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Modern Coptic Monks

We are extremely grateful to the monks of the Monastery of St. Shenoute, especially Fathers Wissa, Shinudah, and Fam, for giving us unchecked access to the ancient church. The ancient monastery was physically destroyed some time before A.D. 1441. In the twentieth century (in A.D. 1975), Coptic Orthodox monks reoccupied the site. In 1997, under the leadership of His Holiness Pope Shinūda III, the Holy Synod of the Coptic Orthodox Church gave official recognition to a new, modern monastery on the ancient site, named “The Monastery of St. Shenoute” (Dayr Anbā Shinūda). This is a modern successor to the ancient monastery of Shenoute. The modern monastic buildings are now mostly located at the extreme western edge of the site, near the desert (see figure 1). Shenoute’s feast day falls on Abib 7 in the Coptic calendar (July 1, Western calendar). Every year a large number of Coptic Christians come to this site from the neighboring towns of Sohag and Akhmim as pilgrims, celebrating the annual festival (mawlid) of St. Shenoute.