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E05192: Coptic Encomion on Apa *Apollo (S01968), Pachomian monk and founder of the monastery of *Isaak (S00276), presumably located near Herakleopolis Magna (Middle Egypt), attributed to Stephanos, bishop of Herakleopolis Magna, and presented on Apollo’s day of commemoration, relating the saint’s ascetic life as a monk in the Pachomian monastery at Pbow, his virtues and great humility, his wanderings, as well as his founding of the monastery of Isaak, his prophetic gift and numerous miracles performed during his lifetime as well as posthumously; written presumably in the later 6th century.

online resource
posted on 2018-03-14, 00:00 authored by gschenke
M 579, fols. 130v–148r

It is claimed that this encomion was delivered by a contemporary of Apa Apollo, a monk at his monastery named Stephanos, who later became bishop of Herakleopolis. The text is introduced as follows:

Ed. Kuhn, p. 1, lines 1–11:

ⲟⲩⲉⲛⲅⲕⲱⲙⲓⲟⲛ ⲉⲁϥⲧⲁⲩⲟϥ ⲛϭⲓ ⲡⲉⲛⲙⲁⲓⲛⲟⲩⲧⲉ ⲛⲓⲱⲧ ⲉⲧⲟⲩⲁⲁⲃ · ⲁⲩⲱ ⲉⲧⲧⲁⲓⲏⲩ ⲕⲁⲧⲁ ⲥⲙⲟⲧ ⲛⲓⲙ · ⲡⲉⲧϫⲏⲕ ⲉⲃⲟⲗ ϩⲙ ⲡⲥⲟⲟⲩⲛ
ⲛⲛⲉⲅⲣⲁⲫⲏ <ⲛ>ⲛⲓϥⲉ ⲛⲧⲉ ⲡⲛⲟⲩⲧⲉ ⲁⲡⲁ ⲥⲧⲉⲫⲁⲛⲟⲥ ⲡⲉⲡⲓⲥⲕⲟⲡⲟⲥ ⲛⲧⲡⲟⲗⲓⲥ ϩⲛⲏⲥ · ⲉⲡⲧⲁⲓⲟ ⲙⲡⲉⲛⲉⲱⲧ ⲉⲧⲟⲩⲁⲁⲃ ⲙⲡⲣⲟⲫⲏⲧⲏⲥ · ⲁⲩⲱ ⲛⲛⲁⲣⲭⲏⲙⲁⲛⲇⲣⲓⲧⲏⲥ ⲁⲡⲁ ⲁⲡⲟⲗⲗⲱ ⲙⲡⲙⲁ ⲛⲛⲉⲥⲁⲁⲕ · ⲉⲁϥⲧⲁⲩⲟ ⲙⲡⲉⲓⲉⲛⲅⲕⲱⲙⲓⲟⲛ ⲇⲉ ⲁⲓⲧⲉⲓ ⲉϥⲟ ⲙⲙⲟⲛⲁⲭⲟⲥ ϩⲙ ⲡⲉⲓⲙⲟⲛⲁⲥⲧⲏⲣⲓⲟⲛ ⲛⲛⲟⲩⲱⲧ · ϩⲁⲑⲏ ⲙⲡⲁⲧⲉϥⲣ<ⲉ>ⲡⲥⲕⲟⲡⲟⲥ · ⲉⲩⲉⲟⲟⲩ ⲙⲡⲉⲛϫⲟⲉⲓⲥ ⲓⲥ ⲡⲉⲭⲥ ⲙⲛ ⲡⲉϥϩⲙϩⲁⲗ ⲙⲡⲣⲟⲫⲏⲧⲏⲥ ⲡⲉⲛⲉⲓⲱⲧ ⲉⲧⲟⲩⲁⲁⲃ ⲁⲡⲁ
ⲁⲡⲟⲗⲗⲱ · ⲉⲁϥϫⲱⲕ ⲉⲃⲟⲗ ⲙⲡⲉϥⲇⲣⲟⲙⲟⲥ ⲉⲧⲧⲁⲓⲏⲩ ⲛⲥⲟⲩ ϫⲟⲩⲱⲧ ⲙⲡⲉⲃⲟⲧ ⲡⲁⲱⲛⲉ · ϩⲛ ⲟⲩⲉⲓⲣⲏⲛⲏ ⲛⲧⲉ ⲡⲛⲟⲩⲧⲉ ϩⲁⲙⲏⲛ ·

‘An encomion delivered by our pious, holy and in every way honourable father, the one who is perfect in the knowledge of the scriptures inspired by God, Apa Stephanos, the Bishop of the city of Hnes (Herakleopolis Magna), in honour of our holy father, prophet and archimandrite, Apa Apollo at the place of Isaak, having delivered this encomion – while still being a monk in this same monastery, before he became a bishop – for the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ and his prophetic servant, our holy father Apa Apollo, who completed his honourable course on day 20 of the month Pauni (14 June). In God’s peace. Amen.’

