Monastery of Saint Macarius the Great

Monastery of Saint Macarius the Great (Dayr Abū Maqār)

The Monastery of Saint Macarius the Great, also known as Dayr Abū Maqār, is a vital Coptic Orthodox monastery with a rich historical and spiritual heritage. Situated in Wadi El Natrun, Beheira Governorate, it stands as a testament to the enduring legacy of monastic life in Egypt. Here’s an introduction to its history and significance:

Location and Foundation

  • Located about 92 km northwest of Cairo, off the highway between Cairo and Alexandria.
  • Founded around 360 AD by Saint Macarius of Egypt, a pivotal figure in the history of Christian monasticism.

Ancient History

  • The monastery has been a continuous haven for monks since the 4th century.
  • It has housed several prominent Christian saints and early Church fathers, including Saint Macarius of Alexandria, Saint John the Dwarf, and Saint Moses the Black.

Modern Era and Restoration

  • In 1969, the monastery underwent significant restoration, both spiritually and architecturally.
  • A group of twelve monks led by Father Matta El Meskeen, after spending years in isolation in Wadi El Rayyan, were directed by Pope Cyril VI to revive the monastery.
  • This era marked a rejuvenation of the monastic community, which grew to about one hundred monks under the guidance of Pope Shenouda III.

International Connections

  • The monastery maintains relationships with various monasteries worldwide, fostering spiritual, academic, and fraternal exchanges.
  • These include connections with monasteries in Belgium, France, Italy, Lebanon, and England.

Religious Significance

  • The monastery is a repository of relics of numerous saints, including the Forty Nine Elder Martyrs of Scetes.
  • It serves as a spiritual center for the Coptic Orthodox community and attracts pilgrims from around the world.

Cultural Importance

    • The Monastery of Saint Macarius the Great is not only a religious site but also a cultural and historical monument, reflecting the depth and diversity of monastic traditions in the Christian world.


In summary, the Monastery of Saint Macarius the Great stands as a beacon of Christian monasticism, rich in history and spirituality. Its ongoing legacy and connections with other monastic communities highlight its importance as a center of religious life and cultural exchange.

Created On March 25, 2020

Updated On January 25, 2024

An aerial view of the Bramous Monastery in Egypt, showcasing two bell towers and a courtyard with a palm tree
Amidst Egypt's sands, the Bramous Monastery rises with faith and history etched into its walls
Ancient domed Coptic monasteries with a tall bell tower nestled among palm trees in Wadi El Natron, Egyp
The timeless beauty of Wadi El Natron's Coptic monasteries, a testament to Egypt's Christian heritage

Lost your password?

Welcome’ as often as the Egyptians, and each time, they truly mean it.


34 Central St. From Road 9, Moqattam – Cairo, Egypt 11571


+20 2 25050550, 25050551, 25050552

Company Official Name:

Online Era



Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in


184 Mayfield St. Hopewell
Junction, NY 12533