الثلاثاء, 18 تشرين1/أكتوير 2011 14:21 الانبا مكاريوس - سيرة وحياة الانبا مكاريوس
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 Introduction

It is my pleasure to present this book to all our English speaking

children, about the life and miracles of the Thrice Blessed, the

Late Bishop Makarios, Bishop of Qena and its tributaries in

Upper Egypt who departed to heaven in 1991 while praying the

Divine Liturgy. As you read this book, God’s work with him and

the power of the Holy Spirit that supports the saints and the

church, will be evident.

The amazing video of Bishop Makarios’ last Liturgy is the reason

for the spread knowledge of his saintly life, almost to the entire

world, although he was unknown to many during the course of

his life. Since his departure, his saintly aroma has spread widely,

capturing the hearts of many who never even knew him prior to

his departure; therefore, we felt obligated to publish books in

Arabic about his life and miracles. To date, there are a total of 8

published books in the Arabic language.

While we have been trying to produce an English translation of

His Grace Bishop Makarios’ saintly life for quite a while, it took

some time until God arranged, through Abba Makarios’ prayers,

for a blessed family to take on the blessings of this work.

I wish to all of you, from the bottom of my heart, all blessings

and grace. I sincerely hope you enjoy reading about the holy life

of Bishop Makarios and that you follow his faith, as it is written:

“Remember those who rule over you, who have spoken the

word of God to you, whose faith follow, considering the

outcome of their conduct.” (Hebrews 13:7)

My heartfelt thanks to the family that worked on the translation

and to all who helped produce this book. May God bless them

all and grant them their heart’s desires, through the prayers and

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intercessions of our mother Saint Mary, all the choir of the

heavenly hosts, our fathers the apostles, the martyrs and all the

saints, and the blessings of the great saint Bishop Abba

Makarios and the blessings of our generation’s teacher, who has

the golden tongue, His Holiness Pope Abba Shenouda III and all

honored metropolitans and bishops.

To our LORD be due all glory and honor forever, Amen.

HG Bishop Cherubim,

Bishop of Qena and Its Tributaries

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HIS GRACE BISHOP MAKARIOS

HIS LIFE AT A GLANCE

His Grace (HG) Bishop Makarios was born on Wednesday,

September 10, 1923 (the 5th day of the Coptic month of El

Nasii, 1639 AM)1 in the village of Awlad Yehia, Dar El Salam,

Sohag, Egypt. His name was Helmy Ayob Mikhael and was born

to righteous parents, Ayob Mikhael and Rena Shenouda.

As a young lad, Helmy studied in the village’s grammar school

and then worked as a farmer and a shepherd. According to his

brother, Aziz, when Helmy was young, he used to attend the

family spiritual meeting every Sunday; he was the only child

that gave up play-time with the other children in order to listen

to the Bible and pray with the adults.

One day, Helmy left his village to visit one of his relatives,

Tawfik Abaskhiron. During this visit, Helmy revealed his love and

desire for the monastic life, however Mr. Abaskhiron did not

encourage Helmy and refused such an idea. Later, Helmy went

with two of his relatives, Kamal Attiatalla and Labib Meshraky,

to the mountain east of the village of El Kosheh. There, they

sought the guidance of a blessed monk who lived in this

1 The Coptic year is an extension of the ancient Egyptian civil year. This

calendar is still in use by farmers throughout Egypt, as it aids them in tracking

the various agricultural seasons. The Coptic calendar has 13 months, 12 of

which are made up of 30 days and an intercalary month at the end of the year,

which is made up of either 5 or 6 days, depending on whether or not it is a

leap year. The Feast of Neyrouz marks the first day of the Coptic year. The

Coptic calendar started in the year 284 AC, the year in which

Diocletian became the Roman Emperor; his reign was marked by torture and

mass execution of Christians, especially in Egypt. Hence, the Coptic year is

identified by the abbreviation AM (for Anno Martyrum or "Year of the

Martyrs").

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mountain. When they told him of their desire to become

monks, the monk answered and said, “Kamal and Labib should

go back home and get married, but Helmy should go to the

monastery.” And so it was, on Friday, June 7, 1946 (Pashons 30,

1662 AM), that Helmy joined the monastery of St. Mary El

Baramous and was ordained a monk on November 21, 1946

(Hathor 12, 1664 AM). His new monastic name was the monk (El

Raheb) Adam.

On Wednesday, March 26, 1947 (Baramhat 17, 1665AM), El

Raheb Adam was ordained as a deacon by the late Bishop

Thomas of Tanta, and then went on to join the Theological

School of Helwan in October 1948. On Palm Sunday, April 2,

1950 (Baremoude 4, 1668 AM), he was ordained a priest by the

late Bishop Makarios, the Abbot of the monastery, and was

named Father Boles El Baramousy. In May 1953, Father Boles El

Baramousy graduated from the Theological School and shortly

after, October 1953, he was appointed to serve the church of

Saint George in Bor Foad. On Sunday, March 25, 1956

(Baramhat 16, 1674 AM), Father Boles was promoted to a

protopriest (Hegomen).1

On Sunday, September 19, 1965, Father Boles El Baramousy was

ordained a bishop for the diocese of Qena, Qift, Naqada,

Dishna, and the Red Sea area, and was given the name Bishop

(Abba) Makarios; he remained on his seat for over a quarter of a

century until he rested in the LORD on Sunday, February 3, 1991

(Tobi 26, 1707 AM) as he was praying the Holy Liturgy. May his

prayers and blessings be with us all, Amen.

1 Also called "Hegumenos" meaning a "disposer," for he disposes church

affairs together with his brethren, the priests.

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His Monastic Life

HG Bishop Makarios joined the monastery of Saint Mary El

Baramous when he was about 23 years old. At the monastery,

he became a disciple of three great elders of the desert, Father

Boles El Baramousy the Great, Father Faltas El Baramousy, and

Father Abd Elthalouth the Ethiopian. He served them with a

pure and joyful heart, washing their clothes, cleaning their cells,

and filling their basins with water. They therefore loved him

very much and bestowed their blessing upon him. Not only did

he attend to the needs of the elders, but with an obedient,

humble, and thankful heart, he took on the majority of the

monastery’s services.

One of the fathers who lived with Bishop Makarios in the

monastery for quite some time said, “HG was very organized in

his spiritual life, his countenance, his personal life, and in his

cell. He held fast to his monastic canon, through metanyias,1

praying the psalms, and fasting until nighttime daily; HG broke

his fast by eating bread and cumin for 12 years.”

As a monk, HG preferred to remain isolated, minimizing his

interactions with the other monks and any monastery visitors;

his time was spent within his cell, completing his chores, or in

the church. He was a typical example of a silent monk who only

spoke when necessary; when he did speak, he would use a few

words to get his point across. His words were so simple, yet

they touched the hearts of those who heard them, as it

reflected the way he lived.

1 Metanyia means prostration. There are three different reasons why we

prostrate: for worship, when we enter the church and prostrate before the

Holy Altar; for respect, in the presence of the Pope or bishop; for repentance,

to show sorrow for our sins.

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Not only was HG Bishop Makarios quiet and simple, but he was

also very humble. He never engaged in any disputes nor caused

pain or hardship to others. He spent most of his time in solitude

within his cell, studying and completing his daily canon. He

exemplified the true meaning of a monk through his lifestyle,

his way of dealing with others, his countenance, and his selfdiscipline

and control. HG rarely laughed, but when he did, he

did so in the most polite manner, as deemed fit for a true monk

who does not care for the earthly matters, even those that

seem important.

As a monk, HG devoted his mind to his monastic duties. His

ultimate goal and dedication was to live with Christ, for whom

he left his family, village, and all that he had, following Saint

Paul’s saying, “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I

who live, but Christ lives in me.” (Galatians 2:20)

At the beginning of his monastic life, HG himself mentioned that

he saw a vision in which he was holding a cross and the Brass

Serpent, and was praying the absolution. He mentioned this

vision to his father of confession, who said to him “brother, you

will be a bishop,” and so it was.

After his graduation from the Theological School of Helwan, he

was appointed to serve in Bor Foad. He was so loved by the

entire congregation, and he himself said that he read an

uncountable number of books during this period. Then HH Pope

Kyrillos VI chose him to be his secretary. HH loved him dearly

and used to call him Father Boles the Simple,1 and always used

to call him saying, “Come, O blessed.”

1 His Holiness probably called him by this name after Father Boles the Simple,

the disciple of Saint Anthony the great (the father of monasticism).

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Our Father Boles had a strong relationship with the LORD and

this was the secret to his strength, humility, and righteousness.

He was truly a man of prayers, always fleeing to God for the

guidance of the Holy Spirit. This was the only solution he had for

any problems that he faced.

As the father of confession to the nuns of Abi Saifain Convent in

Old Cairo, Father Boles used to pray before listening to any

confession, asking God for His grace, that he may be able to give

each nun the appropriate advice that suits her. When faced

with a question or a problem that he did not know how to deal

with, he would answer in humility, “I don’t know, but go now

my daughter to your cell and pray, and leave me here to pray

that God my Savior might guide me.” After praying, he would

tell the nun, “As for me, I don’t know anything, but God has

given me this answer…” The advice given to the nuns by HG

Bishop Makarios would always be the appropriate solution to

the problem.

If one of the nuns forgot to confess a sin or if, by the grace of

the Holy Spirit, Father Boles knew that she was in need of some

guidance on a certain issue, he would kindly pretend and

mention to the nun that he himself had a problem; this would

trigger her to recall her own problem or sin, and she would

therefore gain the opportunity to seek his guidance.

HG was great in his simplicity and righteous spirit, and so the

light emitted from within him. His spirit was anointed by the

Holy Spirit, and God entrusted him with the treasures of His

true knowledge. And with his light spirit and pure soul, HG

Bishop Makarios provided the children of God with pure and

straight teachings from the well of truth.

So his words were effective; his advice penetrated the hearts of

the nuns and sank to the bottom of their souls. His humility and

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purity were a living example to all the nuns, encouraging them

to follow his footsteps in meekness.

His Holy Inner Life

HG Bishop Makarios took his spiritual life very seriously. He was

watchful, spiritually vigilant, and prudent in following his daily

monastic canon, prayers and metanyias. He used to pray all his

psalms and prayers during their respective times, with many

tears and extreme reverence.

The beloved Tamav Eriny, the abbot of Saint Philopateer (Abi

Saifain) Convent said that her convent was honored to have had

Father Boles El Baramousy pray the first mass on the first altar

in the convent; he also prayed his last mass there on January 19,

1991, fifteen days prior to his departure from the earth.

His Grace had a great deal of transparency and he used to feel

the needs of his children. At one point, the Convent of St.

Philopateer was going through financial hardship. The convent

did not have any money to even buy vegetables, so Tamav Eriny

went to her cell to pray and put the matter in the hands of the

LORD. A few minutes later, she was told that Father Boles El

Baramousy had arrived, although this was not his customary

visitation time. As soon as he saw Tamav Eriny he asked her,

“Does the convent need anything?” The beloved mother was

surprised at the question, and she asked him how he knew of

their need. He replied that the Martyr Abi Saifain told him of the

convent’s hardships and continued to say: “After I finished the

Liturgy, I wanted to get some rest before going to the

patriarchate (as he was the secretary of HH Pope Kyrillos VI). As

soon as I closed my eyes, I heard a voice saying ‘get up, take

money and go to the Convent of Abi Saifain.’ I opened my eyes,

made the sign of the cross and thought to myself that this may

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be one of the devil’s tricks. So once more, I closed my eyes but I

heard the voice again saying, ‘I am the martyr Abi Saifain and I

am telling you to get up, take money, and go to my convent in

Old Cairo.’ After this, I was sure that this was a message from

God, so I took the money I had in the closet and brought it

over.” Tamav Eriny then told Father Boles the whole story and

praised God for His mercy and thanked His martyr Abi Saifain.

One day, Father Boles met with Father Attalla of Saint Mary’s

monastery El Moharak, as the latter was responsible for printing

the hymn books that are used by the deacons during Liturgy.

During their conversation, Father Attalla mentioned that he

liked Father Boles’ tunic; at once, with great simplicity, Father

Boles took off his tunic and gave it to him. When Father Attalla

offered to pay for it, Father Boles answered that he did not

need any money in return, but instead suggested that Father

Attalla provide hymn books, up to the monetary value of the

tunic, to the Convent of Abi Saifain. There was only one book in

the entire convent that all the nuns shared and rotated amongst

themselves to memorize the hymns. So Father Attalla, as agreed

upon, delivered new hymn books to the convent. The number

of books sent to the convent was sufficient enough to allow for

each nun to have her own book, and there was an additional 10

copies remaining.

Father Boles was simple, yet wise; he used his wisdom while

demonstrating great love and pity to others. The late Mother

Aghapy of Abi Saifain Convent had mentioned that she used to

brush her teeth every morning before going to the Liturgy and

partaking of the Holy Eucharist. When she heard from the other

nuns that she should not do so, she asked her father of

confession, Father Boles, who answered her and said, “I will ask

you a question, where does the digestive system start?” “In the

mouth,” Mother Aghapy answered. “Then the mouth should

also fast,” he replied.

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After the Late Metropolitan Kyrillos of Qena departed to the

heavens, His Holiness Pope Kyrillos VI performed an altar draw,

where he wrote the names of Father Ekladios of the monastery

of Saint Anthony, Father Antonios El Baramousy, and another

blank piece of paper. Following the Divine Liturgy, HH invited

one of the deacons to draw one of the three pieces of paper in

the presence of the entire congregation. The deacon picked the

blank paper, which meant that God wanted someone else for

this diocese. So HH Pope Kyrillos chose Father Boles El

Baramousy for this task. On Saturday, September 18, 1965,

during the Vespers raising of incense, HH ordained Bishop

Makarios over the diocese of Qena, Qus, Naqada, Qift, Dishna,

and the Red Sea area.

Since the time of his enthronement, HG started to serve this far

spread diocese with all his might; he used to visit his entire

congregation in their homes once a year. Nothing could hinder

him from visiting them, even during his last days when he

became very sick. It is noteworthy to mention that his diocese

was divided into 4 dioceses after his departure; this is how vast

and spread his diocese was.

HG had always wished to die while serving or during the Divine

Liturgy, and his wish was granted to him. He departed during

the Liturgy as he prayed the “O our Master” part, which is said

before the Fraction prayer of the Gregorian Liturgy. As he was

saying “O You who gave to His holy disciples and saintly apostles

at that time, now also give to us and to all…,” he dropped on

the floor and was given the eternal life.

As a good shepherd, HG Bishop Makarios gave up his rest and

necessities for the service and salvation of his children. He

never passed up an opportunity to serve, and he did so

thankfully and happily, always asking for God’s help, protection

and guidance. As he loved God so much, he did all that pleases

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Him prudently, whether by his words, deeds or his thoughts. His

personal life was a daily sacrifice, barely giving rest to his body.

He spent his nights in prayers and his days in fasting and

unconditional love; he toiled earnestly to achieve pardon for

himself and for his children as well. He did this in secrecy, lest

anybody sees and praises him and he loses his reward. He

always used to say a famous Egyptian saying, “to keep your

candle lit, you must hide it from the wind.”

HG had a deep feeling within him that he is falling short on all

his rituals in his service. He was often seen weeping like a little

child and saying, “I don’t pray;” by this he meant that he does

not pray as he should. However, the spiritual power that was

within him was far from being hidden; the reflection of his

honest personal life was manifested in his life, words, and

service.

Father Samuel of Naqada tells us that HG used to spend some

nights over the houses of the priests when he went out on his

visits. The priests used to leave their homes for HG so that he

may feel comfortable. It also happened that Father Samuel had

an apartment that HG used to lodge in, and there was a man

who really wanted to see HG. So Father Samuel took this person

to the apartment and waited a long time, knocking on the door

with no response. Father Samuel started to get worried, so he

used his personal key to open the apartment door; at this point,

they saw that HG’s door was closed, so they waited in the living

room. They started to hear HG praying so deeply, as if he was

struggling with somebody. HG kept praying with great passion,

to the point that the apartment started to shake fervently; so

Father Samuel and the man fled from the apartment with great

fear.

A similar situation happened with Mr. Milad Ghattas, as HG was

staying over his house during his visit at Safaga. Mr. Ghattas

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provided HG with a private room and his family stayed in

another room. At night, they started to hear a great struggle, as

if HG was fighting with someone with great passion. Mr.

Ghattas and his family felt so unworthy to be in the same place

with such a great saint, to the degree that they could not stay in

the apartment and went out to the street.

HG used to spend all his nights in prayer with lots of tears, and if

he would sleep, it would only be from midnight until 2 or 3 AM.

It happened that a person who lived across the street from the

bishopric used to see HG standing praying, praising, and reading

the bible all night. This person spread the word about what he

had seen, and since then, HG never prayed in this room again.

And if it happened that someone asked him to rest, he would

say: “People need someone to comfort them, they come from

far away seeking some comfort, and I must attend to their

needs in this troublesome age and give them rest.” He gave

himself to serve the children of God to the last breath, as our

Master and LORD Jesus Christ did. He was as a candle that burns

to give light and peace for his congregation, and he was a living

example of what Saint Paul said: “I have fought the good fight, I

have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in

store for me the crown of righteousness, which the LORD, the

righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to

me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.” (2

Timothy 4:7-8)

HG was a great saint that manifested the life of our LORD Jesus

Christ in all his deeds and words. He was the aroma of Christ

among us, as you were able to feel the LORD’s presence in his

life at all times.

His virtues were many and uncountable; no matter how

knowledgeable we may be, we cannot comprehend or

understand its depth. He showed us what we used to hear and

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read about the early fathers of the church, in the lives of the

great saints, hermits, anchorites, popes and great monks, in a

clear and simple way. He was growing in virtue everyday, as we

saw marvelous secrets of hidden treasures full of precious

virtues and a heavenly aroma.

HG was full of Christ’s love; he was able to show that same love

to his children, and to hold captive those who went astray and

were living in deep sin. He knew everything about them, as God

granted him this gift; but with great love and a merciful heart,

he was able to capture them and turn them into fiery servants,

or rather, saints with a real fellowship with God. He never

judged or made anyone feel like a sinner; but as a father, he

gave hope to the sinner, that he might throw him into the

bosom of our LORD Jesus and direct him to confession,

communion, and to a knowledge of the importance and

strength of praying the psalms. He always said that nobody was

strong enough to withstand sin, and for this reason, he never

judged; but instead, with great wisdom, he led souls to salvation

with words that were few and simple, yet so deep.