The bishop begins his sermon by mentioning the reason for the festive gathering, the feast day of Apa Apollo.

Ed. Kuhn, p. 1, lines 12–14:

ⲁϥϣⲁ ⲛⲁⲛ ⲙⲡⲟⲟⲩ ⲛⲑⲉ ⲛⲟⲩⲫⲱⲥⲧⲏⲣ ⲛⲛⲟϭ ⲉⲃⲟⲗ ϩⲛ ⲧⲡⲉ · ⲛϭⲓ ⲡⲉϩⲟⲟⲩ ⲛⲧⲁⲛⲁⲡⲁⲩⲥⲓⲥ ⲙⲡⲉⲛⲉⲓⲱⲧ ⲉⲧⲟⲩⲁⲁⲃ ⲙⲡⲣⲟⲫⲏⲧⲏⲥ ⲁⲡⲁ
ⲁⲡⲟⲗⲗⲱ ·

‘The day of repose of our holy and prophetic father Apa Apollo has risen for us today like a great light from heaven.’

The encomion then praises the virtues and ascetic sufferings of Apollo from his earliest youth to his entering the Pachomian monastery, praising Pachomios and his successors Theodore and Horsiesios who admitted him into his ranks. It focuses on Apollo’s physical ascetic suffering in defiance of essential needs, such as food, drink, and sleep, claiming that Apollo’s sacrifice was bigger than that of Abraham who sacrificed his son, while Apollo presented himself as a living sacrifice. The speaker claims that there are many types of sufferings comparable to those of the martyrs, thereby ranking severe asceticism as high as martyrdom (Ed. Kuhn, p. 3, lines 22–25).

Ed. Kuhn, p. 3, lines 1–3:
ϩⲁⲡⲗⲱⲥ ⲧⲙⲛⲧⲣⲉϥϣⲡϩⲓⲥⲉ ⲛⲛⲉⲡⲣⲟⲫⲏⲧⲏⲥ · ⲧⲁⲡⲟⲧⲁⲅⲏ ⲛⲛⲁⲡⲟⲥⲧⲟⲗⲟⲥ · ⲑⲩⲡⲟⲙⲟⲛⲏ ϩⲛ ϩⲉⲛⲛⲁⲅⲱⲛ ⲉⲛⲥⲉϭⲟϫⲃ ⲁⲛ

‘In sum, the suffering of the prophets, the renunciation of the apostles, the steadfastness in struggles which are no less than those of the martyrs.’

Like a martyr, the ascetic is compared to a soldier, pursuing his enemies until he gains victory. The virtuous acts performed by Apollo are claimed to be so countless that he ranks with the angels and Christ himself, so much so that the speaker addresses Apollo in the following way:

Ed. Kuhn, p. 7, lines 14–18:

ⲱ ⲡⲉⲛⲉⲓⲱⲧ ⲱ ⲉⲓⲛⲁⲉϣϫⲱ ⲛⲧⲙⲛⲧⲛⲟϭ ⲛⲛⲁϣ ⲛϩⲉ ⲛⲛⲧⲁⲓⲟ ⲉⲧⲡⲣⲉⲡⲉⲓ ⲙⲡⲉⲓⲣⲱⲙⲉ ⲉⲧⲟⲩⲁⲁⲃ · ⲡⲉⲓⲣⲱⲙⲉ ϩⲛ ⲧⲉϥⲫⲩⲥⲓⲥ ·
ⲡⲉⲓϩⲓⲥⲁⲅⲅⲉⲗⲟⲥ ⲇⲉ ϩⲛ ⲛⲉϥⲧⲣⲟⲡⲟⲥ · ⲡⲉⲓⲣⲱⲙⲉ ⲛⲣⲙⲛⲕⲁϩ ⲕⲁⲧⲁ ⲧⲉϥⲟⲩⲥⲓⲁ · ⲛϣⲏⲣⲉ ⲇⲉ ⲛⲛⲟⲩⲧⲉ ⲁⲩⲱ ⲛⲥⲟⲛ ⲉⲡⲉⲭⲥ ⲕⲁⲧⲁ ⲡⲉϥⲃⲓⲟⲥ ·

‘O our father, how shall I be able to speak of the greatness of the honours which befit this holy man, human in his nature but equal to the angels in his ways, this earth-born man according to his substance but son of God and brother to Christ according to his way of life!’

