⲓ ⲛⲟⲩϭⲟⲓⲗⲉ ⲛⲧⲉ ⲟⲩⲁ ⲁⲩⲱ ⲙⲡⲉϥϫⲟⲟⲥ ⲉϥⲛⲁⲙⲟⲩ ϫⲉ ⲛⲧⲁϥⲕⲁⲁϥ ⲧⲱⲛ ·
ⲡⲉϫⲁϥ ⲇⲉ ⲛⲁⲥ ϫⲉ ⲁⲙⲏ ⲛⲧⲉⲧⲥⲁⲃⲟⲛ ϫⲉ ⲛⲧⲁⲣⲧⲟⲙⲥϥ ⲛⲧⲱⲛ ·
ⲁⲩⲱ ⲁϥϫⲓ ⲛⲛⲉⲥⲛⲏⲩ ⲁϥⲃⲱⲕ ⲛⲙⲙⲁⲥ ⲛⲧⲉⲣⲟⲩⲉⲓ ⲇⲉ ⲉϫⲙ ⲡⲙⲁ ⲡⲉϫⲉ ⲡϩⲗⲗⲟ ⲛⲁⲥ ϫⲉ ⲃⲱⲕ ⲛⲉ ⲉⲡⲟⲩⲏⲓ
ⲁⲩⲱ ⲁⲩϣⲗⲏⲗ · ⲁϥⲙⲟⲩⲧⲉ ⲛϭⲓ ⲡϩⲗⲗⲟ ⲉⲡⲉⲧⲙⲟⲟⲩⲧ ⲉϥϫⲱ ⲙⲙⲟⲥ ϫⲉ ⲙⲉϣⲉ ⲛⲓⲙ ⲛⲧⲁⲕⲕⲁ ⲛⲉⲥⲕⲉⲩⲏ ⲙⲡⲣⲱⲙⲉ ϩⲛ ⲁϣ ⲙⲙⲁ ·
ⲛⲧⲟϥ ⲇⲉ ⲁϥⲟⲩⲱϣⲃ ϫⲉ ⲥⲉⲕⲏ ϩⲙ ⲡⲁⲏⲓ ϩⲁ ⲧⲟⲩⲉⲣⲏⲧⲉ ⲙⲡⲁϭⲗⲟϭ ·
ⲡⲉϫⲉ ⲡϩⲗⲗⲟ ⲛⲁϥ ϫⲉ ⟨ⲛ⟩ⲕⲟⲧⲕ ϭⲉ ϣⲁ ⲡⲉϩⲟⲟⲩ ⲛⲧⲁⲛⲁⲥⲧⲁⲥⲓⲥ ·
ⲁⲩⲛⲁⲩ ⲇⲉ ⲛϭⲓ ⲛⲉⲥⲛⲏⲩ ⲁⲩϩⲉ ϩⲁ ⲛⲉϥⲟⲩⲉⲣⲏⲧⲉ
ⲡⲉϫⲁϥ ⲛϭⲓ ⲡϩⲗⲗⲟ ϫⲉ ⲛⲧⲁⲡⲁⲓ ϣⲱⲡⲉ ⲁⲛ ⲉⲧⲃⲏⲏⲧ ⲁⲛⲟⲕ ⲅⲁⲣ ⲁⲛⲅ ⲟⲩⲗⲁⲁⲩ ⲁⲗⲗⲁ ⲉⲧⲃⲉ ⲧⲉⲭⲏⲣⲁ ⲙⲛ ⲛⲉⲓⲟⲣⲫⲁⲛⲟⲥ ⲁⲡⲛⲟⲩⲧⲉ ⲉⲓⲣⲉ
ⲙⲡⲉⲓϩⲱⲃ · ⲡⲁⲓ ϭⲉ ⲡⲉ ⲡⲛⲟϭ ϫⲉ ⲉⲣⲉⲡⲛⲟⲩⲧⲉ ⲟⲩⲉϣ ⲟⲩⲯⲩⲭⲏ ⲛⲁⲧⲛⲟⲃⲉ ⲁⲩⲱ ϩⲱⲃ ⲛⲓⲙ ⲉⲧⲉⲥ{ⲉ}ⲧⲓ ⲙⲙⲟⲟⲩ ⲥⲛⲁϫⲓⲧⲟⲩ ·
ⲁϥⲉⲓ ⲇⲉ ⲁϥϫⲟⲟⲥ ⲛⲧⲉⲭⲏⲣⲁ ϫⲉ ⲉⲣⲉⲡϭⲟⲓⲗⲉ ⲕⲏ ⲛⲧⲱⲛ ·
ⲛⲧⲟⲥ ⲇⲉ ⲁⲥϫⲓⲧϥ ⲁⲥⲧⲁⲁϥ ⲉⲡⲉϥϫⲟⲉⲓⲥ ⲁⲥϣⲱⲡⲉ ⲛⲣⲙϩⲉ ⲙⲛ ⲛⲉⲥϣⲏⲣⲉ ·
ⲁⲩⲱ ⲛⲉⲛⲧⲁⲩⲥⲱⲧⲙ ⲁⲩϯⲉⲟⲟⲩ ⲙⲡⲛⲟⲩⲧⲉ ·