HG Bishop Makarios had a great and forgiving heart. He

endured all who reproached or dealt with him wrongfully,

responding with great patience and a simple, accepting heart; if

they would return to their senses and ask for HG to forgive

them, he would accept them with great love and complete

forgiveness, as if nothing had ever happened. Moreover, he

would visit them, pray for them, and absolve them, asking God

to care for them and their families. HG acted as a living example

of Saint Paul’s saying, “Love suffers long and is kind; ...does not

seek its own...bears all things...endures all things.” (1

Corinthians 4-7)

He was a father to everyone; he had the gift of making every

person feel like he was their own father and nobody else’s. He

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was therefore very loved by all, because he loved all very much.

He used to always recite the verse in Proverbs 27:19 that stated,

“As in water face reflects face, so a man’s heart reveals the

man.”

HG had a special love for the priests; they always said, “HG’s

love for us is so deep, we never feel as though he is a boss or

has any control over us, but rather a loving father who is

zealous over his children and always watching over them,

protecting them from all kinds of evil and risks, whatever they

may be. If he learned that one of us was sick, struggling

financially, or in any kind of hardship, he would not cease to ask

about us continuously and pray for us all the time. We were his

constant concern, as he felt that we were all he had, his children

and his help in service. He used to be very happy if we were

happy, and he dealt lovingly and in one accord with us. He

always said that a successful service was a fruit of your love to

each other, adding ‘May God make you successful in your

service and be a helper to you, because the yoke of service is

too heavy’ He also said, ‘I don’t want to be a burden on any one

of you because the burden of the bishop is so heavy on the

priest, and I don’t want to be like that with any priest.’

Great Humbleness

HG used to say, “A fruitful tree’s branches droop towards the

ground, but a bare tree seems to stand with pride; likewise the

meek and humble soul that possesses the fruits of the Holy

Spirit looks down upon itself with humility, but the proud soul

stands upright, because it lacks the fruits of the Spirit.”

His Grace’s humility was apparent to anyone who merely looked

at him, without even hearing him speak. He was a living

example of our LORD of Glory, Jesus Christ, who said “Take My

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yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in

heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matthew 11:29)

HG loved our Lord Jesus Christ, and he sought Him with all his

heart; Christ’s image was therefore imprinted in the heart of HG

Bishop Makarios. The more he lifted his eyes in prayer, the

more that God revealed His glory to him, thereby allowing HG

to recognize the extent of his self weakness and flaws, and to

realize how much of the Lord’s help and guidance he was in

need of. If anyone ever told him about their self-pride, he would

say, “Look to the saints that won victory before us, and were so

great in their struggles, ascetics, love and good deeds, and think

about how lacking we are next to them.” He would also never

accept a word of praise about himself, responding with, “Have

mercy upon me, Satan troubles me much, I am the poor.”

He was humble outwardly, as well as deep within his soul, in his

words and acts, in his attire and in his prayers, in his dealings

with others, and in his deepest feelings towards himself and

those around him. He always felt like he was the least, and he

had a gift of lifting others up while bringing himself down.

Anyone who sat with him would walk out of his presence

believing to be much better than HG. Not too many people can

exhibit such humility, but it was a way of life for HG. He was

often heard saying, “I am not educated, I don’t know how to

give a sermon, I am poor, I am weak and need God’s mercy, that

He may forgive my sins.” These words, coming from deep within

him, reflect how he truly viewed himself. No one ever felt that

his humble words or actions were insincere, or that they were a

means of showing off.

He was often seen sitting on his chair, listening to priests’

sermons and crying wholeheartedly at their words, like a little

child in need of learning from others. He never embarrassed or

cut anybody off, but would give others a complete chance to

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say everything; he would always be the last to talk. He never

allowed anyone to carry his bag, Faragia,1 or his cane; nor did he

allow anybody to bring his shoes to him except his own disciple

or a little deacon. He also did not allow anybody to do a

metanyia before him; instead, he would make a metanyia back.

He often said that when someone would do a metanyia to Pope

Kyrillos VI, His Holiness would say in a low voice, “To You only is

due worship O my LORD Jesus Christ.” HG used to add that

metanyias are also due when there is a quarrel between two

people or when someone sins against another; both of them

should do metanyias to each other and ask for the other’s

forgiveness.

Because he gave himself to the LORD, the LORD filled him with

His Holy Spirit and its gifts, which are only given to the meek

and humble. For example, HG had the gift of knowing a person’s

deepest thoughts; he could read any person he saw like an open

book and he even knew things about people that they did not

know about themselves. He was also a loving and kind father

who was filled with mercy and pity for everyone. HG would tell

stories, either about parables or miracles, that the people might

see themselves in the story and receive some guidance. Other

times he would make up stories about himself, depicting

himself as one in need of humility. For example, he would say, “I

am not praying the psalms as I ought to, I have no patience and

am quick to anger,” or “I suffer from the sin of pride.” He truly

meant it when he said such things, and after the other person

would leave he would say, “I really hope that this person

understood what I meant.”

1 A black tunic worn by monks and priests. It is black because it symbolizes the

fact that they have died completely to the world, and everything in the world,

and are now devoting their life to Christ.

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If he wanted to direct someone or give advice, he would do it

with great humility, as if he was not worthy to speak to the

person. However, he was able to see deep inside the person

and to know everything about him or her.

His words were simple, yet so deep. They reached into the

depths of peoples’ souls, and everyone who heard him felt joy

and happiness and also benefited. When he spoke about the

works of God, or edification of the souls, even if he took a long

time, his listeners felt attracted, nourished, and satisfied; they

were lifted up and captivated by his words. As he spoke the

words of the Holy Spirit and saw the looks of praise and

reverence in the eyes of his audience, he would say, “I don’t

know anything, I am not an educated person.” He did this so as

to escape the audience’s vain glory and praise. If he talked

about the heavens and eternal life, he would say, “I wish to just

be able to get past the gates of heaven, even if I am the last one

there.”

His Simplicity and Self Denial

Matthew 11:25 says, “At that time Jesus answered and said, ‘I

thank you Father, LORD of heaven and earth, that you have

hidden these things from the wise and prudent and have

revealed them to babes.’” It is well known that simplicity is

superior to worldly wisdom; as St. Paul says in his second epistle

to the Corinthians, “For our boasting is this: the testimony of

our conscious that we conducted ourselves in the world in

simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom but by

the grace of God, and more abundantly toward you.” (2

Corinthians 1:12) In this manner our blessed bishop conducted

himself in the world, refusing any worldly wisdom. He never

counted on any human being’s help, no matter his or her rank

or position, but instead used to flee to Him who holds all in His

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hands and would say, “I don’t know anyone except the LORD

Jesus Christ;” then he would pray frequent Divine Liturgies

during the fasting season, and any problem would be solved.

We can see this methodology in the book of Ezra in the Old

Testament. King Artaxerxes sent Ezra and all willing Jews to

rebuild the house of God and leave the land of captivity. Ezra

knew he would face lots of troubles; but even though he was

close to the king, he did not ask for his help against his

adversaries, but instead said, “Then I proclaimed a fast there at

the river of Ahava, that we might humble ourselves before our

God, to seek from Him the right way for us and our little ones

and all our possessions. For I was ashamed to request of the

king an escort of soldiers and horsemen to help us against the

enemy on the road, because we had spoken to the king, saying,

‘The hand of our God is upon all those for good who seek Him,

but His power and His wrath are against all those who forsake

Him.’ So we fasted and entreated our God for this, and He

answered our prayer.”

Bishop Makarios was very wise, strong, and straight-forward. He

never feared a human being and he always witnessed to the

truth in his usual humble spirit. Even his prayers were simple

and yet deep, expressing what he felt inside with profound faith

and love.

Like a hidden treasure, many aspects of his life were kept

secret. He often reiterated the Egyptian saying, “protect your

candle, that it may stay lit,” or in other words, hide your virtues,

lest the enemy of righteousness steal them. He did not like to

be recognized or to talk about his spiritual life; he hid his life

from everybody, just as our LORD said, “Take heed that you do

not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them.

Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven.”

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(Matthew 6:1) “That your charitable deed may be in secret; and

your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly.”

(Matthew 6:4)

He was very clever when it came to fulfilling this verse, always

working in silence and secrecy, lest anyone should see his works

and praise him. He was so secretive with his works that people

even began to think of him as a simple-minded man who lacked

credibility. They had no knowledge of his true inner man and

high level of spirituality until after his departure from this earth.

At that time, they realized his true glory and the saintly life he

had lived.

During one afternoon liturgy in the Lenten season, HG was

distributing the Holy Blood (because he had poor eyesight, he

could only distribute the Blood, and not the Body). A strong,

beautiful light appeared next to the Chalice, and was seen by

one of the female servants. She thought to herself that this light

meant that a Spirit Born1 must be present, and that HG must

also be one of them. As she thought this, Bishop Makarios

instantly looked at her. That night she had a dream in which she

saw HG sitting on his Throne in the bishopric; she went to get

his blessing, but he refused. She kept trying to even kiss his feet,

but he did not let her. Then she woke up and told herself never

again to say that HG was one of the hermits. The second night,

she dreamt of HG again in the same surroundings as the

previous dream; but this time he was smiling and he extended

his cross to her to take a blessing, and she was very happy. This

1 Better known as Anchorites, the Spirit Born. They are usually called "El

Souah" in Arabic. This type of monk has reached a very high level of spirituality

where his spirit is heavier than his body, because he is fervent in spirit, and he

rarely eats. They live in groups and can easily move from one place to another

in a very short time, without anyone seeing them.

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shows us the extent to which HG kept himself hidden, even in

the subconscious of people.

God Answers His Prayers

As the giver of all good gifts, God granted HG Bishop Makarios

all his requests. As it is written, “The effective, fervent prayer of

a righteous man avails much.” (James 5:16) HG himself often

repeated the verse, “His ears are attentive to their cry” (Psalm

34:15), referring to those who love God from all their hearts.

Over the course of his bishopric, which lasted over 25 years, HG

never asked God for something (for his children) that was not

granted to him. For example, HG used to ask God to give

children to those who were childless; he even used to name the

children before they were born or even conceived. He also used

to ask that God may solve certain problems, or send a righteous

spouse to his children, or to help students pass their exams.

Whatever he asked, God granted, so he became as a healing

ointment for his people’s wounds.

His Wise Counsel

HG was full of wisdom, as he was to the fullness of God

(Ephesians 3:19). Occasionally, there would be differences

between him and the priests regarding certain issues, but it

would only be a matter of days, or even hours, until they would

realize that his counsel was the best, as he, in humility, would

say to the priests that the perfect solution is in the multitude of

counselors. (Proverbs 24:6)

The congregation knew this about HG, so they flocked to him

every day, telling him their problems and tribulations, with a

profound faith that they would hear the counsel of God on his

lips. Therefore, they always left his presence in joy and delight.

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As for young men and women, they always sought his advice

regarding marriage and their future plans, and heeded his

words with joy. Those who did not follow his advice would

confess later, with great agony and regret, that he or she should

have listened.

In essence, the entire congregation had put their trust in HG

and listened to him, knowing that he was a wise counselor who

received his wisdom from heaven. His counsel was a reason for

great rest and joy among his people. He depended completely

on God, and God granted him His wisdom. He used to say,

“there is nothing we can do greater than praying Divine

Liturgies;” and so he offered all his needs, the churches needs,

and the congregation’s needs on the altar, before the true

sacrifice of the Eucharist. The usual request HG had during the

Liturgy was, “LORD, please take charge of my life and bestow

your peace upon the diocese.”

Therefore, the diocese lived in perfect peace during his time,

and every satanic wind that blew on it used to come to nothing

quickly, and even turned to the benefit of the diocese. HG had

committed his life and his diocese in Jesus’ hands, and looked to

Him as the true director and counselor of the diocese. If anyone

would come to him with a problem or sickness, he used to say

to them, “May God be with you,” “May God heal you,” or “May

God solve your problem,” and then he would say to the priests,

“if people only believe these simple words and take them with

faith, they would get all that they want.”

His Ascetics

Our beloved Bishop loved prayers so much, especially the

prayers of the psalms. Mar-Isaac the Syrian had said, “The

darkness of mind starts if you become lazy in completing your

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psalms. And if you neglect its times, God’s help departs from

you, so your soul sways to evil little by little, because leaving the

right direction only means drifting to the left.”

When HG was a monk, he used to pray the psalms in their due

times, but after becoming a bishop he used to pray them in the

morning and at night. He once said, “A spiritual man has to pray

the psalms” and then added, “I cannot sleep under any

condition without praying my psalms. If any person neglects his

psalms even once, either devils devour him or he becomes so

cold spiritually and careless toward prayers, and it becomes

very difficult to go back to his warm prayers.” Regarding the

priests HG would advise and say, “The priest must pray the

psalms, even if he needs to do so at any time of the day,

according to his service and responsibilities (for example,

between liturgies, anointing of the sick (unction), spiritual home

visits, congregation problem solving and others).” In his later

years, HG Bishop Makarios’ sight grew dimmer as a result of his

diabetes, and his memory weakened as a result of brain

atherosclerosis;1 as a result, he was unable to read or to recite

all the psalms. But this was God’s will, as the LORD wanted him

to reach a different spiritual level, namely, prayers with no

limits, wherever the Spirit guided him. Then HG started to have

heavenly visions and revelations beyond the comprehension of

humans, and experienced what the skillful fathers call ecstasy or

“caught up.”2

1 Atherosclerosis is hardenings of the arteries which carry the oxygenated

blood from the heart to the other parts of the body.

2 This is a state of amazement and ecstasy, when the activity of the senses

is suspended, such as what St. Paul said about himself “…was caught up to the

third heaven…whether in the body or out of the body I don’t know, God

knows.” (2 Cor 12:2)

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HG loved prayers to a degree that is difficult to comprehend; he

used to pray the psalms and midnight praises in his cell, and

often, as he looked upon the icon of St. Mary that hung in his

cell, he would see the icon emitting light. The light would get

brighter and brighter, and then St. Mary’s face would redden

and she would turn into a complete person, with her full height

engulfed in light. Even after leaving his cell, the face of HG

would still be shining and his hands would become like candles,

sparkling in a way that would attract the eyes. He would find

himself in a state of great joy and delight.

To HG, prayer was everything. He spoke much with God, while

limiting his dialogue with people. He was filled with God’s

presence and love, and this love overflowed from him and

poured into the people around him, nourishing them. One of

the amazing stories about HG involves a visit he made to

Hurghada1. While on this visit, a priest came to him one

morning, accompanied by some visitors. They saw that HG’s

face was extremely flushed and shiny, as though glowing with

heavenly light. They all gazed at him, mesmerized by this

fascinating image. Seeing their amazement, HG laughed and

said, “A hot shower makes one’s face so red;” however, during a

more private sitting, he explained what had really happened.

HG had been very troubled and anxious about a certain matter.

He prayed throughout the night with many tears and great

strife, pleading with the LORD and entreating Him to solve the

problem. As he prayed, a fiery chariot appeared to HG and a

1 A city in the Red Sea Governorate of Egypt, and a tourist center located on

the coast of the Red Sea.

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voice from heaven said, “Ride along and fear not.” HG got on

the chariot and found himself in the sky, above a cloud on which

the LORD stood. The LORD said to HG, “What is wrong, my son

Makarios? Why are you upset, when I am with you?” The Lord

spoke with HG for some time, and then HG found himself back

in his room with his face shining.

The Virtue of Silence

Saint John of the Ladder1 had said, “The ears of the quiet and

silent hear wonders from God.” As the church fathers have

taught us, we should pray without ceasing, and we should recite

the following prayer: O LORD Jesus Christ, Son of the living God,

have mercy upon me, a sinner. While reciting this prayer, we

should be in a quiet state of mind, with our eyes closed and our

hands in a position of supplication. We should draw our minds

into our hearts, regulate our breathing, and imagine that we are

in God’s presence. We should remember our sins and iniquities.

Then our souls will feel completely quieted, and we will have a

profound sense of God’s presence, feeling no desire to speak to

anyone else, and completely satisfied with and saturated in

God’s presence. HG lived this ideal form of prayer in his

personal life.

When HG did speak, it was with the words of the Holy Spirit,

which help, nourish, and give strength. His words were

1 In Greek, St. John Klimakos; honored by the Church as a great ascetic, and

author of the renowned spiritual book, The Ladder, from which his name

comes.

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priceless. He also had the gift of spiritual discernment, knowing

what each person was capable of and giving to that person

accordingly. For example, if a person was not spiritual at all, HG

would not set high spiritual goals for that person; instead he

would say, “You have to confess and take communion.” Or, he

would tell the person a story or a parable, as Jesus was

accustomed to doing with his disciples, saying to them, “To you

it has been given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God,

but to the rest it is given in parables.” (Luke 8:10) However, with

those who walked in the way of Christ and valued spirituality,

HG would talk about higher spiritual stages, such as those of the

ascetics and hermits. He would talk to them of heaven and the

heavenly secrets, of angels, and of God’s way of approaching

and dealing with the soul.

In silence and quietness, this spiritual giant worked and served.

His legacy can be explained by what Mar-Isaac the Syrian said:

“Do not expect to learn anything about the kingdom of heaven

from a man who did not experience complete silence for a long

time, even if he was a wise teacher or someone who

accomplished many great works. Quietness makes you shine

like the sun and purifies you from ignorance.”

His Fasting and Charitable Deeds

His Grace Bishop Makarios was an ascetic who excelled in

fasting. As one of the Church Fathers said about fasting,

“Receive healing for your soul from the table of those who fast

and watch, those who are working in the LORD; deliver up your

soul from the pit, because among those who fast sits the

Beloved, who sanctifies them and turns their bitterness into

indescribable sweetness; as the heavenly dwellers comfort and

guide those who fast. Receive this healing for your life.” From

this we learn that those who fast have the power to heal souls;

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as Jesus said, “This kind can come forth by nothing, but by

prayer and fasting.” HG also used to see heavenly souls

attending the afternoon Liturgies during the season of the fast,

sharing with us and rejoicing as we fast.

In keeping with his practice of hiding his virtues, HG often said,

“I have a PhD in greed;” he claimed that he never gave anything

to anyone. However, those who were close to him knew that he

was always giving. During his annual visits, he would say to the

priests that accompanied him, “Tell me about the needy

families and after I leave their houses, you give them their

needs.” He used to accept all of the monetary offerings of these

families so as not to embarrass anyone, and later he would send

money back with the priests according to each family’s needs.

One of these visits involved a family who was both needy and

greedy. The man did not want to come out and meet with HG or

to give him any money. After an argument between the man

and his wife, the wife was forced to go to her neighbor and ask

for money in order to give to HG; but HG refused to take

anything from her, even though he was not accustomed to

rejecting offerings. Instead he told her “Go return this money to

whoever you borrowed it from,” as he knew exactly what had

happened.