Due to his superior humility, God granted him the gift of prophecy, the ability to work miracles as well as healing powers.

As a monk at the monastery at Pbow, Apollo is claimed to have devoted himself to so many vigils that he spent three years without ever lying down to sleep. As a result, he would receive visions of angelic choirs and ranks of prophets coming to him and sharing their glory with him.

In case his listeners have doubts concerning his account, the speaker provides them with examples of Apollo’s severe asceticism, by relating an incident at the harvest, when Apollo was fasting, as he often did, sometimes not eating for a whole week. He was working in the fields with the brothers, when his suffering became so severe that he had to sit down. In a vision he saw the Lord next to him on the cross asking Apollo whether he suffered as much. At once the saint rose and kept harvesting the fields, his strength renewed.

Likewise, when it was time for baking, he would often stand in front of the hot oven doors enduring the heat, praying and thinking of the Three Youths in the Furnace. In the winter, he would soak his garment with water and stand in the cold frosty air all through the night praying. He would also stand in freezing water during the night to keep away the need of sleep.

Such ascetic suffering is considered comparable to martyrdom:

Ed. Kuhn, p. 13, lines 7–18:

ⲁⲣⲁ ⲗⲟⲓⲡⲟⲛ ⲱ ⲡⲉⲧⲥⲱⲧⲙ ⲉⲛⲁⲓ · ⲛⲉⲓⲁⲅⲱⲛ ⲛⲧⲉⲙⲓⲛⲉ ϭⲟϫⲃ ⲛⲛⲁϩⲣⲁⲕ ⲉⲛⲁⲛⲉⲙⲁⲣⲧⲩⲣⲟⲥ · ⲙⲁⲗⲗⲟⲛ ⲇⲉ ⲉϣϫⲉ ϣϣⲉ ⲉⲧⲁⲩⲉⲧⲙⲉ ·
ⲟⲩⲛⲟⲩⲙⲏⲏϣⲉ ϩⲛ ⲛⲉⲙⲁⲣⲧⲩⲣⲟⲥ ⲉⲧⲟⲩⲁⲁⲃ · ⲟⲩⲡⲣⲟⲥⲟⲩⲕⲟⲩⲓ ⲛⲟⲩⲛⲟⲩ ⲙⲙⲁⲧⲉ ⲏ ⲟⲩϩⲟⲟⲩ ⲛⲟⲩⲱⲧⲡⲉ ⲡⲉⲩⲁⲅⲱⲛ ⲧⲏⲣϥ · ⲡⲁⲓ ⲇⲉ
ⲛⲧⲟϥ ⲉⲛⲉϥⲙⲟⲟⲩⲧ ⲙⲙⲏⲏⲛⲉ ⲥⲭⲉⲇⲟⲛ ϩⲓⲧⲛ ⲛⲉϩⲓⲥⲉ ⲛⲧⲁⲥⲕⲏⲥⲓⲥ · ϩⲟⲧⲁⲛ ⲇⲉ ϫⲉ ⲛⲉⲓⲁⲅⲱⲛ ⲛⲧⲉⲓⲙⲓⲛⲉ ϭⲟϫⲃ ⲁⲛ ⲉⲛⲁⲙⲙⲁⲣⲧⲩⲣⲟⲥ ·
ⲥⲱⲧⲙ ⲛⲁⲕ ⲉⲡⲛⲟϭ ⲃⲁⲥⲓⲗⲓⲟⲥ ⲉϥϫⲱ ⲙⲙⲟⲥ ⲉⲧⲃⲉ ⲧⲉⲡⲣⲁⲕⲧⲓⲕⲏ · ⲉⲧⲉ ⲧⲁⲓ ⲧⲉ ⲧⲉⲅⲣⲁⲧⲓⲁ · ϫⲉ ⲛⲧⲁ ⲛⲉⲧⲟⲩⲁⲁⲃ ⲧⲏⲣⲟⲩ ⲱⲛϩ ⲛϩⲏⲧⲥ ·
ⲁⲩⲱ ⲉⲁⲩⲣⲙⲁⲣⲧⲩⲣⲟⲥ ⲟⲛ ⲉⲃⲟⲗ ϩⲓⲧⲟⲟⲧⲥ · ⲡⲕⲉⲁⲡⲟⲥⲧⲟⲗⲓⲕⲟⲥ ⲇⲉ ⲟⲛ ⲁⲑⲁⲛⲁⲥⲓⲟⲥ ⲡⲥⲱⲧⲙ ϥⲣⲙⲛⲧⲣⲉ ⲉⲧⲃⲉ ⲡⲛⲟϭ ⲁⲛⲧⲱⲛⲓⲟⲥ · ϫⲉ
ⲛⲉϥⲙⲁⲣⲧⲏⲣⲉⲓ ⲙⲙⲏⲏⲛⲉ ϩⲛ ⲧⲉϥⲥⲩⲛⲏⲇⲏⲥⲓⲥ ·