'Apa Jijoi told the following: At the time, I was in Sketis with Apa Makarios, we went with him. We harvested, being seven monks. And lo, a widow who was gleaning behind us crying, did not stop crying. The old man (Apa Makarios) called the owner of the grounds and said to him: "Why is this old woman crying so?"
He said to him: "While her husband was still alive, some belongings were being stored with him by a man. But he died suddenly without a word and he did not say where he had put it. The man who had stored them now wants to take back what belongs to him. She has not found it, so he wants to take her and her children to be slaves for him."
The old man (Apa Makarios) said to him: "Tell her she may come to the place where we normally rest at midday (in the heat)."
When she had come, the old man said to her: "Why are you crying every time?" She said to him: "My husband died, having taken a deposit from someone, and he did not say, as he was about to die, where he has put it."
He said to her: "Come and show us where you have buried him."
He took the brethren and went with her. When they arrived at the place (of the husband’s burial), the old man said to her: "Go back to your house!"
They prayed, and the old man called to the deceased, saying: "Whatever name, in what place have you put the belongings of the man?" And he answered: "They are stored in my house by the foot of my bed." The old man said to him: "Lie down again until the day of resurrection!"
But the brethren saw this and they fell to his feet. The old man said: "This did not happen because of me, for I am nobody! But because of the widow and these orphans, God did this thing. This then is the great thing, that God loves a sinless soul. Anything which it (the innocent soul) gives, it will receive."
He came and told the widow where the property was stored. She took it and gave it to its owner. She was free together with her children. They who heard (about this), praised God.'

Translation: Gesa Schenke.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Makarios of Scetis, monastic founder, 4th century monk : S00863

Saint Name in Source

ⲁⲡⲁ ⲙⲁⲕⲁⲣⲓⲟⲥ

Type of Evidence

Literary - Other narrative texts (including Histories)


  • Coptic

Evidence not before


Evidence not after


Activity not before


Activity not after


Place of Evidence - Region

Egypt and Cyrenaica

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc


Place of evidence - City name in other Language(s)

Sketis Hermopolis ϣⲙⲟⲩⲛ Ashmunein Hermopolis

Major author/Major anonymous work

Apophthegmata Patrum

Cult activities - Places

Cult building - monastic

Cult activities - Places Named after Saint

  • Monastery

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Oral transmission of saint-related stories

Cult Activities - Miracles

Miracle during lifetime Power over life and death Finding of lost objects, animals, etc.

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Women Children Ecclesiastics - abbots Ecclesiastics - monks/nuns/hermits Other lay individuals/ people


The collection of religiously profound words of wisdom and memorable anecdotes, originally recorded orally by monks, concerning the great anchorites of the 4th and 5th centuries living in the Sketis, is preserved in a Sahidic Coptic manuscript, of which at least eleven different fragments are kept in Naples, Venice, Vienna, London, and Paris. Written versions of the Apophthegmata Patrum are known from the 5th/6th century onwards in many different languages, arranged in various ways and presenting different selections of sayings and stories. The original language is believed to have been Egyptian, i.e. Coptic, if transmitted orally, though it would depend entirely on who transmitted what in their native tongue, as the Sketis developed into a monastic place inhabited by monks of different cultural and linguistic backgrounds.


The famous monastery of Makarios in the Sketis is claimed to have been founded in 360 A.D.


Edition: Chaine, M., Le Manuscrit de la version copte en dialecte sahidique des “Apophthegmata Patrum” (Cairo, 1969). Further reading: Hopfner, T., Über die koptisch-sa’hidischen Apophthegmata Patrum Aegyptiorum (Vienna, 1918). Regnault, L., "Apophthegmata Patrum," in: A.S. Atiya (ed.), The Coptic Encyclopedia, vol. 1 (New York, 1991), 177–178.

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    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



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