On another visit, HG met with a man who was enduring severe

financial hardships; HG gave this man all of the money that he

had collected on his annual visit to this village. HG also

happened to hear that one of his priests was in need; HG cried a

lot and called the priest and paid for all of his needs. He always

asked his priests to give special care to the needy families,

especially those who were too shy to ask. All of the money that

HG collected during his annual visits would go to the building,

beautification, and services of the church.

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Bishop Makarios and the Anchorites

The Anchorites are those who grow in the spirit and forget their

basic earthly needs. Their bodies become light, so that their

spirits, through the name of the Holy One, may be in charge.

They are so consumed with the heavenly Groom that they

forget they even have a body. Therefore, their bodies are not

obstacles to flying. They are granted the qualities of spirits and

angels, flying without being seen and crossing oceans in a

twinkle of an eye, even though they are still in their flesh. These

are the Anchorites, which means the Spirit Born.

There is no doubt that our blessed bishop grew in spirituality to

a degree that made him a friend of the Anchorites; he became

one of them.

It is beyond our minds to comprehend those who go against

earthly logic, defy all the measures of gravity, and challenge the

basics of this earthly life; therefore, we will observe the life of

HG in order to come up with a few points that will illustrate to

us how he attained this level of spirituality:

1. His Grace was in a state of constant prayer. As St.

Theophan the Recluse1 teaches us, prayer without

ceasing is a constant existence in God’s presence, and

can be likened to feeding the fire (The Holy Spirit) with

1 St. Theophan the Recluse, also known as "Theophan Zatvornik," (1815–1894)

is a well-known saint in the Russian Orthodox Church. He is especially wellknown

today through the many books he wrote concerning the spiritual life,

especially on the subjects of the Christian life and the training of youth in the

faith. He also played an important role in translating

the Philokalia from Church Slavonic into Russian.

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logs (words of prayer). Through his unceasing prayers,

our bishop found himself constantly in God’s presence.

He would sit reverently, in a way that suggested that he

was sitting in the presence of the Almighty, as though

he was one of the 24 elders sitting around the throne of

the Holy One.

2. He had a fervent love for God and his children; he cared

and prayed for them, and he was very concerned about

all of their needs. He used to visit them at night,

whether in their dreams, through visions, or in real time

apparitions; he did this both during his life and after his

departure, offering them advice and solutions to their

problems.

3. He was a man of great humility and self denial, as

evidenced by his escape from vain glory and any earthly

praise; on the contrary, he tried to show himself to be

an uneducated person who was not even capable of

preaching or preparing a sermon. He showed himself to

be a sinner who was in need of God’s mercy, and he

made himself inferior to others.

4. He possessed great simplicity, mingled with heavenly

wisdom; as it says in Matthew 10:16, “I am sending you

out like sheep among wolves. Therefore, be as shrewd

as snakes and as innocent as doves.”

5. He was very honest, and had a straight heart; he

despised hypocrisy and self glory, and was righteous in

all aspects of his life.

6. He had a pure heart and lived in a continuous state of

repentance. This raised him to a high level of holiness,

so that he was made worthy of the LORD’s gift of being

able to see people’s deepest thoughts and sins. Because

of his great humility and fatherly love for those around

him, he would never judge them; instead, he would

respond to their iniquities with great love and pity, and

would help them to abandon their sins.

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7. He was an ascetic who chose to live in poverty, and he

was very patient with everyone, even those who

reproached him. He responded to their transgressions

with patience. Some people, however, would lead

others to doubt the teachings of the church, or to

believe heresies. If these people insisted on their own

ways, despite HG’s patient and loving attempts to lead

them in the orthodox path, he became very stern with

them. He grew very much in his ascetics during his final

years, despite having an inflamed colon and being on

many medications.

Because of these virtues and many more, our beloved bishop

was full of the Holy Spirit and great glory. He used to say, “To be

an anchorite is to attain a very high spiritual level; but as for

myself, I need an entire year to be able to repent all of my sins.”

He also used to say, “My son, I do not know anything, but I only

repeat what I have heard; I wish to repent from my sins so that I

might attain this degree of spirituality.”

His Grace mentioned that there are some anchorites who are

capable of disappearing completely and fleeing to their dwelling

places and monasteries. No one can see them, and they rarely

talk with anybody; they have their own services, prayers and

praises. Sometimes, however, they go out to help those in

tribulations, hardships, or various trials. They also attend the

prayers of the children of God, whether offered in their rooms

or in the churches and monasteries.

Most of these anchorites now live in monasteries that are

located in different regions: between the monasteries of St.

Paul the First Anchorite, and St. Anthony the Great; in the

eastern desert; and between the monastery of St. John of the

Ladder, and the Light Tower of the Ladder; in the region of

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Marsa Matruh;1 and close to St. Bakhomios Monastery, as well

as in many other places. For their food, they eat grass or green

plants. They live in solitude and only meet at the time of prayers

and the Divine Liturgy, for which they usually choose older and

ancient churches to hold the services.

His Grace also mentioned an incident in which the anchorites

went to a specific church and found the Holy Bread baker inside.

They asked the baker to leave so that they could pray a Liturgy.

HG also told us that when the anchorites come to the bishopric,

the doors open for them and then close upon their departure.

In order to move from place to place, they spread their hands

out to form the shape of a cross, while saying, “Holy, Holy,

Holy,” and they fly into the sky. They look like birds that spread

their wings and become engulfed in light, but they do not move

their arms. Alternatively, a divine power in the form of a fiery

chariot carries them away, or the power of the Spirit that lives

within them carries them to where the Holy Spirit wishes to

lead them.

There are also other anchorites who live in the world among us,

such as HH Pope Kyrillos. The anchorites used to come to HH

and attend liturgies with him. HH used to also visit people in

their homes and appear to them.

HG Bishop Makarios used to pray in the ancient, deserted

churches and monasteries, as well as in the anchorites’

monasteries; the anchorites would often go and pray with him.

1 Marsa Matruh stands some 240 km (149 miles) west of Alexandria, along

the shore of the Mediterranean Sea, on the main highway from the Delta to

the Libyan border.

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There is a well-known story in the village of Faw Bahry involving

a visit by HG and a priest named Father Azer Toma (who

departed to the LORD on January 16, 1973). Father Azer Toma

was among the anchorites. While on a visit to one of the homes

in this village, HG asked Father Azer, “Do you know how many

columns are in the ancient church of St. Mary in Atrib?” Father

Azer answered and said “44, according to what is written in

history books.” HG said to Father Azer, “History books? Or were

you there praying with us? I saw you behind the column.”

Father Azer then became very quiet and tried to change the

subject.

His Grace also told us that Father Azer (a priest in the church of

Archangel Michael in Rahmania) used to always pray with the

anchorites in a church below the current church of St. Peter in

Qena and in the church of St. Blamon (this church is in an area

called The Palace and the Hunter), as well as many other

churches that are not known.

Nadia, a servant at the girls’ orphanage in Qena, said, “3 months

before Bishop Makarios’ departure, early one morning at

around 4 AM, we were working to prepare food for some

visitors; I noticed that the light of St. Mark’s church was on (the

church is very close to the orphanage, separated only by a

fence). The church was so brightly lit that I became curious as to

what was going on at such an early hour. I climbed a wooden

ladder and tried to listen to the prayers, since I thought the

fathers must be praying a liturgy. However, I could not hear

anything; I could only see the intense light. The next day I went

to see HG and as we were sitting, he looked at me, smiled, and

said, “Do not try to listen to what is going on again. The blessing

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you have received is sufficient. What if you had fallen off the

ladder and could not see such things anymore?” Nadia then said

to HG, ‘absolve me Your Grace, I will not do this again.’”

Another servant, who was responsible for the girls’ dormitory,

told us about a time when she was not very happy with the girls

in the dormitory; she told them that she would not pray or eat

with them anymore. A week later, HG Bishop Makarios came to

her at night in a dream, and he was very angry with her. He said

to her, “Do not ever leave the girls for a long time like that, lest

they become lukewarm in their spiritual lives.” The following

morning, she went to see HG; he looked at her lovingly and

asked her about the girls in the dormitory. She apologized and

promised him that she would not leave them again.

A man named Kamal Metry also told us the following story: “HG

used to ask me to take care of a few things in the bishopric.

Since I felt some fear about being there by myself, I asked a man

named Gawargios to send someone to stay with me; but he

sent me three young men who kept wandering from room to

room, so I rebuked them. One of these young men had played

around with the clock on the wall. It was a Saturday afternoon

and HG was in Naqada. HG came back on Monday, he told me

the following: ‘Kamal, I was resting on Saturday afternoon and I

dreamt that I came to the bishopric. Who played with the clock

on the wall? I have never seen those kids before. Even Riad Rizk

was sitting on this couch and never moved.’ Then a woman

named Feryal, who happened to be sitting with us, said to HG,

‘What about me, Your Grace? What did I do?’ HG replied, ‘You

were not with them, but Attiat was.’ And HG was right; Feryal

was not there, but Attiat was.”

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His Grace Bishop Makarios had told one of the priests that he

should wake up at 4 AM to finish praying his psalms. Then HG

came to this priest (the priest was unsure whether he was

awake or dreaming) and said, “You are not permitted to wake

up late in the morning.” The priest was so disturbed that he

went directly to HG to ask him about this vision, and whether it

was from God or Satan. HG replied, “Satan cannot tell you what

you were told, but either way, may God absolve you.”

His Grace also told a close priest that during his prayer, he was

carried to see a certain Bishop and to pray for him, as this

Bishop was very sick. To this day, that Bishop is still alive.

Our beloved Tamav Eriny, the head of the Abu Safain Convent in

Old Cairo, told us that a part of her responsibility in the convent

was to guide and lead each nun in her spiritual path. One time

she gave a nun spiritual direction, but the nun did not take it

well and began to cry. Tamav Eriny sent another nun after her

to console her and tell her that what happened was actually for

her own good, and that she should accept directions from

Tamav for her own spiritual benefit. However, the nun said, “I

cannot see Tamav now, it will hurt her a lot to see me like this

and she is already sick; I will go to her tomorrow.” At night while

the nun was praying, she saw Bishop Makarios standing in front

of her. He used his cross to make the sign of the cross on him

and on her, and then he asked her, “Why are you upset with

your mother? Believe me, she loves you and cares for you and

everything she has done is for your salvation. You must listen to

her and be obedient, that God may bless you. Now go, make a

metanyia to her, and ask her to forgive you.” With great joy, the

nun ran to Tamav Eriny saying, “Bishop Makarios came to me.”

She made a metanyia, asked for Tamav’s forgiveness, and told

her everything that had happened. At this time, Bishop

Makarios was actually in Qena. How did he know what

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happened between Tamav Eriny and the nun? How did he come

to her?

Father Samuel of Naqada told us about one of his spiritual

daughters who was in great trouble. She told Father Samuel

that she used to consult with HG Bishop Makarios about her

problems, but she was unable to get to him; so she stood before

a picture of HG and prayed wholeheartedly, shedding many

tears. Then HG came out of the picture, walked into the room,

and said to her, “Your problem will be solved.” He then went

back into the picture, and through God’s grace, the girl’s

problem was solved.

Father Abd El-Kodos of Naqada mentioned that he was

supposed to pray a Divine Liturgy in the village of El-Khatara.

The night before the Liturgy, Bishop Makarios came to him in a

dream and told him, “Do not go in the morning to pray the

Liturgy.” Father Abd El-Kodos woke up surprised, telling himself

that it was not possible that HG would tell him not to pray. He

thought it must be Satan trying to prevent him from praying, so

he told himself that he would go and pray the Liturgy in the

morning. Father Abd El-Kodos then went back to sleep and HG

came to him again and told him, “Father Abd El-Kodos, I am

Bishop Makarios, not the devil, and I am telling you not to go

and pray in the village of El-Khatara.” Father Abd El-Kodos woke

up puzzled again, thinking to himself, “Is it possible that the

devil would appear in the likeness of Bishop Makarios and tell

me not to go to pray the Liturgy?” Father Abd El-Kodos again

decided that he must go pray Liturgy in the morning. He slept

for a third time, and this time Bishop Makarios came to him

again and said, “Do not go to the village of El-Khatara; there are

many troubles there; do not pray tomorrow.” Father Abd El-

Kodos woke up again, but still decided to go pray in El-Khatara

the following morning. He did not believe that HG was trying to

warn him about something. In the morning, when Father Abd

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El-Kodos was about half way to the village of El-Khatara, some

of the villagers came out to meet him, blocked his way, and told

him that some people from the village were waiting to ambush

and harm him; so he turned back and went to the bishopric to

find HG Bishop Makarios. HG opened the door for him as if he

had been waiting for him, and told him, “Dear father, you have

suffered a lot and came early today.” Father Abd El-Kodos said

to him, “Absolve me Your Grace, I dreamt that you came to me

three times last night.” HG answered and said, “I was concerned

about you, because this village has many troubles.”

One of the anchorites (he now lives in solitude in one of the

monasteries) told one of the deacons that he attended HG’s last

liturgy, the Liturgy in which HG departed right before the

Fraction, and that HG always longed to depart during the Divine

Liturgy. He also said that HG’s soul stayed in the church until the

Liturgy finished, and departed at the end with the Angel of the

Sacrifice. He also added that HG Bishop Makarios used to visit

him in his cell, although HG never visited this monastery in the

flesh.

One of the women who used to host HG during his annual visit

to her city, about four years before his departure, received him

into her home. After HG had gone up to his room, the woman

was very happy with his presence. During the night, out of

curiosity, she went towards his room to see him. As she

ascended the stairs, she felt great fear pour into her heart, and

she felt as though she could not bring herself to go one step

further. On the window of his room, she saw a feared elder

standing, so she ran back down the stairs with great fear and

trembling knees. In the morning, as soon as HG saw her, he said,

“May God have mercy on you.”

One time Bishop Makarios held a funeral prayer for one of the

priests in the city of Qus, and it was an extremely hot day. After

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his arrival, he prayed an afternoon Liturgy that ended at about 6

PM That night he became very feverish, and his temperature

reached 107.6⁰F. The doctors said he had a heat stroke because

he was exposed to the sun for a long time. They surrounded

him, trying to bring his temperature down; but they did not get

any results from 10 PM to 4 AM the following morning.

Suddenly and without any reason, his temperature dropped to

97⁰F. He stood up, took off all of his ice packs, and went to take

a shower, as if nothing had happened and he had never been

sick. After many inquiries, HG told us that one of the anchorites

came to him when he was feverish, exchanged greetings and

blessings with him, and anointed him; his temperature then

dropped instantly.

Another time, HG Bishop Makarios went to the city of El-

Rahmania for his annual visit. While visiting one of the church

members, he went in to take a nap, and requested that no one

disturb him. In the meantime, a woman from the city came to

the home seeking HG, as she had an urgent matter for which

she sought his guidance. The owner of the house told her that

HG was sleeping, and that he did not wish to be disturbed. The

woman was not convinced, so she went to the room in which

HG slept and opened the door so that she could meet with him.

Much to her surprise, she found that HG was not in the room.

She walked out of the room angrily, thinking that the owner of

the house had lied to her. Upon hearing that HG was not there,

everyone in the house rushed to the room in disbelief, and saw

that he really was not there. They left the room and closed the

door behind them. After a little while, HG came out of the

room, and he was very angry at everyone in the house for not

having listened to him. Apparently, HG was on a divine mission,

like the Anchorites.

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His Grace in the Divine Liturgy

HG always taught us to give due respect to the altar, bearing in

mind that this is the place where the great King descends. The

priest must be respectful of the altar, and move around it

quietly and with reverence. He also stressed the importance of

respect for the Holy Eucharist, reminding the priests not to take

it lightly, as they are dealing with the LORD of Glory Himself and

with the spirits of angels and saints that surround the Holy

Sacrifice on the altar. HG would always say, “The Divine Liturgy,

for me, is my only consolation and extreme happiness. No one

knows how happy I feel while I am standing in the altar. If this

magnitude of happiness is felt here while we are still on earth,

how much more will our happiness be with our LORD Jesus

Christ in Heaven?”

His Grace used to repeat the following prayer while standing in

the altar: “Oh LORD, bestow Your peace on the diocese, take

charge of my life, forgive my sins through Your precious blood,

strengthen my faith and increase the love that I have for You.

Deepen my fellowship with You in the Spirit, and protect me

from self-dependence.” Then he would mention all those who

had asked him to pray for them, and would ask God to bestow

mercy upon those who departed, as he used to tell us that the

spirit of the saints that we mention in the Remembrance of the

Dead (Tarheem) would attend the Holy Liturgy, with God’s

permission.

The Divine Liturgy was a source of happiness and spiritual

fullness for HG and the entire congregation. HG always pleaded

with God not to prevent him from the Holy Altar until his last

breath, and God granted him his wish. He did not allow his

severe sickness to prevent him from the blessings of the Holy

Altar. During his last years, his love of the Holy Altar grew more

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and more, despite his deteriorating health and consequent

weakness. Prior to his departure to Heaven, he was praying the

afternoon liturgies of Jonah’s fast until about 7 PM. It was very

difficult for a person with heart disease to have the strength to

do this, but because of his great love and joy in serving the Holy

Altar and praying to God, he was granted the strength that he

needed to complete the Holy Liturgies.

From the time of his ordination as a bishop, and until right

before he became severely sick, HG used to pray most of the

Divine Liturgy (starting from the raising of incense to the end of

the Divine Liturgy) by himself, leaving only the Litanies and the

Commemoration of the Saints to the participating priests.

His Grace Bishop Makarios used to pray the Divine Liturgy with

great spiritual power, to the degree that the words of the

prayers came out of his mouth as fire, touching the hearts of

the congregation; it was clear that he prayed from the bottom

of his heart and with all his might. It was said about him, “Every

time Bishop Makarios prays the Mass, you feel as if he is

enjoying a delicious meal with great admiration. He prays

fervently and thoughtfully, contemplating on each word, even

on the prayers that are cited secretly (eg, during the Pauline

reading).” HG used to pray the Fraction prayers with great

passion, tears, a high level of spirituality, and with a heavenly

voice.

His Grace often said, “whoever respects the altar and gives it its’

due holiness will see amazing spiritual scenes, and God will

uncover for him the hidden mysteries.” HG used to deal with

the Holy Altar with unusual respect and reverence. This reminds

us of the angels, the Cherubim and the Seraphim, who stand

with great fear before God, covering their faces and feet, and

crying out saying, “Holy Holy Holy, LORD of Hosts, Heaven and

earth are full of Your holy glory.” HG truly was standing before

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God, as St. John of the Ladder said, “It is very hard to take water

away from a thirsty man, but it is even harder to prevent the

soul, which is full of reverence, from prayers, because prayer is

so loved by it and more preferred than all other deeds.”