‘O you who hear this do then such contests as these seem to you inferior to those of the martyrs? Rather, if it is right that the truth be proclaimed, there are many among the holy martyrs whose whole contest lasted only for a brief hour or a single day, but this man was dying almost daily by ascetic sufferings. And since such contests are not inferior to those of the martyrs, listen to the great Basil when he says about the way of life which is asceticism: “All the saints lived in it and became martyrs through it.” (unidentified quotation) Also the apostolic Athanasius, the chosen, testifies concerning the great Antony: “He was a martyr daily in his conscience.” (Life of St. Antony, PG 26, 912B; Garitte, CSCO 117, p. 110.)’

When active conflict between the Chalcedonian and Monophysite positions erupted again during the time of Justinian I (527–565) also at Pbow, Apollo left the monastery after its Monophysite abbot Abraham had been expelled. Apollo went wandering north eventually founding his own monastery dedicated to Isaak (the patriarch), presumably located somewhere near Herakleopolis. Various events and players of the 6th century are mentioned, among them Severus of Antioch and Theodosius of Alexandria, as well as difficulties which Apollo encountered with Meletians living in the area of his new monastic foundation.

At this new location, Apollo’s sanctity became famous:

Ed. Kuhn, p. 21, 1–7:

ⲡⲉⲛⲉⲓⲱⲧ ⲟⲩⲛ ⲉⲧⲟⲩⲁⲁⲃ ⲡⲁⲓ ⲉⲧⲛϣⲁϫⲉ ⲉⲣⲟϥ ϩⲙ ⲡⲧⲣⲉⲡϫⲟⲉⲓⲥ ⲧⲟϭϥ ϩⲙ ⲡⲉⲓⲧⲟⲟⲩ · ⲁϥϫⲉⲛⲟⲩⲛⲉ ⲉⲃⲟⲗ ⲗⲟⲓⲡⲟⲛ ⲛⲑⲉ ⲙⲡⲗⲓⲃⲁⲛⲟⲥ ·
ⲁⲩⲱ ⲁⲩⲙⲟⲟϣⲉ ⲉⲃⲟⲗ ⲛϭⲓ ⲛⲉϥⲕⲗⲁⲧⲟⲥ · ⲉⲧⲉ ⲛⲉⲭⲁⲣⲓⲥⲙⲁⲛⲉ ⲙⲡⲉⲡⲛⲁ ⲉⲧⲟⲩⲁⲁⲃ ⲉⲧⲛϩⲏⲧϥ ⲛⲧⲁⲓϣⲣⲡϫⲟⲟⲩ · ⲟⲩⲡⲣⲟⲅⲛⲱⲥⲓⲥ
ⲉⲥⲧⲁⲓⲏⲩ · ⲟⲩⲑⲉⲱⲣⲁ ⲉⲥⲟ ⲛϣⲡⲏⲣⲉ · ⲟⲩⲙⲛⲧⲣⲉϥϯⲥϥⲱ ⲉⲥⲟⲩⲟϫ ⲟⲩⲧⲁⲗϭⲟ ⲛⲛⲉⲧϣⲱⲛⲉ · ϩⲱⲥⲧⲉ ⲛⲧⲉ ⲧϭⲓⲛϫⲱϩ ⲙⲙⲁⲧⲉ ⲉⲛⲉϥϩⲟⲓⲧⲉ ϣⲱⲡⲉ ⲛⲁⲩ ⲛⲑⲉⲣⲁⲡⲓⲁ ·

‘Now our holy father of whom we speak, when the Lord planted him in this mountain, then took root as a Lebanaon (tree) and its branches went forth, that is the gifts of the Holy Spirit that are in him which I mentioned before: excellent foreknowledge, marvellous vision, sound teaching, healing of the sick, so that the touching of only his garments gave them healing.’

