March 7, 2020

The Church of Saint Paul the Simple in Egypt

The Cave of Anthony the Great, one of the most revered shrines of the Coptic Monastery of Saint Anthony the Great in Egypt, is located about two kilometers from it, in the rocks at an altitude of 680 meters above the Red Sea. A staircase (1150 steps), by which pilgrims climb up to it, is not easy to climb, especially in the scorching heat, which makes the Church of Saint Paul the Simple midway up a welcome relief. This simple church in which daily liturgies are celebrated by the monks, was constructed during the leadership of the Monastery's current abbot, Bishop Yostos. The cave, in which Anthony the Great labored in asceticism for 44 years (from 312 to 356), is a long (about 10 meters) and narrow (0.5-1 meter) gap deep inside the cliff.