Therefore, there was nothing on earth that could prevent HG

from prayer. He did not listen to the doctors or priests who

tried to talk him out of praying; he used to say, “when I stand

before the altar, I feel that I never want to leave it; I hope that

God never prevents me from praying, even if I have to die on

the altar while doing so.” He also used to say, “the secret of

Popes Kyrillos and the saints is in the prayers of the psalms,

midnight praises, and Divine Liturgies.” His love of the liturgies

was manifest at those times when he was seen unable to stand

while entering the church, his weak body shaking and trembling,

leaning on his cane, and breathing with great difficulty; yet this

never prevented him from attending on time. And to the

congregation’s great astonishment, it would only be a matter of

seconds after he started the liturgy that his shaking body would

become steady, his broken words would become strong and

clear, and his breathing would be regulated, as if he was a

different man. Members of the congregation would ask him

after the Liturgy, “What has happened Your Grace?” and he

would explain that Pope Kyrillos, Saint George, Abu Saifain, or a

group of the anchorites were praying in the Liturgy with him.

During St. Mary’s fast, one of the priests was praying an

afternoon Divine Liturgy with HG, in St. Mary’s church. During

Communion, HG gave out the Holy Blood, for his sight was

weak, and the priest gave out the Holy Body. They gave

communion first to the men, and then to the women. As the

last woman approached, there were two pieces of the Holy

Body remaining; the priest gave one piece to the woman, but

when he looked back he could not find the last piece. The priest

was greatly disturbed and perplexed; he looked for it

everywhere, but could not find this last piece. Then he looked to

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HG, who smiled at him and said, “Fear not, one of the

anchorites was praying with us today, and he took the last

piece. It is possible that the Eucharist can move from the tray to

the anchorite.”

In almost all the Divine Liturgies that HG prayed in the last six

years of his life, Pope Kyrillos VI came and attended with him.

His Grace also mentioned that at the beginning of his bishopric

service, and during the Divine Liturgy, he used to see blood

coming out of Jesus’ wounds in the icon of the crucifix on the

East side. And in his last year, during Holy Week, he also

mentioned that he used to see blood coming from Jesus’

wounds in the icon every year after the 400 metanyias of Good

Friday; that year, HG took out his handkerchief and wiped the

icon, then wiped his face, his eyes and his heart, and gave it to

the priest standing next to him saying, “Take the blessing

Father.” Wanting to conceal his virtues, he used to tell us,

“Because you prevented me from abstaining from food this Holy

Week, I could not see the bleeding wounds; I used to see the

wounds bleeding every year from the crucifix icon after the 400

metanyias (prostrations).”

On numerous occasions, HG saw the altar illuminate, and an

amazing heavenly light surrounding the Eucharist, as the LORD

Himself was present during the Liturgy. HG would be found

praying fervently, with heavenly hymns that penetrate to the

depth of hearts, render the thoughts captive, and lift up the

souls to the heavens, as he would see the LORD of Glory Himself

before him.

Those who witnessed him praying, either during Liturgies or

other prayers, would think that he was an angel standing before

the throne of the Almighty in Heaven, with all respect, fear and

reverence. During these times, his face was described as that of

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one who was talking to a king or a high ranking official, speaking

with great respect and fear, intermingled with love.

His only wish was to die during the Liturgy, and God granted

him his wish. HG Bishop Makarios died while he was praying

the Divine Liturgy on Sunday, February 3, 1991.

His Service

His Grace Bishop Makarios’ diocese was one of the largest; in

fact, after his departure it was divided into 4 dioceses. But

despite how large the diocese was, HG still managed to visit

each member of his congregation, house by house, once a year

for the 25 years that he was a bishop. He never skipped a year,

but persisted in his service, even in his final year when he was

sick. Up until his last breath, he regarded his service as a service

to God Himself, and he did not allow himself to be anything but

faithful to God and his children.

His Grace used to visit anywhere from 50 to 100 houses in one

day, starting in the morning and finishing at night. In 15 days,

HG would accomplish what another priest would strive to do in

a year. Even in his last two months on earth, he would visit and

serve his flock. Anytime he walked into a house, he would greet

every person individually, ask about every person, listen to each

one’s problems, follow up on their needs, and pray for them.

God would attend to all of his prayers and petitions; if HG

prayed for a person, that person’s problems would be solved or

his request granted. God also enabled HG to perform many

miracles, such as healing the sick, casting out demons, and

other heavenly powers. He used to stress to everyone the

importance of prayer, confession, communion, and fellowship

with God, as this is the only way that God will intervene, solve

problems, and lift tribulations. HG was a faithful servant who

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used his earthly talents to gain heavenly ones, and to save many

souls.

During his bishopric, many churches and altars were

consecrated in Qena and throughout his diocese, and most of

the existing churches were fixed and retrofitted.

He paid special care to the service of the Word and to spiritual

meetings. However, he did not give sermons himself; instead,

he made sure that any new priest who had the talent of

teaching and a great deal of spiritual knowledge would give the

sermon and lead the congregation. He was very careful when

choosing new priests, and he always said that the church

strongly advises the bishop not to choose a new priest in haste.

He would say, “I prefer to leave a church closed than to appoint

a priest who will close it.”

He strove to make all his deeds acceptable to the LORD, and the

LORD did indeed accept all of his deeds. The LORD granted HG

that which is written in the book of Proverbs: “When a man’s

ways please the LORD, He makes even his enemies to be at

peace with him.” (Proverbs 16:7) HG loved all, and everyone

loved him back because he cared for them out of his pure love

for God. He always said, “Do you know why our love for each

other grows? It is because this love has one goal, which is Jesus

Himself, without any other hidden goals; and this love is in

Jesus’ fear and for His acceptance.”

His Grace longed to build a church for St. Mary, his patron saint,

in Qena. He asked her to permit him to build a church for her

and to hold services in it before his departure. His request was

granted; the church was built in 15 years and it was one of the

most beautiful churches in the diocese.

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This church carries stories of many amazing miracles, which

shows the glory of God and his saints. HG was on his death bed,

and he was extremely ill. He had a heart attack, heart disease,

and a pulmonary embolism (blockage of the main artery of the

lung). As he progressively got worse and began to reach the

end, he told us that he found himself standing on his bed, but

he could still see his body lying down on the bed. A group of

angels surrounded him, ready to take his soul, and then St.

Mary came closer to him, signaled the angels to stop, and lifted

up her hands to heaven and prayed saying, “Oh my Son and my

LORD; glory, honor, and greatness are due unto you; if it is your

will, your son Anba Makarios built a church in my name, and I

would like him to consecrate it for me.” Then HG heard a voice

from far away saying, “It is my will.” At once, the Mother of

Light ordered the angels to return HG’s spirit to his body. Bishop

Makarios told us that it is very hard for the spirit to reenter the

body, more difficult than it is to leave the body. After this, HG’s

health unexpectedly began to improve and he consecrated the

church.

During the ceremony of the consecration, HG went up to anoint

the bishop’s seat, which had an engraved wooden picture of our

LORD Jesus Christ, with Myron.1 As he went to do this, he felt

great fear as he drew near the wooden picture on the back of

the seat; then he saw the picture turning into the person of

1 Myron or Chrism: a consecrated oil used in two sacraments, Baptism and

Chrismation, as well as in the consecration of the Church and of sacred

vessels, etc. The tradition of using this sacred oil goes back to the Old

Testament (Exodus 39), where God ordered Moses to prepare a compound

anointing oil of myrrh, cinnamon, cassia, and sweet calamus, mixed with pure

olive oil. It was used in anointing kings, priests, the tent of the tabernacle, and

its furniture. It is made of specific oils mixed with the spices that were

presented when the LORD was shrouded. Chrism is administered immediately

after baptism; the newly baptized person joins the church and becomes one of

its members through baptism, and is strengthened through the Chrism; this

gives him or her the right to partake of the Holy Communion.

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Jesus Christ, surrounded by a very bright light. He could not get

any closer, and so he barely anointed the far edges of the seat.

HG also mentioned that a large number of saints blessed the

consecration ceremonies, including St. Mary, St. George, St.

Philopateer Abu Safain, St. Mena, Pope Kyrillos, and some of the

anchorites (Spirit Born). Also, a number of people who watched

the video tapes of the consecration saw the spirits of the saints

on the main altar and in the side altars as well. During the

consecration ceremony, which lasted from 6:00 AM to 5:00 PM,

HG had amazing strength despite of all his medical conditions.

Ready for Departure

The final years of the life of HG Bishop Makarios were full of

spiritual vigilance and perseverance. His soul won its battle

against the weak body, illustrating St. Paul’s words, “I have

fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the

faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness,

which the LORD, the righteous judge, will give me on that day,

and not to me only but also to all who have longed for his

appearing.” (2 Timothy 4:7-8) On any given day, HG was ready

to depart from this earth. He welcomed death with happiness

and delight, like a saint who regarded the second of his

departure as his happiest moment, a time when God would give

him rest from his struggles and grant him a crown of victory.

Three years before Bishop Makarios’ departure, he asked one of

the fathers to renovate and prepare the area dedicated for

bishops’ burials under the northern altar in the Church of St.

Mark, where his predecessors, Bishop Lukas and Bishop Kyrillos,

lay. A year before his departure, he ordered a coffin to be

bought; and six months before his departure, he asked for a

burial license in his name, so that he could use the current

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burial place to avoid any later objections that might arise from

any officials. HG was then ready to depart.

He knew exactly when he would depart from this world; he

even asked for his final Divine Liturgy to be video taped, which

was very unlike him. One of the fathers asked him, “Your Grace,

where are you praying tomorrow?” He responded, “At St.

Mark’s church, and Father Metias will video tape me.” He also

made a reference to the day he would depart. Tamav Eriny

called him on Saturday morning to tell him that she would be

traveling on the following day, and then he answered and said,

“I am also traveling.” “Did you not finish your annual trip this

year, Your Grace?” she asked. “I am going on a very comfortable

trip tomorrow,” he explained. During Jonah’s feast, someone

else also asked him where he would be praying the following

week. Bishop Makarios answered, “Friday at St. Mary’s, Sunday

at St. Mark’s, and after that with Abu Safain.” Someone else

asked to see him on Sunday for an important matter, but HG

answered and said, “I won’t see anyone on Sunday.”

One lady who is very well known to us told us this story: On the

second day of Jonah’s fast, January 29, 1991, HG called me on

the phone and asked me to bring my niece to be baptized on

Friday; he insisted on this. I was very surprised, and when I saw

him I said, “Why did you insist on baptizing her on Friday, Your

Grace?” He replied, “On Friday I will pray at St. Mary’s, on

Sunday I will pray at St. Mark’s, then with Abu Safain.” I never

imagined that he meant he was departing to the heavens and

would be praying there. I also happened to be with him on

January 14, 1991, the day before he was traveling to Cairo to

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pray the feast of the Epiphany1 at the Abu Safain Convent in Old

Cairo. I begged him not to go because he had gotten very sick

on the plane the last time he went there. He said to me, “This is

my last time to travel; I will travel this time and travel once

again after 21 days, and then I will not travel anymore.” HG

departed to heaven 21 days after this conversation. I was also

with HG on the morning of Thursday, January 31, and at night I

had something to consult with him about. I telephoned him to

ask for his advice, but he asked me to come to him; I told him

that I had been with him in the morning, and he answered and

said, “OK, whatever you want. There are only two days left

before I travel.” HG did in fact travel to the heavens on Sunday.

Another lady named Feryal, who is HG’s niece, told us that on

the Saturday before his departure, HG told her, “Tomorrow a

certain person is coming to us; you don’t need to prepare lunch,

but you must attend the Liturgy.” He was trying to prepare her

for what was going to happen but she didn’t realize what he

meant. Anyone who watches the video tape of his last Liturgy

will be amazed beyond measure at how HG knew his hour was

coming and still prayed with steadiness and strength. This is

how the saints are, always ready and never shaken.

Then the hour came for this spiritual giant to join the cloud of

saints. It was on the holy day of Sunday, the day of the LORD,

during the Holy prayer of the Divine Liturgy; it happened on the

1 The Epiphany, or the Baptism of Christ on Tobah 11, AM (January 19). It is

connected with Christmas and the circumcision feasts. For on Christmas, the

Word of God took what is ours (our humanity) and in the "circumcision," He

subjected Himself to the Law as He became one of us, but in the Epiphany, He

offered us what is His own. By His incarnation, He became a true man while

still being the Only-begotten Son of God; and by baptism we become children

of God while we are human beings. On this feast, the Liturgy of blessing the

water is conducted, and the priest blesses the people with the water on their

foreheads and hands to commemorate baptism.

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holy altar at a holy time, the time of Pre-Fraction prayer while

HG was saying, “O You who gave to His holy disciples and saintly

apostles at that time, now also give to us and to all…” As he said

the word ‘all,’ he leaned forward toward the altar for a short

period and then dropped suddenly to the floor while holding

the Eucharist in his hands in 2 parts (a third and two thirds),

putting them together in the form of a cross.

His Grace Bishop Moussa, the General Bishop of the Coptic

Youth, watched this video on one of his visits to the United

States, along with a big group of youth. They watched it in very

slow motion. HG Bishop Moussa, along with many of the

American and Egyptian youth, saw 5 fingers of light lift up the

Holy Body as HG Bishop Makarios was falling, so that it landed

safely on the paten. Many of these youth confirm that they

really believe in the Eucharist’s mystery and believe that it is the

Body and Blood of our LORD; however, this incident had

strengthened their faith.

It seems that it was God’s will for HG to depart at the moment

he did. The Eucharist moved miraculously back to the paten,

and the whole event was recorded, that the LORD might glorify

His saint, who succeeded in hiding his righteousness for many

years. As it is said, “For those who honor Me I will honor, and

those who despise Me shall be lightly esteemed.” (1 Samuel

2:30)

His body remained before the altar at St. Mark’s church where

he departed for the whole day, February 3, 1991; then they

moved him to St. Mary’s church, which he built, to attend the

Divine Liturgy. After the Liturgy, the procession started from St.

Mary’s church to St. Mark’s church. It was a great procession

with people on both sides the entire way between the two

churches; so many people gathered that nobody would have

been able to find room to place a foot. Everybody flocked to the

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church, including all of the governmental representatives, a

large number of our Muslim brethren, the governor, the police

chief, and many more. The funeral ceremony was held by 11

bishops: Abba Mina (metropolitan of Girga), Abba Hedra

(bishop of Aswan), Abba Wisa (bishop of El-Balyana), Abba

Amonins (bishop of Luxor), Abba Fam (bishop of Tema), Abba

Kyrillos (bishop of Nag Hammady), Abba Abraam (bishop of

Fayoum), Abba Basanty (bishop of Helwan), Abba Bakhom

(bishop of Sohag), Abba Antonious (bishop of Manfloat), Abba

Bemoa (the abbot of St. George’s Monastery in Khatatba), and a

large number of priests from all denominations. After the

funeral and condolence speeches, at about midday on Monday,

February 4, 1991, the body was taken into a procession inside

the church until it reached the bishopric burial place under the

northern altar.

There rested the body of a holy man who lived a saintly life and

who became like a lit lamp in the way of holiness. There rested

our beloved bishop after a great journey, where he well pleased

his Creator and fulfilled His will. There rested a watchful man

waiting for his Master to return from the wedding banquet, so

that he could open the door for him immediately. (Luke 12:35-

37)

His departure caused great grief for his entire congregation, as

well as in the monasteries and convents. He had a profound

effect on the hearts of those he served and dealt with. Our

beloved Tamav Eriny, the abbot of Abu Safain’s Convent, cried a

lot for him. He was her father of confession and she knew how

saintly he was. She used to pray saying, “Lord, you have too

many saints in heaven; we wish you kept Bishop Makarios here

on earth, because in him we saw a manifestation of Your image,

love, and holy life.” One day Tamav Eriny was sick with a fever,

and she was taking an antibiotic every six hours. But despite all

her pain, she stood up to pray, and suddenly found herself in a

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beautiful place, so vast, peaceful, and full of joy and green

pastures; it was lit with a heavenly light that automatically lifts

the soul in praises and thanksgiving to the LORD Jesus Christ.

And then came Bishop Makarios in a beautiful, heavenly robe,

wearing a cross full of diamonds, walking slowly and completely

engulfed in praises to the Holy LORD Jesus Christ. Then he drew

near to Tamav Eriny and asked her, “What do you think of this

place, Mother?” She responded, “It is very beautiful, Your

Grace. Is that your place?” He replied, “No, my place is more

beautiful than this; this is only a vast place in which I walk, but

my place is much more beautiful;” then he added, “What do

you think, is this place not better than earth?” Tamav Eriny

asked, “But, did I already die? Is that why I am here?” HG

responded, “No, you did not die, but our LORD Jesus Christ

allowed you to come here and see me so that you would be

consoled and stop being sad for me.” Then she found herself

standing in the very same place in her cell.

During this spiritual experience, the nun that took care of

Tamav’s medication came to her cell, at 10 AM, but Tamav Eriny

was nowhere to be found. She looked for her everywhere, but

with no results; so she walked out, brought a chair and sat

down before the door and said to herself, “Let me see where

she will be coming from.” Six hours later, at 4 PM, she looked

into the cell and found Tamav Eriny inside. “Where were you

Tamav?” the nun asked. “I was existent,” Tamav answered. “I

looked for you everywhere inside the cell!” exclaimed the nun.

After much nagging, Tamav gave up and told the nun

everything. She described the experience, and when she had

finished she added, “I felt I was away for only 10 minutes.” “You

were taken for 6 hours” said the nun, confirming the earthly

time. But our dear Tamav was no longer sad; she was consoled

and thankful to God for giving her a chance to see her beloved

father in heaven.

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Since the celibate’s body was laid to rest under the northern

altar, to this day the room has never been closed. Unlike all

other bodies that decompose and produce a stench, HG’s body

only produces a great smell, like that of the martyrs that are

anointed with sweet spices. This body was martyred through

celibacy, purity, fasting, prayers and many ascetic practices; he

was a bloodless martyr.

After Departure Messages

There is a woman who dreamt consecutive dreams about the

departure of HG Bishop Makarios. One day, she dreamt that HG

was sitting on a great throne and he had a crown on his head; it

was as if he was at a feast. She asked him, “Are you going to

pray a Divine Liturgy now, Your Grace?” He answered and said,

“Prayers here are continuous without ceasing,” and then he

added, “I want you to deliver a message to Father….. and to Om

Makarios (the mother of Makarios).” “Is your mother still living,

Your Grace?,” she asked. “My daughter, don’t you know Feryal?

