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Saint Maximus and Dometius: Monastery, Hymnography & Iconography

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“Truly, Truly, I say to you, whoever believes in Me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do…” (John 14:12)

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“Truly, Truly, I say to you, whoever believes in Me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do…” (John 14:12)

Growing up in the Coptic Church, two names are consistently mentioned in several liturgical services: Our holy Roman fathers, Maximus and Dometius. Their story reminds readers of what it means to be a stranger to this world. Indeed, even the great Abba Macarius was inspired by their holiness and said of them, “Woe is me! For I never became a monk. These are true monks, for in a short time of tribulation they quickly found the place.”   

Sts. Maximus and Dometius are two Roman imperial young brothers who took on the monastic life under the discipleship of Abba Agabus and Abba Macarius the Great. Soon after, they became the namesake and foundation of the Monastery of al-Baramūs in the Wilderness of Scete. To this day, young men who are moved by their example flee to their monastery and bear the name “al-Baramūsī”. Hymns, icons, and festivities have developed in their name to preserve their memory and invoke their intercessions. 

The English translation and Coptic transcription of their Life provided in this book comes from a 13th-century Bohairic manuscript housed in the Vatican Library. Extracts from the Sahidic and Arabic version are also provided to compliment the Bohairic. The hymns that were composed in their honour and found in a number of liturgical texts has been revised for an accurate reading. Finally, brief observations on their ancient wall paintings are considered. These are intended to give the reader a wholistic impression of the two holy fathers.  

Shady Kiryakos Nessim is an Associate Lecturer in Liturgical Studies and Ancient Languages at St Athanasius College, University of Divinity in Melbourne, Australia. He is currently a doctoral student at the Catholic University of America. 

Author: Shady Kiryakos Nessim

ISBN: 978-0-6451395-2-5

Publisher Name : St Shenouda Press

Publisher URL : www.stshenoudapress.com

Publication Year : 2022

Pages : NA

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