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E01646: A short anecdote from the Coptic Sayings of the Desert Fathers (Apophthegmata Patrum), presenting the monk Apa *Makarios ('the Egyptian, monastic founder of the Sketis, ob. 391, S00863) of the monastery in the Sketis (Wadi Natrun) as a miracle healer, 4th–6th century.

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

This short anecdote is not attributed as a report to any particular monk. The saint in question who performs the miracle healing is Apa Makarios living in his cell in the Scetis.

Ed. Chaine, no. 224, p. 65:

ⲛⲉⲟⲩⲛ ⲟⲩⲁ ϩⲛ ⲕⲏⲙⲉ ⲉⲟⲩⲛⲧⲁϥ ⲙⲙⲁⲩ ⲛⲟⲩϣⲏⲣⲉ ⲉϥⲥⲏϭ ⲁⲩⲱ ⲁϥⲉⲓⲛⲉ ⲙⲙⲟϥ ⲁϥⲕⲁⲁϥ ϩⲛ ⲧⲣⲓ ⲛⲁⲡⲁ ⲙⲁⲕⲁⲣⲓⲟⲥ ⲁⲩⲱ ⲁϥⲕⲁⲁϥ
ⲉϥⲣⲓⲙⲉ ϩⲁϩⲧⲙ ⲡⲣⲟ ⲁϥⲃⲱⲕ ⲉⲡⲟⲩⲉ · ⲡϩⲗⲗⲟ ⲇⲉ ⲁϥϭⲱϣⲧ ⲉⲃⲟⲗ ⲁϥⲛⲁⲩ ⲉⲡⲕⲟⲩⲓ ⲛϣⲏⲣⲉ ⲉϥⲣⲓⲙⲉ ⲁⲩⲱ ⲡⲉϫⲁϥ ⲛⲁϥ ϫⲉ ⲛⲓⲙ ⲡⲉⲛⲧⲁϥⲛⲧⲕ ⲉⲡⲉⲓⲙⲁ
ⲛⲧⲟϥ ⲇⲉ ⲡⲉϫⲁϥ ϫⲉ ⲡⲁⲉⲓⲱⲧ ⲡⲉ ⲁϥⲛⲧ ⲁϥⲛⲟϫⲧ ⲉⲃⲟⲗ ⲁϥⲃⲱⲕ ·
ⲡⲉϫⲉ ⲡϩⲗⲗⲟ ⲛⲁϥ ϫⲉ ⲧⲱⲟⲩⲛⲅ ⲛⲅⲡⲱⲧ ⲛⲅⲧⲁϩⲟϥ ⲁⲩⲱ ⲛⲧⲉⲩⲛⲟⲩ ⲁϥⲟⲩϫⲁⲓ ⲁϥⲧⲱⲟⲩⲛ ⲁϥⲧⲁϩⲉ ⲡⲉϥⲉⲓⲱⲧ ⲁⲩⲱ ⲛⲧⲉⲓϩⲉ ⲁⲩⲃⲱⲕ
ⲉⲡⲉⲩⲏⲓ ⲉⲩⲣⲁϣⲉ ·

'Someone in Egypt had a paralysed son. He took him and placed him at the door of Apa Makarios. He left him there crying by the door and went away.
The old man looked around and saw the young boy crying. He said to him: "Who brought you here?"
He said: "It was my father. He brought me, put me down, and went away."
The old man said to him: "Get up, run and catch him!"
Immediately he was healed. He got up and caught up with his father. In this way, they went home rejoicing.'

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

Composing and translating saint-related texts

Cult Activities - Miracles

Miracle during lifetime Healing diseases and disabilities

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Children 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 life 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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