She is Om Makarios; her son is a very good deacon, prayed with

me always in Liturgies,” he answered. “Tell her that I was upset

with her, but that I now have forgiven her, because she kept

screaming all the way from St. Mary’s Church to St. Mark’s

Church during my funeral procession.” He then added, “Also tell

her to go to church, confess, and partake of the communion all

the time; that way we will not be apart. And remember me in

the Commemoration of the Departed in the Divine Liturgy, and I

will remember her, as if I came to visit her and she visited me.

She will feel my presence next to her. But again keep on

confessing and partaking in communion so you can reach where

I am, because those who confess and partake of the Eucharist

have a great position with the saints in heaven.”

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“And tell Father…., sermons became too many, in cassette tapes

and books, but the most important thing that all of you are

coming here soon. Stress in the sermons the importance of

repentance, confession, and communion, because those who

confess and partake of the Holy Eucharist have a great position

with the saints in Heaven.”

The same message and vision were repeated with a different

person, in a different city, around the same time, and he is

currently a monk in one of our monasteries.

His Miracles

“Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every

creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he

who does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will

follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out

demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up

serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means

hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will

recover.” (Mark 16:15-18)

God the Almighty granted his servants these gifts, to perform

wonders for the glory of His name, to be a sign of their holiness,

and to provide help and freedom to those who are bound and

sitting in darkness, according to His good will.

As children of God, our faith is dependent on the Word of Life.

As we learn from the story of Lazarus and the rich man, when

the rich man was being tormented, he asked Abraham to send

Lazarus to his brothers to forewarn them of the consequences

they would face if they remained in sin. “Then he said, ‘I beg

you therefore, father, that you would send him to my father’s

house, for I have five brothers, that he may testify to them, lest

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they also come to this place of torment.’ Abraham said to him,

‘They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.’ And

he said, ‘No, father Abraham; but if one goes to them from the

dead, they will repent.’ But he said to him, ‘If they do not hear

Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though

one rise from the dead.’’’ (Luke 16: 27-31)

Therefore, as children of the LORD, we have faith in Him and in

His word. “For the word of God is living and powerful,

and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the

division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a

discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” (Hebrews

4:12) This is the faith that moves mountains. This is the faith

that is manifested in the lives of all who surrender themselves

to God’s love.

Therefore, we glorify God in all His works and in all His saints,

because He shows His strength and mercy towards us through

His holy men, who walk according to His word.

The miracles and wonders of our beloved father, Bishop

Makarios, are countless, whether they were performed during

his earthly life or after his departure to the heavens. It is worth

noting that there are currently eight published books in the

Arabic language about the miracles performed by HG to this

day, and there are additional stories and miracles that have

been recorded, but are awaiting publication.

To this day, HG Bishop Makarios still performs miracles,

interceding for a great number of people who seek his blessings.

The remainder of this book will focus on just a few of the

miracles performed by HG Bishop Makarios, serving as an

example of his powerful intercessions and love for his children.

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Feryal (Bishop Makarios’ niece) told us that as a child, HG liked

to attend the praises of St. Mary during the Month of Kiahk. To

attend the service, he would walk from the village of Awlad

Yehia to the village of El-Kosheh, a distance of about 20

kilometers (12.4 miles). On his way to church, there were times

when he would run, and he would feel as if a certain power had

carried him above the ground.

Another miracle reported was of a barren woman from

Alexandria who had been married for 7 years to Dr. Fahim, a

gynecologist. One day, she went to visit her sister, who lived in

Qena. While there, she went with one of the priests to see HG

Bishop Makarios. As soon as HG saw her, he told her, “God will

give you Samuel.” The lady indeed became pregnant, but after 3

months she had a miscarriage. After all tests were done, she

was told that she had an immature uterus (womb); given her

medical condition, it was unlikely that she would be able to

conceive again. However, after some time, she did become

pregnant again. Upon further examination, it was determined

that the hormones from her first pregnancy worked towards

enlarging her uterus, preparing her for the second pregnancy.

As HG had foretold, she indeed gave birth to a boy and named

him Samuel; she later also had another boy and named him

Matthew.

Mr. Rafat Adib of Qena told us his story: He had a lot of

problems with his fiancé, to the degree where he felt that

marrying her would be impossible. He had great faith that HG

could help him and so he went to visit him. Mr. Adib noted that

before he even uttered a word, HG said “Come here next to me.

Are you worried about the engagement? Alright, that is it, there

will be no more troubles, and you will get married and have

children!!” Mr. Adib stated, “I walked out of his presence as if I

was in a dream…how did he know about my troubles? He is

indeed a man of God and all that he predicted did happen.”

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Mrs. Amal Milad of Qena told the following story about her

infant son: “We had already set a date for my son, Mina, to

receive the sacrament of Baptism, but suddenly, he got the flu

and was very feverish. I went to HG and sought his guidance,

asking him whether or not we should postpone the Baptism. HG

refused the idea of postponing the baptism and told us ‘God

willing, your son will be okay, by the blessings of my Lady Saint

Mary.’ The next day, my son was completely cured and HG

baptized him in the church of St. Mary. All our hearts were filled

with great joy.”

Mrs. Shadia Helmy Farah, also from Qena, told a story about

one of our current reverend fathers: “My husband’s brother

went to the monastery to pursue the life of monasticism;

however, my mother-in-law was very sad following his

departure. So I took her one day to see HG Bishop Makarios.

When HG saw her, he asked, ‘Why are you sad? Your son will

become a bishop.’” And his prophecy was fulfilled; her son is

the current bishop of Manflot, HG Bishop Antonious.

The nephew and disciple of HG Bishop Makarios, Mr. Rateb,

lived and interacted with HG on a daily basis. He accompanied

HG on all his visits, as he was his designated driver. Mr. Rateb

told us about a time when HG was visiting one of the villages:

“As we were passing by, we saw a man possessed with many

evil spirits; he was naked and chained with iron chains at the

bottom of a stairwell of one of the houses, screaming and wild.

As HG drew near him, the man started to throw sand and dirt at

HG. Despite this, Bishop Makarios asked for a cup of water,

prayed on it, and sprinkled the water on the possessed man. HG

then left and went on his way. Shortly after, a man came to the

bishopric, asking to see HG. When he saw Bishop Makarios, he

fell on his knees and said, ‘Forgive me for all that I have done to

you…I was not conscious.’ When HG did not recognize him, the

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man introduced himself saying, ‘I am the person who was

possessed with many evil spirits in the village. Your Grace

prayed for me and the spirits were all cast out.’ HG prayed the

absolution for him and bid him farewell.”

During one of HG’s visits to Hurgada, a non-Christian woman

who had seen HG visiting other homes invited him over saying,

“Come Your Grace, come, visit me and bless me as you bless

your children.” HG heeded her request and visited her house.

He asked for a cup of water, prayed on it, and sprinkled the

entire house, as he was accustomed to doing. Then HG asked

her, “Do you have any children?” She replied, “I have none, and

I have been married for 19 years.” So HG told her, “On this very

day next year, you will be carrying your son Ibrahim.” As he

foretold, God gave the woman the fruit of the womb, namely,

Ibrahim, at the same time HG had indicated.

The reverend Father Mata Marko shared this story: “A friend of

mine asked HG to pray for him, that he might have children. HG

kept him in his prayers constantly. On one occasion, as the man

was sitting with HG, his wife walked in. As soon as HG saw her,

his face lit up with a heavenly glow. HG became very joyful and

told her, ‘Congratulations.’ She replied, with great wonder,

‘May God keep Your Grace…but congratulations for what?!’ HG

answered her saying, ‘You are pregnant, in your second day.’“

Mrs. Nadia Naguib from Alexandria went with her husband,

Magdy, and her children to the Convent of Saint Abu Safain in

Old Cairo. At the time, HG was visiting the Convent. Mrs. Naguib

and her family sat with HG and the beloved saintly Mother

Eriny, the abbot of the convent. She told us, “During this

meeting, one of the reverend fathers asked HG to pray for my 5

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year old son, Michael, who had a G6PD Deficiency,1 which left

him anemic. We went through numerous tests and Dr. Thoria

analyzed all of them; the G6PD enzyme was very low. Two years

later, I wanted to repeat the tests, but the doctor refused,

saying that the enzyme level would never change, especially

since it was very low to begin with. But HG put his hand on

Michael, prayed for him, and said with great simplicity: ‘Give

him all kinds of food to eat.’ I then asked HG whether we should

repeat the tests, but HG told us not to.” Michael’s mother

obeyed in great faith, giving her son everything to eat, including

Fava beans and all other foods that were forbidden, given his

condition. Thereafter, the child never developed anemia and

was completely normal.

Mr. Kamal Metry, who served with HG for 18 years and was

entrusted with many responsibilities by HG, told us this story:

“HG used to give me work to finish in the bishopric. There was

one time when we were in need of a sewing machine. One of

the servants, Mr. Ohdy Gawargios, offered to bring his own

sewing machine from home. But HG answered and said, ‘God

will send us a sewing machine very soon.’ And at about 5 PM

that same day, a lady knocked on the door of the bishopric and

said, ‘Here is a sewing machine. We brought it for HG.’ And we

still have this sewing machine until now. Besides this incident,

there were many things that used to happen before my eyes

that were beyond my comprehension, but I was told not to

ask!”

1Glucose-6-phosphate-dehydrogenase (abbreviated G6PD or G6PDH);

individuals with the disease may exhibit non-immune hemolytic anemia in

response to a number of causes, most commonly infection or exposure to

certain medications or chemicals. G6PD deficiency is closely linked to favism, a

disorder characterized by a hemolytic reaction to consumption of broad

beans, with a name derived from the Italian name of the broad bean (fava).

The name favism is sometimes used to refer to the enzyme deficiency as a

whole.

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Mr. Metry went on to tell another story: “One night HG called

me and said, ‘I love you so much Kamal; I wish you can be

granted a son. I pray for you all the time.’ Then after 10 minutes

of utter silence, HG said, ‘What would you like to name the baby

girl that you will have?’ But I did not know what to answer, as

my wife was pregnant. Later on, HG visited us at home and told

my wife, ‘after 10 days, you will give birth to a girl and you will

name her Lillian.’ And this is exactly what happened.”

Mr. Gergis Nagy of Qena told us this story: “I was suffering from

a great deal of pain in my stomach, and I tried a lot of different

medications, but nothing seemed to work. One of my relatives

advised me to seek magicians and sorcerers, and so I heeded his

advice. The sorcerer gave me a list of things to do to help ease

my pain. At night, however, HG Bishop Makarios came to me in

a dream and said, ‘What are all those bad things that you have

in the balcony?’ In the morning, I woke up in haste and threw

out all the materials I had in the balcony from the sorcerer.

Since then I was made well, and required no medication or any

other treatment.”

HG Bishop Makarios was accustomed to praying for all those

who did not have children, and through his prayers and

supplications, God would indeed grant them children. Mrs.

Magda had been married for 3 years; she was unable to

conceive due to arthritis that affected her Fallopian Tubes,

according to a diagnosis by Dr. Samy El-Keshtah. Magda said, “I

was very sad. One day I went to see HG Bishop Makarios. I was

crying bitterly and HG told me that God would give me a child in

a month. The following month, as HG had predicted, I

conceived. However, because of my weak faith, I was very

worried about having a miscarriage. HG told me, ‘Worry and

sadness can make you miscarry.’ And this is true; sorrow and

worry can be the cause of a miscarriage, but thank God, the

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pregnancy period passed in peace, and God gave me Maria,

through the prayers and intercessions of HG. Later, I got

pregnant again and went to HG, asking him to bless me and

name the baby for me. HG answered and said, ‘Not now.’ I kept

going back to him for the same reason and he kept giving me

the same answer until I gave birth to a baby girl. However, the

baby died on the second day after she was born; HG apparently

knew this would happen, and this is why he did not want to

name the baby for me. May his blessings be with us all.”

Another amazing story happened with a man who had also

been married for 3 years. After undergoing check-ups and

testing, he was diagnosed with male infertility, Azoospermia. On

a Lenten Friday afternoon, HG was praying a Liturgy at St.

George Church. As HG was walking out of the altar, this man

walked up to him and asked him to pray that he might have

good offspring. HG told him, ‘May God give you a boy and a

girl!’ A year later, his wife conceived and gave birth to a baby

girl, but she had many physical abnormalities and died one day

after birth. In the second year, another baby girl was born, but

this time, she was born dead. However, in the third year, they

had a baby boy, Gergis, and in the fourth year, they were

granted a baby girl, Eriny. Therefore, all that HG said was

fulfilled. Glory to Him who said: “…for those who honor Me I

will honor, and those who despise Me shall be lightly

esteemed.” (1 Samuel 2:30)

Another lady from Qena who preferred to remain anonymous

said: “When I was in my last year of grammar school, I started

to have seizure attacks. This was a catastrophe to my family,

especially since we had no family history of this disorder. My

mother took me to HG as he finished praying the Divine Liturgy.

He prayed for me, anointed me with the holy oil, and I took the

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blessings of his white tonya.1 Instantaneously, I was made well

and I never had any more seizure episodes.” “For with God

nothing will be impossible,” as it is written in Luke 1:37. When

we think that something is impossible or no power on the face

of the earth can help, we remember that we have many

promises from our Father who art in Heaven to render us a

heavenly power that, with faith, can overcome the impossible.

A lady told us the following story to show the glory of God that

is manifested in the lives of his saints: “One day, I noticed a spot

on my left breast; it looked like black blood to me. After

undergoing numerous tests and scans, I was diagnosed with a

tumor in my left breast, which needed to be removed. With

faith, I answered and said, ‘God will heal me with a miracle.’ But

the doctors laughed at me in disbelief. I refused the

mastectomy2 and went to see HG. I told him about my condition

and he prayed for me, made the sign of the cross on the tumor,

and said, ‘God will not allow that.’ Later I dreamt of HG sitting at

a desk with many sick people surrounding him, asking for his

prayers, but he called me and prayed for me. I was very happy

with this dream; however, I still asked God for a sign of my

healing. In another dream, I saw HG Bishop Makarios standing

next to the relics of Abu Safain. He opened the box containing

the relics and said to me, ‘I came for you, especially.’ He then

took the covering off the relics, put it on my chest, and put his

cross and prayed for me. He then said, ‘That is it, you are well

1 A white tunic worn by all monks and priests while celebrating the Holy

Liturgy. It is white because it represents the joyous angels who are serving

God in purity and holiness.

2 Mastectomy is the medical term for the surgical removal of one or both

breasts, partially or completely.

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now.’ And God gave me other signs as I had asked Him to do. I

was made well by the prayers of HG.”

This very same lady also went on to tell another story: “I was

pregnant in my sixth month, but I was about to have a

miscarriage due to serious complications during my pregnancy.

Despite the pain I was going through, I took a cab and went to

see HG Bishop Makarios. At the time of my visit, HG had a

doctor sitting with him. As soon as the doctor saw me, she told

HG that I was in danger, especially since I had a previous

miscarriage. HG answered the doctor saying, ‘I will pray for her,

don’t be afraid, doctor. She will not miscarry.’ He asked for a

cup of water, prayed on it, and gave me to drink. He then told

me, ‘Take these little calendars and distribute them to all the

people in the room.’ I heeded his word and did as he said. The

amazing thing is that I was moving about as if I never had any

pain in my body; through his prayers I was made well.” She also

added, “God gave me two daughters and in my third pregnancy,

I wished that I could have a boy. So I went to HG and asked him

for my wish. HG looked at me and said, ‘Matthew, Matthew,

Matthew,’ and God indeed gave me Matthew according to the

word of HG.”

Mrs. Mariam Anwar Boles told us of an incident she personally

had with HG: “I was 9 months pregnant, but I had passed my

due date by a few days. The doctor told me that if I did not

deliver naturally within one week, he would have to perform a

C-section. The one week passed and I was terrified, so I went to

Bishop Makarios in the bishopric on September 17, 1990. I told

HG about my situation and he told me, ‘Come, sit down my

daughter. Do not fear.’ I sat with HG and I felt a lot of peace. He

went on to say, ‘You still have a few days to go; you will give

birth naturally on Friday.’ He then stood up and anointed me

with the oil from the lantern that was before the icon of St.

Mary. One of the priests who was there at the time asked HG to

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name the baby for me. HG answered and said, ‘Congratulations,

you will have Matthew.’ He also asked me for some money for

St. Mary. And all that he told me happened exactly as he had

said.”

Mr. Gergis of Qena and his wife went to meet HG Bishop

Makarios, seeking his blessings. They had been married for 3

years, but God did not grant them any children. Mr. Gergis told

us the following: “HG told us that God would give us David, but I

asked him if we should go see a doctor; he said no, don’t go. We

went out of his presence in great joy, waiting for the fulfillment

of the promise. However, when we went to do a scan just to

make sure that everything was okay, the doctor told me that my

wife had a blockage in her Fallopian Tubes and that she would

never conceive. I kept that to myself and never told my wife,

and I left everything in God’s hands. A month later, my wife saw

HG Bishop Makarios in a dream. ‘Do you know what is wrong

with you?’ HG asked her, and my wife answered negatively.

‘Your tubes are blocked. But God will open one for you and give

you a child.’ After my wife woke up, she told me about the

dream. At this point, I had to tell her what the doctor had said

and that what HG told her in the dream was true. But before a

month passed, my wife became pregnant and God granted us a

boy, then a girl, and finally twins.”

Another person came to HG with his young son. After taking his

blessings he asked, “Don’t you remember me Your Grace? I

came to you last night with my son who was suffering from an

eye cataract. The cataract disappeared after you prayed for

him.” Then HG told him, “Now, of course, you will go fill the air

with those words. You know that my lady St. Mary performed

this miracle for your son, because we are currently in her fast.

Don’t tell anybody about this miracle until I die.” This is an

example of how HG was striving everyday to cover his virtues

and complete his days in peace.

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A lady who wished not to disclose her identity said, “I was

shocked when I saw a huge tumor in my right breast. I went to

many physicians, including Dr. Jacob and Dr. Rachel, who

started talking to each other in English; this worried me. I went

to different physicians—Dr. Moris, Dr. Waheed Thabet, and Dr.

