Monastery of Saint Pishoy

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Monastery of Saint Pishoy
Monastery of Saint Pishoy is located in Egypt
Monastery of Saint Pishoy
Location within Egypt
Monastery information
Other names Deir Abu Bishoy
Established 4th century
Dedicated to Pishoy
Diocese Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria
Founder(s) Pishoy
Important associated figures Pope Gabriel VIII
Pope Macarius III
Pope Shenouda III
Paul of Tammah
Style Coptic
Location Wadi El Natrun
Country  Egypt
Coordinates 30°19′9″N 30°21′36″E / 30.31917°N 30.36000°E / 30.31917; 30.36000
Public access Yes

Monastery of Saint Pishoy

The Monastery of Saint Pishoy (also spelled Bishoy, Pshoi, or Bishoi[1]) in Wadi El Natrun, Beheira Governorate, Egypt, is the most famous monastery of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria named after Pishoy. It is the easternmost of the four current monasteries of Wadi el Natrun.

Foundation and ancient history

Pishoy founded this monastery in the fourth century.[2] On December 13, 841 (4 Koiak, 557 AM), Pope Joseph I of Alexandria fulfilled Pishoy's wishes and moved his body as well as that of Paul of Tammah to this monastery, both of which were originally interred at the Monastery of Pishoy in Deir el-Bersha. Today, the two bodies lie in the main church of the monastery.

Modern history

Monastery of Saint Pishoy

Today, the Monastery of Saint Pishoy contains the relics of Pishoy, Paul of Tammah, and relics of other saints. Eyewitnesses recount that the body of Pishoy remains incorrupt. Pope Shenouda III of Alexandria is also interred there.

The monastery has five churches, the main one being named after Pishoy. The other churches are named after Mary, Abaskhiron the Soldier, Saint George, and the archangel Michael. The monastery is surrounded by a keep, which was built in the fifth century to protect the monastery against the attacks by Berbers. An initial castle was built early in the twentieth century, but was later replaced by a four-storied castle built by Pope Shenouda III. In addition, the monastery contains a well known as the Well of the Martyrs. Coptic tradition says the Berbers washed their swords in this well after having killed the Forty Nine Elder Martyrs of Scetes and subsequently threw their bodies in the well before Christians retrieved the bodies and buried them in the nearby Monastery of Saint Macarius the Great.

Under Shenouda III, Pope of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria from 1971 to 2012, new land around the monastery was purchased and developed. Poultry, cattle breeding and dairy facilities were developed. Ancient buildings and churches were restored, and cells for monks, retreat houses, a papal residence, annexes for a reception area, an auditorium, conference rooms, fences and gates were built. Shenouda III was buried here after his death in March 2012.

Popes from the Monastery of St. Pishoy

  1. Pope Gabriel VIII (1525–1570)
  2. Pope Macarius III (1942–1945)


As of 2015 the bishop and abbot of the Monastery of Saint Pishoy was Sarapamon (Serapis Amon).

Other monasteries named after Saint Pishoy

Monastery of Saint Pishoy

Other monasteries of Wadi el Natrun ("Scete")

See also


  1. ^ Dunn, Jimmy. "Egypt: Monastery of Saint Bishoy (Pshoi, Bishoi)". Tour Egypt. Tour Egypt. Retrieved 20 August 2015.
  2. ^ "Coptic Orthodox Monastery of St. Bishoy the Great". The Coptic Network. Copt-Net. Retrieved 20 August 2015.


  • Official Website of the Monastery of Saint Pishoy (in Arabic)

Coordinates: 30°19′09″N 30°21′36″E / 30.3192°N 30.3601°E / 30.3192; 30.3601

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