Paromeos Monastery

Paromeos Monastery (Baramus Monastery) in Wadi Al Natron

The Paromeos Monastery, also known as the Baramus Monastery, is a significant Coptic Orthodox monastery with a rich history dating back to the early Christian era. Located in Wadi El Natrun (the Nitrian Desert), Beheira Governorate, Egypt, it holds a prominent place among the monastic communities in the region. Here is an introduction to this ancient monastery:

Location and Dedication

  • Situated about 9 km northeast of the Monastery of Saint Pishoy, it is the most northern of the four current monasteries in Scetes.
    • The monastery is dedicated to the Virgin Mary.

Etymology and Foundation

  • Founded around 335 A.D. by Saint Macarius the Great, it is likely the oldest of the Scetes monasteries.
  • Its name, Pa-Romeos or ‘that of the Romans,’ is thought to reference Saints Maximus and Domitius, sons of Emperor Valentinian I, who resided at this site.

Historical Significance

  • It served as a spiritual haven for many early Christian saints, including Saint Isidore and Saint Moses the Black, who was martyred in a raid in 407 A.D.
  • The monastery has undergone destruction and rebuilding, notably by Saint Arsenius after attacks in the early 5th century.

Structural Developments

  • In response to attacks, walls were built around the monastery during Pope Shenouda I of Alexandria’s tenure (859-880), which still stand today.
  • The monastery’s history was documented by several travelers and historians, providing insights into its evolution.

Modern Developments

  • Today, the monastery houses five churches, with the oldest dedicated to the Virgin Mary, containing relics of Saint Moses the Black.
  • It has been subject to numerous renovations and additions, including a retreat center and a guesthouse.

Ruins and Archaeological Discoveries

  1. Archaeological research has uncovered remnants of defensive structures and churches, providing a glimpse into the monastery’s early construction and use.
  2. Excavations have revealed a complex history, including possible connections to ancient Egyptian monuments.

Current Leadership

  • As of 1992, the Bishop and Abbot of the Paromeos Monastery is Bishop Anba Isidoros.

The Paromeos Monastery is not just a religious site; it is a testament to the enduring legacy of Christian monasticism in Egypt, with its blend of historical, cultural, and spiritual significance. It continues to attract pilgrims, historians, and tourists alike, offering a unique window into the early Christian era in Egypt.

Created On March 25, 2020

Updated On January 25, 2024

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