Ahmed El-Amir, to name just a few. They suggested a biopsy,

but I strongly refused. Then I had a group of 9 doctors review

my case, one of them being Dr. Gamal Abd El-Hameed, who

works as a professor at The University of Asiut. He said that

time was of the essence and that the biopsy was necessary in

order to start treatment. It happened that we were passing by

the bishopric building, and my husband suggested that I go

inside and ask HG to pray for me. However, I was completely

devastated and told my husband that the doctors said it was

cancer. ‘What will HG do?’ I asked him. But my husband

insisted, so we went and met with one of the servants who told

us that we came after visiting hours, and that we could not see

HG now. We explained the situation to her, so she went and

told HG and came back with a smile on her face saying, ‘HG will

see you.’ After we sat down, he waved at me to come to him, so

I kneeled at his feet and he prayed a long prayer for me. After

he finished, I went back to my seat. ‘You do not have cancer or

anything,’ HG said; ‘God will heal you, God will heal you, God

will heal you. And if there is anything left, just confess and take

communion and nothing will be left in your chest.’ That same

night, my husband suggested that I anoint myself with Abu

Safain’s oil and that I put the book of the miracles of Pope

Kyrillos VI on my chest, and I did. The next morning I felt the

tumor, which had previously been the size of an orange, with

my hands. There was nothing left except for a very small piece,

so I remembered the words of HG; I went to my father of

confession, who I had not seen for a very long time and I

partook of the Holy Communion. After I received the Eucharist,

the tumor disappeared completely, as the Saint Bishop

Makarios had told me. Then I returned to the same physicians

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who had diagnosed my tumor before, and they were in a great

awe. They were astonished that there was nothing left of the

tumor. They asked me what had happened and I laughingly told

them that I had gone to someone better than all of them. Then

one of them answered and said, ‘You indeed went to see

someone who is better than all of us, because medicine is

unable to treat such a case.’”

A well known man who holds a high position came to our

beloved Bishop Makarios, and he was desperate. A judicial jury

had sentenced him to prison. He had filed for an appeal, and it

was to be held very close to the date of his meeting with HG. He

complained to HG that his situation was very weak and that it

would be very hard to get out of this position; if the appeal

yielded the same verdict, he would lose everything. On the

night of the appeal, our beloved bishop stayed up all night

praying, and God accepted his prayers. The judge found him not

guilty.

On one of the Lenten days, after the afternoon Liturgy, HG met

with Mr. Roshdy Aziz Abd-Elsheheed. Mr. Abd-Elsheheed

thought it would be a great chance to tell HG about the pain he

was having in his gallbladder and to ask for his prayers. “Are you

fasting this Lent?” HG asked, ignoring the main issue. Mr. Abd-

Elsheheed was surprised and started giving excuses, saying “I

am sick and unable to fast. My gallbladder hurts so much…” But

HG said, “How could you hear that the church is fasting the

Great Lent and still not fast?” So he promised HG that he would

start fasting; then HG said, “Fast and you will see what God will

do for you.” After he started fasting, all of the pain disappeared.

His Grace was an expert on the human soul; he was able to read

people’s inner thoughts. Mr. Sarwat Nazer Tawfik of Nag

Hammadi told us this story to show the gift that God entrusted

HG with: “My wife was diagnosed with Bacteremia, or bacteria

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in the blood. The doctors said there was no treatment for her

case, that there was no hope, and that even if there was, she

would be paralyzed. I heard about the saint Bishop Makarios, so

we went to meet him at the bishopric in Qena. As we ascended

the stairs, he saw us from above and said, “Come Feryal, my

daughter.” We were shocked, as this was our first time to see

HG. We sat down with him and before we said anything HG

said, “Feryal, ya baba (a word to show closeness to the heart of

the speaker), do not be afraid, I will pray for you and you will be

made well.” I was very preoccupied at this time, thinking about

how we were going to get back home, and which means of

transportation we would have to take. HG asked, ‘Are you in a

rush?’ causing me to be greatly surprised. So I told him that

transportation to Nag Hammadi was difficult and that it was

almost 3 PM. HG said, ‘I will just pray for her.’ He prayed for my

wife, put his cross on her, and then said, ‘May God be with you

all.’ On our way home, my wife told me that while HG was

praying for her, she felt as if she had some electrical treatment

and she felt changes in her body. My wife was healed and

completely recovered, thanks to the Lord and to his great saint,

Bishop Makarios.”

Mr. Agib Gergis, a retired principle in Qus, was visiting his

brother Aziz in the Rahmania Village. A Muslim guard (Ghafeer)

was present at that time, and he approached Mr. Gergis saying:

“Do you know Qena’s metropolitan?” “I was so surprised at the

question,” said Mr. Gergis. “Do you know him?” he asked the

guard. The guard answered, “Yes, of course, I used to do work

for HH Pope Kyrillos; after that I worked for HG Bishop

Makarios.” Then the guard told the following story: “HG was

visiting the west side of the Village of Rahmania. A lot of people

gathered and followed HG; they almost blocked the entire road.

All of a sudden HG stopped and said, ‘There is a sick girl behind

me in the crowd, her mother is carrying her.’ We looked for the

sick girl and her mother and we brought them to HG; he prayed

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for her, and she was healed. I was amazed at this incident,

especially because the girl was not Christian. I was sure that he

was a righteous man; otherwise, how would he have known

about the sick child?”

There seems to be a similarity between this story and the story

of the woman who had a flow of blood lasting for twelve years.

She touched the hem of Jesus’ garment while the multitudes

pressed Him. But Jesus knew about her and stopped and said,

“Who touched me?” The disciples, amazed at the question,

answered him saying, “Master, the multitudes throng and press

You, and You ask ‘Who touched Me?’” (Luke 8:45) This story

illustrates for us how our LORD Jesus Christ is faithful and true,

and grants His little children the power to do His works, and

even greater. Like He said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who

believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and

greater works than these he will do ….” (John 14:12)

As a man whose eyes were open to the future, HG had a habit

of naming babies after the saints whose feast or

commemoration would be celebrated around the child’s birth

date. Mr. Rizk Mahrous experienced one of these incidents, and

he told us the following story: “I went to HG Bishop Makarios,

and I asked him to pray that God might give me children. HG

answered and said, ‘God will give you Zacharias.’ God answered

HG’s request; and on the day of the delivery, my father

attended the Divine Liturgy and came back saying that the

Synaxarium1 was about Zacharias the priest.

Father Hegomen Ayob of Neqada had a similar story. He asked

HG to pray that God would give him a son; HG said, “May God

1 Synaxarium is a book of the life of the saints, used by the Orthodox church. It

lists the saints in the order of their anniversaries and it is read in the Divine

Liturgy before the reading of the Bible.

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give you Matthew.” On the day of the delivery, the reading of

the Synaxarium was about the departure of Saint Matthew the

Evangelist.

Mr. Zachariah Gadallah Fam also had a similar experience:

“During one of HG’s visits to my house, as it was his custom, he

asked me how many children I had. I told him I had four girls

and that my wife was pregnant, and that I was hoping God

would grant me a son. HG put his cross on my wife’s head,

prayed and said, ‘Congratulations, you will have Athanasius.’1

We were very happy to hear these words. Later, closer to the

delivery, I dreamt that I was on a trip to visit the monasteries. In

one of the monasteries, I saw HG Bishop Makarios, so I kneeled

and made a metanya for him, and kissed his cross and his hand;

but he said to me, ‘Did your wife deliver Zachariah?’ I answered

negatively, so he said, ‘Zachariah, your wife is about to deliver,

but there is nobody with her.’ Amazingly, on my wife’s due

date, there was nobody around her except my mom, since

everyone else went to attend the feast of St. George in his

monastery. And when the time came to name the baby boy,

everyone was hesitant about the name Athanasius; they

advised me to give him another name that would be easier to

call, so I thought of naming him after the saint of the day. I

opened the Synaxarium to the 3rd day of the Coptic month of

Hathor, my son’s birthday, and surprisingly, it was the

commemoration of the departure of St. Athanasius and his

sister, Irene. I then hastened to call the baby Athanasius, as

Saint Makarios had told me to do.”

1 After a great Coptic saint, Athanasius of Alexandria. He was a Christian

theologian, bishop of Alexandria, Church Father, and a noted Egyptian leader

of the 4th century. He is best remembered for his role in the conflict

with Arius. At the First Council of Nicea, Athanasius argued against Arius and

his doctrine that Christ is of a distinct substance from the Father.

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“Strengthen the weak hands, and make firm the feeble

knees. Say to those who are fearful-hearted, ‘Be strong, do not

fear!’” (Isaiah 35: 3-4) It is one of the jobs of the children of God

to strengthen the weak—whether they are weak spiritually,

mentally, or physically. Mrs. Demiana Fekry told us a story that

shows how God’s hands work through His saints to heal,

support, and make firm the feeble knees. “It was November of

1989,” she said. “I was pregnant, and I started to feel numbness

in my lower body; I was not able to move easily, and I kept on

getting worse, to the degree that I had to use a wheelchair.

After I delivered my baby, my lower body became completely

paralyzed. Physicians thought it was a psychological reaction,

since I had been pregnant with my fifth child. My husband

called Dr. Suzan Halwa, a neurologist and a psychiatrist who,

upon seeing the scan, told us to go to Asiut immediately. I was

crying a lot and praying with many tears, and I called upon God

saying, ‘O Lord, I have no help or support but You. Stand by me,

I am the work of your hands, and you will never leave me … if it

is possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, do not as I

will, but as You will.’ That night I dreamt that I was looking at

Jesus’ picture and praying; Jesus stretched His hands toward

me, and I held onto His hand and said, ‘O Jesus, help me to

stand up.’ I did in fact stand up, and I was very happy. I ran

down to my neighbor and told her, ‘God made me stand up and

healed me.’ This dream had been like a promise from God that

He would heal me.

I then went to Asiut, and was admitted to one of the hospitals

(El-Mabarah Hospital), and God’s hand was with me. He

arranged for me to be with another lady who was admitted on

the same day as I was; she kept on serving me, even though she

was sick herself. Then the orthopedic doctor decided to do

surgery on my spinal cord, since the scans showed a cancerous

tumor between the fourth and fifth vertebrae of my spinal

column. I did not feel any improvement after the surgery, and

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for three months, I was back and forth between chemotherapy

and physical therapy. I remember the chemotherapy doctor

telling me to get used to this lifestyle, since it would be this way

for the rest of my life. However, I answered him with great faith,

saying ‘God is able to make me stand up…’ At that time, I was

corresponding with Tamav Eriny, the abbot of Abu Safain

convent, and thankfully she was answering my letters and

praying for me. She sent me a letter with a piece of cotton with

oil from Abu Safain’s lantern, and told me that they placed my

name under the relics of this great martyr. She also told me to

anoint my legs and the surgical wound with the oil, and I did so.

One night, when I was about to sleep, I felt two people coming

into the room. One of them touched my eyes and closed them;

then they kept on rubbing my legs. I was terrified and I cried out

for help, so one of them told me, ‘Quiet down now, or you will

make a big scene for us.’ Then they left me. When I woke up, I

felt like my legs were stretched and then I started regaining

feeling in them gradually, which I never did before. I went back

to Qena to send the news to HG Bishop Makarios, who used to

say that I would be healed by a miracle.

One day, I was very depressed. I looked at HH Pope Kyrillos’

picture and started pleading with him, saying ‘I am a burden

now, a heavy one, for my husband and girls; I feel as if I am

neither living nor dead.’ Then I went into a deep sleep and I

dreamt that Pope Kyrillos was looking at me with great love,

and he said, ‘Wouldn’t fasting and prayers do it?’ So I asked him

to pray for me, and he put his hand on my head and prayed.

When I woke up, my big toe started to move. Then I dreamt

that I went to St. Mark’s Church, which was lit with a great light.

HG Bishop Makarios was sitting inside and he said, ‘Sit down

next to me…’ He asked me about my medical status and then

gave me a cup of water, which he told me to drink. He then took

out a small bottle of holy oil and anointed me. I also had a

dream in which Tamav Eriny gave me some flour; then while

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walking, I met HG who asked me again about my health. I

wanted to give him the bag of flour but he laughed and said, ‘Do

they give out flour in monasteries nowadays?’ He took the flour

from me and took out his bottle of oil again and anointed my

back. At that very second I felt his hands on my back.

When HG passed away, I was very sad that I could not go and

take the blessings of his body like the rest of the congregation. I

then dreamt that he came to me, stood over me, and wrapped

me in his tunic.

With all these dreams, I started feeling gradual progress

towards healing until I was fully able to walk. One day, my

husband brought a magazine (Jesus’ Voice magazine) and the

edition was about HG. My daughter took the magazine and with

great faith, she started touching HG’s picture and touching my

legs. After that, I started to move inside the apartment and I

stopped using the wheelchair until I was completely healed. I

thank my LORD Jesus Christ and all His saints, especially Saint

Abba Makarios. They did not leave me at all, and I am in good

health now and have returned to my duties at work and at

home.”

HG was also granted a great power over unclean spirits. They

feared the image of Christ in him, from his simplicity to his

depth and humbleness. We pray daily and say, “for it is You who

has given us the authority to tread on serpents and scorpions,

and upon all the power of the enemy.”1 This is a power that God

grants His honest children, to exercise it not only spiritually, but

also physically.

Father Mata Marko told the following story: “One day, we were

sitting with HG Bishop Makarios. At about 9 PM, I remembered

1 A part of the Prayer of Thanksgiving of the Coptic prayer book (Agpeya).

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that I had an appointment to visit a family, one of whose

members was demon possessed. They asked for the cloth cover

of Saint Abu Safain’s relics, that God may have mercy on her

through the prayers of this great martyr. So I asked HG to pray

for her. He answered and said, ‘God will cast it out.’ Half an

hour later, I excused myself to go to my appointment with the

cover of the relics. The family greeted me with great joy and

astonishment, telling me that she had been completely healed

at exactly 9 PM. She became normal and the unclean spirit left

her. This happened at the same second that Saint Abba

Makarios had said ‘God will cast it out.’”

Another time, they brought a demon possessed lady to Father

Mata Marko at midnight. The spirit caused her to convulse

greatly, so she cried out loudly and bitterly. “I told them to take

her to HG, who was traveling to Qus in the morning,” Father

Mata told us. When they met HG, he told them to take her to

the church and lay her before the altar. It was only seconds

before she walked out of the church, happy and delighted. She

told HG, “I saw a dove descend from above the altar curtain,

and it came to me and touched me, and I was healed…” After

they left, Father Mata asked HG if this dove was St. Mary, but

he answered and said, “No, it was the Holy Spirit.”

Two years prior to the departure of HG Bishop Makarios from

this earth, during his visit to the Village of El-Rahmania, he was

unable to ascend stairs due to his health situation; so he used to

go in to the ground floor of each house, where everybody could

gather and take his blessings. One person stopped him and

asked him to go pray for a paralyzed woman who lived on the

second floor of one of the houses, but HG said to him, “My son,

my legs are hurting. Just bring me a cup of water and I will pray

on it.” But the man insisted that Abba Makarios go back with

him and go upstairs to pray for the sick woman. HG told him, “I

cannot go up the stairs…I am physically unable. Go with a few

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people and bring her down to me.” So two men went up and

brought the paralyzed woman to HG; he noticed that her legs

were immobile and that they kept rubbing against the rail

because she was unable to lift them. HG told them to leave her,

but as soon as they did, she fell to the ground, unable to keep

herself up; so he ordered them to carry her again. He asked for

a cup of water and put the cross on her head and prayed, and

then sprinkled her with the water. She immediately stood up on

her feet, and she kissed his hand and the hands of Father David

and Father Gabriel who were with HG. She went up the stairs

full of joy. Then Father David, overwhelmed with what he had

just encountered, unconsciously clapped his hands and cried

out, “Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the Lord.”

After his departure, HG appeared to a child deacon in the altar

during the Divine Liturgy and had the following conversation

with him:

“Where is daddy?” HG asked.

“Daddy is praying,” answered the child.

“And where is mom?”

“She is at work.”

“And where are your brothers?”

“At school.”

“So, did you come with your dad?”

“Yes…”

The child told this story with great simplicity and innocence. He

said HG was wearing a white tunic and that he prayed the entire

Liturgy with the priest. He also said that HG was not using his

mouth to talk, but rather he was talking to him mentally, and

the child answered him in the same manner.

One of the priests told us another story which shows HG’s great

transparency: “HG, thankfully, had promoted me to be a

Hegomen along with three other fathers. During the Liturgy,

while we were in the side altar, one of us whispered saying, ‘We

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should write an official Thank You to HG in the newspaper of El-

Ahram.’ It was just an idea that nobody communicated about

any further. After the Liturgy, I went to thank HG; he looked at

me as one who had read my mind, and told me with an

innocent smile on his lips, ‘Oh brother, no El-Ahram….’ I was

completely shocked and said, ‘How did Your Grace know?’ So

HG answered with great meekness and said ‘I know

everything…and I know what I am saying.’”

Mrs. Y. also told us the following story, which took place at her

sister’s house. HG was invited to her house for lunch during his

visit to Naqada. They had all been working with great joy and a

lot of energy since early in the morning to prepare food and

clean the house. Then a lady came from outside and said, “What

is all of this? You look like you are having a wedding here. All of

this for a Metropolitan?” She was standing a great distance

from the stove, but her clothing suddenly caught fire from the

back. However, she did not feel it; another woman behind her

screamed, “Fire…there is fire all over you.” The lady ripped her

tunic away frantically and threw it away from her. Feeling that

what happened was because she belittled HG, she stayed and

joined us in preparing for HG’s visit.

During HG’s visit to the Village of El-Khatarah, while he was

walking in the street, an unbeliever started to mock and curse

him. The man described what happened afterwards, saying, “He

looked at me in a way that filled me with fear; I went back home

blind. My neighbor begged me to go to El Mullah1 (he meant HG

Bishop Makarios) so he could ask God to heal my eyes; so I went

to the bishopric and met HG and said, ‘Do you remember me,

1 The word Mullah is primarily understood in the Muslim world as a term of

respect for a religiously educated man.

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Mullah?’ He said ‘No my son, I do not.’ I replied, ‘I am the one

that cursed at you in El-Khatarah; and look, I got what I

deserved and became blind.’ So he said to me with great love,

‘Dear son…I will pray for you and anoint your eyes.’ He did this

and I was able to see instantly.” He left with great joy in his

heart, believing in the holiness of this Mullah, HG Bishop

Makarios.

A woman named Mrs. Botros told us another story: “In 1988, I

suffered a great ordeal while building my house. Problems were

arising everywhere, so I went to HG and asked for his prayers,

that God might solve the problems. He looked at me deeply and

was silent for a while; then he said, ‘Go ahead and build, and

God will be with you each step of the way.’ So I started the work

but I encountered a big problem. After praying the nighttime

prayers, I looked at HG’s picture, which hung on the wall in my

room, and I said, ‘I did as you told me. Where are you now?