Apollo continued his severe asceticism, fasting and keeping vigils, so that he spent six years together without sleeping at night or going indoors during the winter cold or the summer heat, a fact for which the speaker refers to people who met Apollo in person and testified that this is true (ed. Kuhn, p. 22, lines 3–7).

Apollo was also building a small church at his monastery. When urged to consecrate it, he insisted that this should only be completed by the Lord. As a result, Apollo received a vision of an angel who urged him to come to the church as Christ was calling him. Apollo then saw the ceiling of the church open and filled with angels descending into church. Christ was standing at the table and so Apollo consecrated this church on day 25 of the month Epeiph (19 July). Christ would also reveal to Apollo who was worthy to receive communion and who was not. Likewise, Paul would appear to him often to give advice (ed. Kuhn, p. 25, line 17–p. 26, line 14).

Ed. Kuhn, p. 27, lines 7–13:

ⲟⲩⲙⲏⲏϣⲉ ⲇⲉ ⲟⲛ ⲛⲥⲟⲡ ⲛⲉϣⲁⲣⲉ ⲡⲡⲉⲧⲟⲩⲁⲁⲃ ⲛⲁⲡⲟⲥⲧⲟⲗⲟⲥ ⲡⲁⲩⲗⲟⲥ ⲟⲩⲱⲛϩ ⲛⲁϥ ⲉⲃⲟⲗ ⲉϥⲇⲓⲟⲣⲑⲟⲩ ⲛⲁϥ ⲛϩⲁϩ ⲛⲥⲟⲡ · ⲁⲩⲱ
ⲛⲉϣⲁϥϫⲟⲟⲥ ⲛⲁϥ ϫⲉ ⲁⲕⲣϩⲱⲃ ⲉⲡϣⲱϫⲡ ⲛⲧⲁⲇⲓⲁⲕⲟⲛⲁ · ⲉⲧⲃⲉ ⲡⲁⲓ ϣⲁϩⲣⲁⲓ ⲉⲡⲟⲟⲩ ⲛϩⲟⲟⲩ ⲁⲩⲡⲏⲥⲥⲉ ⲛⲛⲟⲩⲥ⳨ⲟⲥ ϩⲙ ⲡⲙⲁ
ⲉⲧⲉϣⲁϥⲟⲩⲱⲛϩ ⲉⲣⲟϥ ⲛϩⲏⲧϥ ϩⲙ ⲡϩⲓⲣⲙⲟⲥ ⲉⲧⲥⲁⲣⲏⲥ ⲛⲧⲉⲕⲕⲗⲏⲥⲓⲁ · ⲉⲩⲇⲓⲁⲡⲟⲇⲏⲝⲓⲥ ⲙⲛ ⲟⲩⲡⲗⲏⲣⲟⲫⲟⲣⲓⲁ ⲛⲛⲁⲓⲱⲛⲓⲟⲛ ·

‘Also, the holy apostle Paul appeared to him many times, putting him right often. And he said to him: “You have worked on the remainder of my ministry.” Therefore to this day a cross was erected at the spot where he used to appear to him, in the enclosure which is at the south side of the church, as proof and assurance for ever.’

But Apollo, when awake at night praying, also had visions of the devil appearing in disguise at his monastery and sniffing on his sleeping brothers to verify whether they had his stench or not (ed. Kuhn, p. 28, lines 17–21).

