Monastery Of Saint Macarius The Great
The Monastery of Saint Macarius the Great also known as Dayr Abū Maqār is a Coptic Orthodox monastery located in Wadi El Natrun, Beheira Governorate, about 92 km north west of Cairo, and off the highway between Cairo and Alexandria.
The monastery was founded in approximately 360 AD by Saint Macarius of Egypt, who was the spiritual father to more than 4,000 monks of different nationalities. The monastery has been continuously inhabited by monks since its 4th-century foundation.
Several Christian saints and fathers of the early Church were monks at the Monastery of Saint Macarius, including Saint Macarius of Alexandria, Saint John the Dwarf, Saint Paphnutius the Ascetic, Saint Isidore, Saint Arsenius, Saint Moses the Black, Saint Poemen, Saint Serapion among others.
In 1969, the monastery entered an era of restoration, both spiritually and architecturally, with the arrival of twelve monks under the spiritual leadership of Father Matta El Meskeen. These monks had spent the previous ten years living together entirely isolated from the world, in the desert caves of Wadi El Rayyan, about 50 kilometers south of Fayoum.
Pope Cyril VI ordered this group of monks to leave Wadi El Rayyan and go to the Monastery of Saint Macarius the Great to restore it. At that time only six aged monks were living in the monastery and its historic buildings were on the verge of collapsing. The new monks were received by the abbot of the monastery, Bishop Michael, Metropolitan of Assiut.
Under Pope Shenouda III, who was himself busily engaged in restoring the Monastery of Saint Pishoy and the Paromeos Monastery, and after fourteen years of constant activity both in reconstruction and spiritual renewal, the monastic community in the Monastery of Saint Macarius numbers about one hundred monks.
The Monastery of Saint Macarius maintains spiritual, academic and fraternal links with several monasteries abroad, including the monastery of Chevetogne in Belgium, Solesmes Abbey and the Monastery of the Transfiguration in France, Bose Monastic Community in Italy, Deir El Harf in Lebanon, and the Convent of the Incarnation in England.
The Monastery of Saint Macarius the Great contains the relics of many saints, such as the Forty Nine Elder Martyrs of Scetes.