Everything is complicated; you have to do something.’ To my

astonishment, HG came out of the picture and came close to

me, holding his cross in his hand; he made the sign of the cross

on me and said in his usual tone, ‘Don’t be worried; everything

will work out in peace.’ I had a certain feeling within me that I

cannot describe. It was a mixture of amazement, joy, fear and

shock, and I could not stop my tears from falling. On the very

next day, some people intervened to solve the problem and

everything went well, through the prayers of this Saint.”

Mr. Sameh told us the following story: “I went with my sister to

visit HG Abba Makarios. He was not there, so we waited until he

came. As he led us up the stairs, he stopped and looked back at

my sister in anger. Then he continued to ascend the stairs. My

sister whispered in my ear, ‘Why did HG look at me angrily?’

‘Then what were you thinking about before he looked at you?’ I

asked. ‘I was singing a worldly song in my mind,’ she answered.”

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Doctor A. also told us a story which further supports how

transparent people were in HG’s eyes. “I used to visit HG to

check his blood pressure and blood sugar. One day I was on my

way to see him with my brother. I told my brother that I really

wanted to partake of the Eucharist, but that I was hesitant to do

so. As soon as we went in to see HG, he said to me, ‘You have to

take communion, Doctor.’ It was as if he had heard what I had

said to my brother when we were still a long distance away, and

was responding.”

One of the fathers of the city of Naqada told us this story about

HG: “During the Saint Abba Makarios’ visit to Naqada, he used

to pray the Divine Liturgy every day. I used to go meet him,

where he lived, before the Liturgy and I always found him

waiting for me on the stairs. One day I went to meet him as

usual, but he was not there. I knocked on the door of the

apartment across the hall from HG, where one of the priests

lived. The priest’s wife answered the door and I went in to wait

for HG to open his door. While I was there, the priest’s wife told

me the following story: ‘Father, last night I dreamt that I was

attending a Liturgy that HG was praying, and I partook of the

Eucharist. In the morning, when I woke up, I knocked on HG’s

door and he opened for me in his home clothing. I asked him if

he would go to pray the Liturgy today, but he said that he had a

stomachache and that you should go and pray the Liturgy.’ The

priest’s wife then asked if I could wait for her so she could come

attend the Liturgy with me. Then, much to our dismay, HG came

out and told her, ‘May God have mercy on you; but did you not

just take communion?’” Indeed, what this woman thought was

a dream had not been. She had actually taken communion, and

therefore could not take communion again in the same day.

Our beloved father Bishop Makarios has revealed to us many

secrets, whether about the world of the spirits, the life of the

anchorites (the Spirit Born), or life in Heaven. In the Bible and

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throughout the history of the church, we hear about similar

people, saints and prophets who lived a holy life and reached

very high levels of spirituality; but they were nothing but

mysteries to us. And here we are now, living with one of them.

HG has showed us what we could not fathom; he told us about

the secrets of this mysterious life, secrets which amazingly have

turned out to be so simple and obvious.

The miracles of HG Bishop Makarios are ongoing, and can be

seen everyday with all who ask for him and seek his help. We

also ask those who have encountered the work of God in their

lives, through the prayers of His Grace Abba Makarios, to

contact us and send us their miracles in complete honesty,

supported with documentation, reports, and any applicable xrays

or medical records.

Contact information is as follows:

Email: هذا البريد محمى من المتطفلين. تحتاج إلى تشغيل الجافا سكريبت لمشاهدته.

Tel: 0112 010 114 2600 (Egypt) OR 732 952 3799 (USA)

Fax: 0112 096 533 8003 (Egypt)

May the blessings of the Saint, the Thrice Blessed, His Grace

Bishop Makarios, be with us all. Amen.

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 Introduction

It is my pleasure to present this book to all our English speaking

children, about the life and miracles of the Thrice Blessed, the

Late Bishop Makarios, Bishop of Qena and its tributaries in

Upper Egypt who departed to heaven in 1991 while praying the

Divine Liturgy. As you read this book, God’s work with him and

the power of the Holy Spirit that supports the saints and the

church, will be evident.

The amazing video of Bishop Makarios’ last Liturgy is the reason

for the spread knowledge of his saintly life, almost to the entire

world, although he was unknown to many during the course of

his life. Since his departure, his saintly aroma has spread widely,

capturing the hearts of many who never even knew him prior to

his departure; therefore, we felt obligated to publish books in

Arabic about his life and miracles. To date, there are a total of 8

published books in the Arabic language.

While we have been trying to produce an English translation of

His Grace Bishop Makarios’ saintly life for quite a while, it took

some time until God arranged, through Abba Makarios’ prayers,

for a blessed family to take on the blessings of this work.

I wish to all of you, from the bottom of my heart, all blessings

and grace. I sincerely hope you enjoy reading about the holy life

of Bishop Makarios and that you follow his faith, as it is written:

“Remember those who rule over you, who have spoken the

word of God to you, whose faith follow, considering the

outcome of their conduct.” (Hebrews 13:7)

My heartfelt thanks to the family that worked on the translation

and to all who helped produce this book. May God bless them

all and grant them their heart’s desires, through the prayers and

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intercessions of our mother Saint Mary, all the choir of the

heavenly hosts, our fathers the apostles, the martyrs and all the

saints, and the blessings of the great saint Bishop Abba

Makarios and the blessings of our generation’s teacher, who has

the golden tongue, His Holiness Pope Abba Shenouda III and all

honored metropolitans and bishops.

To our LORD be due all glory and honor forever, Amen.

HG Bishop Cherubim,

Bishop of Qena and Its Tributaries

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HIS GRACE BISHOP MAKARIOS

HIS LIFE AT A GLANCE

His Grace (HG) Bishop Makarios was born on Wednesday,

September 10, 1923 (the 5th day of the Coptic month of El

Nasii, 1639 AM)1 in the village of Awlad Yehia, Dar El Salam,

Sohag, Egypt. His name was Helmy Ayob Mikhael and was born

to righteous parents, Ayob Mikhael and Rena Shenouda.

As a young lad, Helmy studied in the village’s grammar school

and then worked as a farmer and a shepherd. According to his

brother, Aziz, when Helmy was young, he used to attend the

family spiritual meeting every Sunday; he was the only child

that gave up play-time with the other children in order to listen

to the Bible and pray with the adults.

One day, Helmy left his village to visit one of his relatives,

Tawfik Abaskhiron. During this visit, Helmy revealed his love and

desire for the monastic life, however Mr. Abaskhiron did not

encourage Helmy and refused such an idea. Later, Helmy went

with two of his relatives, Kamal Attiatalla and Labib Meshraky,

to the mountain east of the village of El Kosheh. There, they

sought the guidance of a blessed monk who lived in this

1 The Coptic year is an extension of the ancient Egyptian civil year. This

calendar is still in use by farmers throughout Egypt, as it aids them in tracking

the various agricultural seasons. The Coptic calendar has 13 months, 12 of

which are made up of 30 days and an intercalary month at the end of the year,

which is made up of either 5 or 6 days, depending on whether or not it is a

leap year. The Feast of Neyrouz marks the first day of the Coptic year. The

Coptic calendar started in the year 284 AC, the year in which

Diocletian became the Roman Emperor; his reign was marked by torture and

mass execution of Christians, especially in Egypt. Hence, the Coptic year is

identified by the abbreviation AM (for Anno Martyrum or "Year of the

Martyrs").

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mountain. When they told him of their desire to become

monks, the monk answered and said, “Kamal and Labib should

go back home and get married, but Helmy should go to the

monastery.” And so it was, on Friday, June 7, 1946 (Pashons 30,

1662 AM), that Helmy joined the monastery of St. Mary El

Baramous and was ordained a monk on November 21, 1946

(Hathor 12, 1664 AM). His new monastic name was the monk (El

Raheb) Adam.

On Wednesday, March 26, 1947 (Baramhat 17, 1665AM), El

Raheb Adam was ordained as a deacon by the late Bishop

Thomas of Tanta, and then went on to join the Theological

School of Helwan in October 1948. On Palm Sunday, April 2,

1950 (Baremoude 4, 1668 AM), he was ordained a priest by the

late Bishop Makarios, the Abbot of the monastery, and was

named Father Boles El Baramousy. In May 1953, Father Boles El

Baramousy graduated from the Theological School and shortly

after, October 1953, he was appointed to serve the church of

Saint George in Bor Foad. On Sunday, March 25, 1956

(Baramhat 16, 1674 AM), Father Boles was promoted to a

protopriest (Hegomen).1

On Sunday, September 19, 1965, Father Boles El Baramousy was

ordained a bishop for the diocese of Qena, Qift, Naqada,

Dishna, and the Red Sea area, and was given the name Bishop

(Abba) Makarios; he remained on his seat for over a quarter of a

century until he rested in the LORD on Sunday, February 3, 1991

(Tobi 26, 1707 AM) as he was praying the Holy Liturgy. May his

prayers and blessings be with us all, Amen.

1 Also called "Hegumenos" meaning a "disposer," for he disposes church

affairs together with his brethren, the priests.

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His Monastic Life

HG Bishop Makarios joined the monastery of Saint Mary El

Baramous when he was about 23 years old. At the monastery,

he became a disciple of three great elders of the desert, Father

Boles El Baramousy the Great, Father Faltas El Baramousy, and

Father Abd Elthalouth the Ethiopian. He served them with a

pure and joyful heart, washing their clothes, cleaning their cells,

and filling their basins with water. They therefore loved him

very much and bestowed their blessing upon him. Not only did

he attend to the needs of the elders, but with an obedient,

humble, and thankful heart, he took on the majority of the

monastery’s services.

One of the fathers who lived with Bishop Makarios in the

monastery for quite some time said, “HG was very organized in

his spiritual life, his countenance, his personal life, and in his

cell. He held fast to his monastic canon, through metanyias,1

praying the psalms, and fasting until nighttime daily; HG broke

his fast by eating bread and cumin for 12 years.”

As a monk, HG preferred to remain isolated, minimizing his

interactions with the other monks and any monastery visitors;

his time was spent within his cell, completing his chores, or in

the church. He was a typical example of a silent monk who only

spoke when necessary; when he did speak, he would use a few

words to get his point across. His words were so simple, yet

they touched the hearts of those who heard them, as it

reflected the way he lived.

1 Metanyia means prostration. There are three different reasons why we

prostrate: for worship, when we enter the church and prostrate before the

Holy Altar; for respect, in the presence of the Pope or bishop; for repentance,

to show sorrow for our sins.

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Not only was HG Bishop Makarios quiet and simple, but he was

also very humble. He never engaged in any disputes nor caused

pain or hardship to others. He spent most of his time in solitude

within his cell, studying and completing his daily canon. He

exemplified the true meaning of a monk through his lifestyle,

his way of dealing with others, his countenance, and his selfdiscipline

and control. HG rarely laughed, but when he did, he

did so in the most polite manner, as deemed fit for a true monk

who does not care for the earthly matters, even those that

seem important.

As a monk, HG devoted his mind to his monastic duties. His

ultimate goal and dedication was to live with Christ, for whom

he left his family, village, and all that he had, following Saint

Paul’s saying, “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I

who live, but Christ lives in me.” (Galatians 2:20)

At the beginning of his monastic life, HG himself mentioned that

he saw a vision in which he was holding a cross and the Brass

Serpent, and was praying the absolution. He mentioned this

vision to his father of confession, who said to him “brother, you

will be a bishop,” and so it was.

After his graduation from the Theological School of Helwan, he

was appointed to serve in Bor Foad. He was so loved by the

entire congregation, and he himself said that he read an

uncountable number of books during this period. Then HH Pope

Kyrillos VI chose him to be his secretary. HH loved him dearly

and used to call him Father Boles the Simple,1 and always used

to call him saying, “Come, O blessed.”

1 His Holiness probably called him by this name after Father Boles the Simple,

the disciple of Saint Anthony the great (the father of monasticism).

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Our Father Boles had a strong relationship with the LORD and

this was the secret to his strength, humility, and righteousness.

He was truly a man of prayers, always fleeing to God for the

guidance of the Holy Spirit. This was the only solution he had for

any problems that he faced.

As the father of confession to the nuns of Abi Saifain Convent in

Old Cairo, Father Boles used to pray before listening to any

confession, asking God for His grace, that he may be able to give

each nun the appropriate advice that suits her. When faced

with a question or a problem that he did not know how to deal

with, he would answer in humility, “I don’t know, but go now

my daughter to your cell and pray, and leave me here to pray

that God my Savior might guide me.” After praying, he would

tell the nun, “As for me, I don’t know anything, but God has

given me this answer…” The advice given to the nuns by HG

Bishop Makarios would always be the appropriate solution to

the problem.

If one of the nuns forgot to confess a sin or if, by the grace of

the Holy Spirit, Father Boles knew that she was in need of some

guidance on a certain issue, he would kindly pretend and

mention to the nun that he himself had a problem; this would

trigger her to recall her own problem or sin, and she would

therefore gain the opportunity to seek his guidance.

HG was great in his simplicity and righteous spirit, and so the

light emitted from within him. His spirit was anointed by the

Holy Spirit, and God entrusted him with the treasures of His

true knowledge. And with his light spirit and pure soul, HG

Bishop Makarios provided the children of God with pure and

straight teachings from the well of truth.

So his words were effective; his advice penetrated the hearts of

the nuns and sank to the bottom of their souls. His humility and

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purity were a living example to all the nuns, encouraging them

to follow his footsteps in meekness.

His Holy Inner Life

HG Bishop Makarios took his spiritual life very seriously. He was

watchful, spiritually vigilant, and prudent in following his daily

monastic canon, prayers and metanyias. He used to pray all his

psalms and prayers during their respective times, with many

tears and extreme reverence.

The beloved Tamav Eriny, the abbot of Saint Philopateer (Abi

Saifain) Convent said that her convent was honored to have had

Father Boles El Baramousy pray the first mass on the first altar

in the convent; he also prayed his last mass there on January 19,

1991, fifteen days prior to his departure from the earth.

His Grace had a great deal of transparency and he used to feel

the needs of his children. At one point, the Convent of St.

Philopateer was going through financial hardship. The convent

did not have any money to even buy vegetables, so Tamav Eriny

went to her cell to pray and put the matter in the hands of the

LORD. A few minutes later, she was told that Father Boles El

Baramousy had arrived, although this was not his customary

visitation time. As soon as he saw Tamav Eriny he asked her,

“Does the convent need anything?” The beloved mother was

surprised at the question, and she asked him how he knew of

their need. He replied that the Martyr Abi Saifain told him of the

convent’s hardships and continued to say: “After I finished the

Liturgy, I wanted to get some rest before going to the

patriarchate (as he was the secretary of HH Pope Kyrillos VI). As

soon as I closed my eyes, I heard a voice saying ‘get up, take

money and go to the Convent of Abi Saifain.’ I opened my eyes,

made the sign of the cross and thought to myself that this may

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be one of the devil’s tricks. So once more, I closed my eyes but I

heard the voice again saying, ‘I am the martyr Abi Saifain and I

am telling you to get up, take money, and go to my convent in

Old Cairo.’ After this, I was sure that this was a message from

God, so I took the money I had in the closet and brought it

over.” Tamav Eriny then told Father Boles the whole story and

praised God for His mercy and thanked His martyr Abi Saifain.

One day, Father Boles met with Father Attalla of Saint Mary’s

monastery El Moharak, as the latter was responsible for printing

the hymn books that are used by the deacons during Liturgy.

During their conversation, Father Attalla mentioned that he

liked Father Boles’ tunic; at once, with great simplicity, Father

Boles took off his tunic and gave it to him. When Father Attalla

offered to pay for it, Father Boles answered that he did not

need any money in return, but instead suggested that Father

Attalla provide hymn books, up to the monetary value of the

tunic, to the Convent of Abi Saifain. There was only one book in

the entire convent that all the nuns shared and rotated amongst

themselves to memorize the hymns. So Father Attalla, as agreed

upon, delivered new hymn books to the convent. The number

of books sent to the convent was sufficient enough to allow for

each nun to have her own book, and there was an additional 10

copies remaining.

Father Boles was simple, yet wise; he used his wisdom while

demonstrating great love and pity to others. The late Mother

Aghapy of Abi Saifain Convent had mentioned that she used to

brush her teeth every morning before going to the Liturgy and

partaking of the Holy Eucharist. When she heard from the other

nuns that she should not do so, she asked her father of

confession, Father Boles, who answered her and said, “I will ask

you a question, where does the digestive system start?” “In the

mouth,” Mother Aghapy answered. “Then the mouth should

also fast,” he replied.

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After the Late Metropolitan Kyrillos of Qena departed to the

heavens, His Holiness Pope Kyrillos VI performed an altar draw,

where he wrote the names of Father Ekladios of the monastery

of Saint Anthony, Father Antonios El Baramousy, and another

blank piece of paper. Following the Divine Liturgy, HH invited

one of the deacons to draw one of the three pieces of paper in

the presence of the entire congregation. The deacon picked the

blank paper, which meant that God wanted someone else for

this diocese. So HH Pope Kyrillos chose Father Boles El

Baramousy for this task. On Saturday, September 18, 1965,

during the Vespers raising of incense, HH ordained Bishop

Makarios over the diocese of Qena, Qus, Naqada, Qift, Dishna,

and the Red Sea area.

Since the time of his enthronement, HG started to serve this far

spread diocese with all his might; he used to visit his entire

congregation in their homes once a year. Nothing could hinder

him from visiting them, even during his last days when he

became very sick. It is noteworthy to mention that his diocese

was divided into 4 dioceses after his departure; this is how vast

and spread his diocese was.

HG had always wished to die while serving or during the Divine

Liturgy, and his wish was granted to him. He departed during

the Liturgy as he prayed the “O our Master” part, which is said

before the Fraction prayer of the Gregorian Liturgy. As he was

saying “O You who gave to His holy disciples and saintly apostles

at that time, now also give to us and to all…,” he dropped on

the floor and was given the eternal life.

As a good shepherd, HG Bishop Makarios gave up his rest and

necessities for the service and salvation of his children. He

never passed up an opportunity to serve, and he did so

thankfully and happily, always asking for God’s help, protection

and guidance. As he loved God so much, he did all that pleases

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Him prudently, whether by his words, deeds or his thoughts. His

personal life was a daily sacrifice, barely giving rest to his body.

He spent his nights in prayers and his days in fasting and

unconditional love; he toiled earnestly to achieve pardon for

himself and for his children as well. He did this in secrecy, lest

anybody sees and praises him and he loses his reward. He

always used to say a famous Egyptian saying, “to keep your

candle lit, you must hide it from the wind.”

HG had a deep feeling within him that he is falling short on all

his rituals in his service. He was often seen weeping like a little

child and saying, “I don’t pray;” by this he meant that he does

not pray as he should. However, the spiritual power that was

within him was far from being hidden; the reflection of his

honest personal life was manifested in his life, words, and

service.