Apollo’s sanctity, we are told, was such that numerous miracles would occur through him. When he was walking, someone gathered the earth from under his feet and put it on his loaves of bread. At once the loaves started to multip


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Apollo, Apa Apollo, monk and founder of the monastery of Isaak near Herakleopolis : S01968 Isaac, Old Testament patriarch : S00276 Antony, 'the Great', monk of Egypt, ob. 356 : S00098 Paul, the Apostle : S00008 Apostles, unnamed or name lost : S0

Saint Name in Source

ⲁⲡⲁ ⲁⲡⲟⲗⲗⲱ

Type of Evidence

Late antique original manuscripts - Parchment codex Literary - Sermons/Homilies


  • Coptic

Evidence not before


Evidence not after


Activity not before


Activity not after


Place of Evidence - Region

Egypt and Cyrenaica Egypt and Cyrenaica

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc

Herakleopolis/Hnes Hamouli

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

Herakleopolis/Hnes Hermopolis ϣⲙⲟⲩⲛ Ashmunein Hermopolis Hamouli Hermopolis ϣⲙⲟⲩⲛ Ashmunein Hermopolis

Cult activities - Liturgical Activity

  • Service for the Saint

Cult activities - Festivals

  • Saint’s feast

Cult activities - Places

Cult building - monastic

Cult activities - Places Named after Saint

  • Monastery

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs


Cult Activities - Miracles

Miracle during lifetime Miracle after death Miracles experienced by the saint Healing diseases and disabilities Fertility- and family-related miracles (infertility, marriages) Apparition, vision, dream, revelation

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Women Ecclesiastics - bishops Ecclesiastics - abbots Ecclesiastics - monks/nuns/hermits

Cult Activities - Relics

Bodily relic - blood Contact relic - water and other liquids Contact relic - saint’s possession and clothes Contact relic - dust/sand/earth


The parchment codex M 579 comes from the monastery of the Archangel Michael near Hamuli in the Fayum and now belongs to the Pierpont Morgan Library in New York. The colophon dates the production of this manuscript to the year AD 822–823. The panegyric on Apollo occupies pages 130v–148r. Apart from the complete text of this panegyric on Apollo, there are three other known Sahidic fragments of the same work (Paris 12913, 63; Michigan 158/41; BM Or. 3581 B(39)) which show no noteworthy differences from the Pierpont Morgan text. The codex M 579 also includes the following seven texts: 1. Life of Saint Archellites, by Eusebius (ed. J. Drescher, Three Coptic Legends, Cairo 1947.) 2. Life of Saint Anthony, by Athanasius of Alexandria (ed. G. Garitte, S. Antonii vitae versio sahidica, CSCO 117/Copt. 13 and 118/Copt. 14, Louvain 1949.) 3. Eulogy of Saint Anthony, by John, bishop of Hermopolis (ed. G. Garitte, ‘Panégyrique de saint Antoine par Jean, évêque d’Hermopolis’, Orientalia Christiana Periodica 9 (1943), p. 100–134 and 330–365. 4. Life of SS. Longinus and Lucius (ed. T. Orlandi, Vite dei monaci Phif e Longino, Milan 1975, p. 41ff.) 5. A discourse on the virtues of saint Longinus, by Basilius, bishop of Oxyrhynchos (ed. L. Depuydt, “A Homily of the Virtues of Saint Longinus Attributed to Basil of Pemje,” in Coptology: Past, Present, and Future, ed. S. Giversen, M. Krause, and P. Nagel, Leuven: Peeters, 1994.) 6-7. Two Eulogies of Saint Athanasius, archbishop of Alexandria, by Constantinos, bishop of Assiout (ed. T. Orlandi, Constantini Episcopi Urbis Siout Encomia in Athanasium Duo, CSCO 349/Copt. 37 and 350/Copt. 38, Louvain 1974.)


The epithet 'prophet and archimandrite' is likewise used for Shenoute, the famous abbot of the White Monastery, see E01093. The text 'includes historical information on the struggle between adherents of Chalcedon and Monophysites in the reign of Justinian I as well as on the survival of the Meletians in the same period. It depicts monastic ideals and gives a good idea of popular piety in the Egyptian Church.' (Kuhn, CSCO 394, p. xv.)


Text and translation: Kuhn, K. H., A Panegyric on Apollo, Archimandrite of the Monastery of Isaac, by Stephen, Bishop of Heracleopolis Magna, CSCO 394/39 and 395/40 (Louvain, 1978).

Continued Description

ly, so much so that the container in which they were held began to overflow and the loaves fell onto the ground (ed. Kuhn, p. 29, lines 8–12). At another time, when Apollo left the monastery on an errand, a woman who was bleeding heavily came up to him and touched his garment. The blood flow was stopped immediately and she was healed. She left glorifying the Lord and saint Apa Apollo (ed. Kuhn, p. 29, line 23–p. 30, line 3).When a barren woman approached him asking to remember her before the Lord so that she could have a child, Apollo stretched out his hand and made the sign of the cross above the water of the river, as he was about to set sail with some of his brothers. He encouraged the woman to fill her hand and drink from the water in the name of the Lord. The woman, however, did this twice and soon after gave birth to twin boys (ed. Kuhn, p. 30, lines 5–20). The miracles Apollo would perform were so numerous that it is impossible for the speaker to relate them all. Instead he turns to Apollo’s gift of prophecy knowing also the things that would happen in far away lands, long before they did. Thus in advance he knew that Severus of Antioch would come to visit him at his monastery and so he was able to recognise him, since: ⲥⲉⲥⲟⲟⲩⲛ ⲛϭⲓ ⲛⲉⲧⲟⲩⲁⲁⲃ ⲉⲧⲉϩⲓⲏ ⲛⲛⲉⲧⲟⲩⲁⲁⲃ · ‘The saints know the way of the saints.’ Severus claimed that he saw the light of Apollo’s prayers in Antioch and so he came to meet Apollo as he felt his own end near (he died AD 538) (ed. Kuhn, p. 31, line 8–p. 32, line 11).When Apollo fell terminally ill, spitting phlegm and blood, one of his visitors asking for his blessing suffered from an illness himself. This man picked up the spittle that fell from the saint’s mouth to the floor, swallowed it in good faith and was healed immediately (ed. Kuhn, p. 35, lines 12–27).Apollo urges his brothers to strictly abide by the rules of Apa Pachomios, which Apollo himself established at his monastery, and by those of the new brand, provided by the lawgiver Apa Shenoute (ed. Kuhn, p. 36, lines 17–22).Prior to his death, Apollo washed himself and asked this water to be kept, as a source for many healing miracles long after his death.Ed. Kuhn, p. 37, lines 11–17:ϩⲁⲑⲏ ⲇⲉ ⲉⲧⲣⲉϥⲡⲱⲱⲛⲉ · ⲉⲃⲟⲗ · ⲁϥⲟⲩⲉϩⲥⲁϩⲛⲉ ⲉⲧⲣⲉⲩⲉⲓⲛⲉ ⲛⲁϥ ⲛⲟⲩⲙⲟⲩ ⲁϥⲉⲓⲱ ⲙⲡⲉϥϩⲟ · ⲙⲛ ⲛⲉϥϭⲓϫ ⲙⲛ ⲛⲉϥⲟⲩⲉⲣⲏⲧⲉ · ⲁϥϫⲟⲟⲥ ⲉⲧⲣⲉⲩⲡⲁϩⲧϥ ⲉⲡⲕⲟⲩⲓ ⲛϣⲏⲓ ⲉⲧⲥⲁⲣⲏⲥ · ⲱ ϫⲉ ⲁⲟⲩⲏⲣ ⲛⲧⲁⲗϭⲟ ϣⲱⲡⲉ ϩⲙ ⲡⲙⲟⲟⲩ ⲛⲣⲉϥϫⲓⲥⲙⲟⲩ ⲉⲧⲙⲙⲁⲩ · ⲁϥϣⲗⲏⲗ ⲇⲉ ⲟⲛ ⲉϫⲙ ⲡⲥⲱⲟⲩϩ ⲉϩⲟⲩⲛ ⲛⲧⲕⲟⲓⲛⲱⲛⲓⲁ ⲉⲧⲟⲩⲁⲁⲃ · ⲁⲩⲱ ⲉϫⲙ ⲡⲟⲉⲓⲕ ⲙⲛ ⲛⲉⲭⲣⲓⲁ ⲧⲏⲣⲟⲩ ⲙⲡⲙⲟⲛⲁⲥⲧⲏⲣⲓⲟⲛ · ‘But before he died he demanded some water to be brought to him. He washed his face, his hands and his feet. He told them to pour it into the little cistern on the south side. O how many healings came to pass through that water which had received blessing! He also prayed over the gathering of the holy community and over the bread and all the necessities of the monastery.’[Nothing is said about the type of burial given to Apollo or whether a structure was built over his grave to receive visitors and people in need.]The speaker finally beseeches Apollo on his feast day to act as ambassador for his former community before Christ (ed. Kuhn, p. 38, lines 8–14) and also to remember him, the composer of the encomion and speaker himself, through blessings and prayers before the Lord (ed. Kuhn, p. 39, lines 6–9). (Text and trans. K. H. Kuhn, lightly modified)

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