Father Samuel of Naqada tells us that HG used to spend some

nights over the houses of the priests when he went out on his

visits. The priests used to leave their homes for HG so that he

may feel comfortable. It also happened that Father Samuel had

an apartment that HG used to lodge in, and there was a man

who really wanted to see HG. So Father Samuel took this person

to the apartment and waited a long time, knocking on the door

with no response. Father Samuel started to get worried, so he

used his personal key to open the apartment door; at this point,

they saw that HG’s door was closed, so they waited in the living

room. They started to hear HG praying so deeply, as if he was

struggling with somebody. HG kept praying with great passion,

to the point that the apartment started to shake fervently; so

Father Samuel and the man fled from the apartment with great

fear.

A similar situation happened with Mr. Milad Ghattas, as HG was

staying over his house during his visit at Safaga. Mr. Ghattas

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provided HG with a private room and his family stayed in

another room. At night, they started to hear a great struggle, as

if HG was fighting with someone with great passion. Mr.

Ghattas and his family felt so unworthy to be in the same place

with such a great saint, to the degree that they could not stay in

the apartment and went out to the street.

HG used to spend all his nights in prayer with lots of tears, and if

he would sleep, it would only be from midnight until 2 or 3 AM.

It happened that a person who lived across the street from the

bishopric used to see HG standing praying, praising, and reading

the bible all night. This person spread the word about what he

had seen, and since then, HG never prayed in this room again.

And if it happened that someone asked him to rest, he would

say: “People need someone to comfort them, they come from

far away seeking some comfort, and I must attend to their

needs in this troublesome age and give them rest.” He gave

himself to serve the children of God to the last breath, as our

Master and LORD Jesus Christ did. He was as a candle that burns

to give light and peace for his congregation, and he was a living

example of what Saint Paul said: “I have fought the good fight, I

have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in

store for me the crown of righteousness, which the LORD, the

righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to

me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.” (2

Timothy 4:7-8)

HG was a great saint that manifested the life of our LORD Jesus

Christ in all his deeds and words. He was the aroma of Christ

among us, as you were able to feel the LORD’s presence in his

life at all times.

His virtues were many and uncountable; no matter how

knowledgeable we may be, we cannot comprehend or

understand its depth. He showed us what we used to hear and

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read about the early fathers of the church, in the lives of the

great saints, hermits, anchorites, popes and great monks, in a

clear and simple way. He was growing in virtue everyday, as we

saw marvelous secrets of hidden treasures full of precious

virtues and a heavenly aroma.

HG was full of Christ’s love; he was able to show that same love

to his children, and to hold captive those who went astray and

were living in deep sin. He knew everything about them, as God

granted him this gift; but with great love and a merciful heart,

he was able to capture them and turn them into fiery servants,

or rather, saints with a real fellowship with God. He never

judged or made anyone feel like a sinner; but as a father, he

gave hope to the sinner, that he might throw him into the

bosom of our LORD Jesus and direct him to confession,

communion, and to a knowledge of the importance and

strength of praying the psalms. He always said that nobody was

strong enough to withstand sin, and for this reason, he never

judged; but instead, with great wisdom, he led souls to salvation

with words that were few and simple, yet so deep.

HG Bishop Makarios had a great and forgiving heart. He

endured all who reproached or dealt with him wrongfully,

responding with great patience and a simple, accepting heart; if

they would return to their senses and ask for HG to forgive

them, he would accept them with great love and complete

forgiveness, as if nothing had ever happened. Moreover, he

would visit them, pray for them, and absolve them, asking God

to care for them and their families. HG acted as a living example

of Saint Paul’s saying, “Love suffers long and is kind; ...does not

seek its own...bears all things...endures all things.” (1

Corinthians 4-7)

He was a father to everyone; he had the gift of making every

person feel like he was their own father and nobody else’s. He

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was therefore very loved by all, because he loved all very much.

He used to always recite the verse in Proverbs 27:19 that stated,

“As in water face reflects face, so a man’s heart reveals the

man.”

HG had a special love for the priests; they always said, “HG’s

love for us is so deep, we never feel as though he is a boss or

has any control over us, but rather a loving father who is

zealous over his children and always watching over them,

protecting them from all kinds of evil and risks, whatever they

may be. If he learned that one of us was sick, struggling

financially, or in any kind of hardship, he would not cease to ask

about us continuously and pray for us all the time. We were his

constant concern, as he felt that we were all he had, his children

and his help in service. He used to be very happy if we were

happy, and he dealt lovingly and in one accord with us. He

always said that a successful service was a fruit of your love to

each other, adding ‘May God make you successful in your

service and be a helper to you, because the yoke of service is

too heavy’ He also said, ‘I don’t want to be a burden on any one

of you because the burden of the bishop is so heavy on the

priest, and I don’t want to be like that with any priest.’

Great Humbleness

HG used to say, “A fruitful tree’s branches droop towards the

ground, but a bare tree seems to stand with pride; likewise the

meek and humble soul that possesses the fruits of the Holy

Spirit looks down upon itself with humility, but the proud soul

stands upright, because it lacks the fruits of the Spirit.”

His Grace’s humility was apparent to anyone who merely looked

at him, without even hearing him speak. He was a living

example of our LORD of Glory, Jesus Christ, who said “Take My

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yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in

heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matthew 11:29)

HG loved our Lord Jesus Christ, and he sought Him with all his

heart; Christ’s image was therefore imprinted in the heart of HG

Bishop Makarios. The more he lifted his eyes in prayer, the

more that God revealed His glory to him, thereby allowing HG

to recognize the extent of his self weakness and flaws, and to

realize how much of the Lord’s help and guidance he was in

need of. If anyone ever told him about their self-pride, he would

say, “Look to the saints that won victory before us, and were so

great in their struggles, ascetics, love and good deeds, and think

about how lacking we are next to them.” He would also never

accept a word of praise about himself, responding with, “Have

mercy upon me, Satan troubles me much, I am the poor.”

He was humble outwardly, as well as deep within his soul, in his

words and acts, in his attire and in his prayers, in his dealings

with others, and in his deepest feelings towards himself and

those around him. He always felt like he was the least, and he

had a gift of lifting others up while bringing himself down.

Anyone who sat with him would walk out of his presence

believing to be much better than HG. Not too many people can

exhibit such humility, but it was a way of life for HG. He was

often heard saying, “I am not educated, I don’t know how to

give a sermon, I am poor, I am weak and need God’s mercy, that

He may forgive my sins.” These words, coming from deep within

him, reflect how he truly viewed himself. No one ever felt that

his humble words or actions were insincere, or that they were a

means of showing off.

He was often seen sitting on his chair, listening to priests’

sermons and crying wholeheartedly at their words, like a little

child in need of learning from others. He never embarrassed or

cut anybody off, but would give others a complete chance to

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say everything; he would always be the last to talk. He never

allowed anyone to carry his bag, Faragia,1 or his cane; nor did he

allow anybody to bring his shoes to him except his own disciple

or a little deacon. He also did not allow anybody to do a

metanyia before him; instead, he would make a metanyia back.

He often said that when someone would do a metanyia to Pope

Kyrillos VI, His Holiness would say in a low voice, “To You only is

due worship O my LORD Jesus Christ.” HG used to add that

metanyias are also due when there is a quarrel between two

people or when someone sins against another; both of them

should do metanyias to each other and ask for the other’s

forgiveness.

Because he gave himself to the LORD, the LORD filled him with

His Holy Spirit and its gifts, which are only given to the meek

and humble. For example, HG had the gift of knowing a person’s

deepest thoughts; he could read any person he saw like an open

book and he even knew things about people that they did not

know about themselves. He was also a loving and kind father

who was filled with mercy and pity for everyone. HG would tell

stories, either about parables or miracles, that the people might

see themselves in the story and receive some guidance. Other

times he would make up stories about himself, depicting

himself as one in need of humility. For example, he would say, “I

am not praying the psalms as I ought to, I have no patience and

am quick to anger,” or “I suffer from the sin of pride.” He truly

meant it when he said such things, and after the other person

would leave he would say, “I really hope that this person

understood what I meant.”

1 A black tunic worn by monks and priests. It is black because it symbolizes the

fact that they have died completely to the world, and everything in the world,

and are now devoting their life to Christ.

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If he wanted to direct someone or give advice, he would do it

with great humility, as if he was not worthy to speak to the

person. However, he was able to see deep inside the person

and to know everything about him or her.

His words were simple, yet so deep. They reached into the

depths of peoples’ souls, and everyone who heard him felt joy

and happiness and also benefited. When he spoke about the

works of God, or edification of the souls, even if he took a long

time, his listeners felt attracted, nourished, and satisfied; they

were lifted up and captivated by his words. As he spoke the

words of the Holy Spirit and saw the looks of praise and

reverence in the eyes of his audience, he would say, “I don’t

know anything, I am not an educated person.” He did this so as

to escape the audience’s vain glory and praise. If he talked

about the heavens and eternal life, he would say, “I wish to just

be able to get past the gates of heaven, even if I am the last one

there.”

His Simplicity and Self Denial

Matthew 11:25 says, “At that time Jesus answered and said, ‘I

thank you Father, LORD of heaven and earth, that you have

hidden these things from the wise and prudent and have

revealed them to babes.’” It is well known that simplicity is

superior to worldly wisdom; as St. Paul says in his second epistle

to the Corinthians, “For our boasting is this: the testimony of

our conscious that we conducted ourselves in the world in

simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom but by

the grace of God, and more abundantly toward you.” (2

Corinthians 1:12) In this manner our blessed bishop conducted

himself in the world, refusing any worldly wisdom. He never

counted on any human being’s help, no matter his or her rank

or position, but instead used to flee to Him who holds all in His

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hands and would say, “I don’t know anyone except the LORD

Jesus Christ;” then he would pray frequent Divine Liturgies

during the fasting season, and any problem would be solved.

We can see this methodology in the book of Ezra in the Old

Testament. King Artaxerxes sent Ezra and all willing Jews to

rebuild the house of God and leave the land of captivity. Ezra

knew he would face lots of troubles; but even though he was

close to the king, he did not ask for his help against his

adversaries, but instead said, “Then I proclaimed a fast there at

the river of Ahava, that we might humble ourselves before our

God, to seek from Him the right way for us and our little ones

and all our possessions. For I was ashamed to request of the

king an escort of soldiers and horsemen to help us against the

enemy on the road, because we had spoken to the king, saying,

‘The hand of our God is upon all those for good who seek Him,

but His power and His wrath are against all those who forsake

Him.’ So we fasted and entreated our God for this, and He

answered our prayer.”

Bishop Makarios was very wise, strong, and straight-forward. He

never feared a human being and he always witnessed to the

truth in his usual humble spirit. Even his prayers were simple

and yet deep, expressing what he felt inside with profound faith

and love.

Like a hidden treasure, many aspects of his life were kept

secret. He often reiterated the Egyptian saying, “protect your

candle, that it may stay lit,” or in other words, hide your virtues,

lest the enemy of righteousness steal them. He did not like to

be recognized or to talk about his spiritual life; he hid his life

from everybody, just as our LORD said, “Take heed that you do

not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them.

Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven.”

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(Matthew 6:1) “That your charitable deed may be in secret; and

your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly.”

(Matthew 6:4)

He was very clever when it came to fulfilling this verse, always

working in silence and secrecy, lest anyone should see his works

and praise him. He was so secretive with his works that people

even began to think of him as a simple-minded man who lacked

credibility. They had no knowledge of his true inner man and

high level of spirituality until after his departure from this earth.

At that time, they realized his true glory and the saintly life he

had lived.

During one afternoon liturgy in the Lenten season, HG was

distributing the Holy Blood (because he had poor eyesight, he

could only distribute the Blood, and not the Body). A strong,

beautiful light appeared next to the Chalice, and was seen by

one of the female servants. She thought to herself that this light

meant that a Spirit Born1 must be present, and that HG must

also be one of them. As she thought this, Bishop Makarios

instantly looked at her. That night she had a dream in which she

saw HG sitting on his Throne in the bishopric; she went to get

his blessing, but he refused. She kept trying to even kiss his feet,

but he did not let her. Then she woke up and told herself never

again to say that HG was one of the hermits. The second night,

she dreamt of HG again in the same surroundings as the

previous dream; but this time he was smiling and he extended

his cross to her to take a blessing, and she was very happy. This

1 Better known as Anchorites, the Spirit Born. They are usually called "El

Souah" in Arabic. This type of monk has reached a very high level of spirituality

where his spirit is heavier than his body, because he is fervent in spirit, and he

rarely eats. They live in groups and can easily move from one place to another

in a very short time, without anyone seeing them.

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shows us the extent to which HG kept himself hidden, even in

the subconscious of people.

God Answers His Prayers

As the giver of all good gifts, God granted HG Bishop Makarios

all his requests. As it is written, “The effective, fervent prayer of

a righteous man avails much.” (James 5:16) HG himself often

repeated the verse, “His ears are attentive to their cry” (Psalm

34:15), referring to those who love God from all their hearts.

Over the course of his bishopric, which lasted over 25 years, HG

never asked God for something (for his children) that was not

granted to him. For example, HG used to ask God to give

children to those who were childless; he even used to name the

children before they were born or even conceived. He also used

to ask that God may solve certain problems, or send a righteous

spouse to his children, or to help students pass their exams.

Whatever he asked, God granted, so he became as a healing

ointment for his people’s wounds.

His Wise Counsel

HG was full of wisdom, as he was to the fullness of God

(Ephesians 3:19). Occasionally, there would be differences

between him and the priests regarding certain issues, but it

would only be a matter of days, or even hours, until they would

realize that his counsel was the best, as he, in humility, would

say to the priests that the perfect solution is in the multitude of

counselors. (Proverbs 24:6)

The congregation knew this about HG, so they flocked to him

every day, telling him their problems and tribulations, with a

profound faith that they would hear the counsel of God on his

lips. Therefore, they always left his presence in joy and delight.

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As for young men and women, they always sought his advice

regarding marriage and their future plans, and heeded his

words with joy. Those who did not follow his advice would

confess later, with great agony and regret, that he or she should

have listened.

In essence, the entire congregation had put their trust in HG

and listened to him, knowing that he was a wise counselor who

received his wisdom from heaven. His counsel was a reason for

great rest and joy among his people. He depended completely

on God, and God granted him His wisdom. He used to say,

“there is nothing we can do greater than praying Divine

Liturgies;” and so he offered all his needs, the churches needs,

and the congregation’s needs on the altar, before the true

sacrifice of the Eucharist. The usual request HG had during the

Liturgy was, “LORD, please take charge of my life and bestow

your peace upon the diocese.”

Therefore, the diocese lived in perfect peace during his time,

and every satanic wind that blew on it used to come to nothing

quickly, and even turned to the benefit of the diocese. HG had

committed his life and his diocese in Jesus’ hands, and looked to

Him as the true director and counselor of the diocese. If anyone

would come to him with a problem or sickness, he used to say

to them, “May God be with you,” “May God heal you,” or “May

God solve your problem,” and then he would say to the priests,

“if people only believe these simple words and take them with

faith, they would get all that they want.”

His Ascetics

Our beloved Bishop loved prayers so much, especially the

prayers of the psalms. Mar-Isaac the Syrian had said, “The

darkness of mind starts if you become lazy in completing your

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psalms. And if you neglect its times, God’s help departs from

you, so your soul sways to evil little by little, because leaving the

right direction only means drifting to the left.”

When HG was a monk, he used to pray the psalms in their due

times, but after becoming a bishop he used to pray them in the

morning and at night. He once said, “A spiritual man has to pray

the psalms” and then added, “I cannot sleep under any

condition without praying my psalms. If any person neglects his

psalms even once, either devils devour him or he becomes so

cold spiritually and careless toward prayers, and it becomes

very difficult to go back to his warm prayers.” Regarding the

priests HG would advise and say, “The priest must pray the

psalms, even if he needs to do so at any time of the day,

according to his service and responsibilities (for example,

between liturgies, anointing of the sick (unction), spiritual home

visits, congregation problem solving and others).” In his later

years, HG Bishop Makarios’ sight grew dimmer as a result of his

diabetes, and his memory weakened as a result of brain

atherosclerosis;1 as a result, he was unable to read or to recite

all the psalms. But this was God’s will, as the LORD wanted him

to reach a different spiritual level, namely, prayers with no

limits, wherever the Spirit guided him. Then HG started to have

heavenly visions and revelations beyond the comprehension of

humans, and experienced what the skillful fathers call ecstasy or

“caught up.”2

1 Atherosclerosis is hardenings of the arteries which carry the oxygenated

blood from the heart to the other parts of the body.

2 This is a state of amazement and ecstasy, when the activity of the senses

is suspended, such as what St. Paul said about himself “…was caught up to the

third heaven…whether in the body or out of the body I don’t know, God

knows.” (2 Cor 12:2)

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HG loved prayers to a degree that is difficult to comprehend; he

used to pray the psalms and midnight praises in his cell, and

often, as he looked upon the icon of St. Mary that hung in his

cell, he would see the icon emitting light. The light would get

brighter and brighter, and then St. Mary’s face would redden

and she would turn into a complete person, with her full height

engulfed in light. Even after leaving his cell, the face of HG

would still be shining and his hands would become like candles,

sparkling in a way that would attract the eyes. He would find

himself in a state of great joy and delight.

To HG, prayer was everything. He spoke much with God, while

limiting his dialogue with people. He was filled with God’s

presence and love, and this love overflowed from him and

poured into the people around him, nourishing them. One of

the amazing stories about HG involves a visit he made to

Hurghada1. While on this visit, a priest came to him one

morning, accompanied by some visitors. They saw that HG’s

face was extremely flushed and shiny, as though glowing with

heavenly light. They all gazed at him, mesmerized by this

fascinating image. Seeing their amazement, HG laughed and

said, “A hot shower makes one’s face so red;” however, during a

more private sitting, he explained what had really happened.

HG had been very troubled and anxious about a certain matter.

He prayed throughout the night with many tears and great

strife, pleading with the LORD and entreating Him to solve the

problem. As he prayed, a fiery chariot appeared to HG and a

1 A city in the Red Sea Governorate of Egypt, and a tourist center located on

the coast of the Red Sea.

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voice from heaven said, “Ride along and fear not.” HG got on

the chariot and found himself in the sky, above a cloud on which

the LORD stood. The LORD said to HG, “What is wrong, my son

Makarios? Why are you upset, when I am with you?” The Lord

spoke with HG for some time, and then HG found himself back

in his room with his face shining.

The Virtue of Silence

Saint John of the Ladder1 had said, “The ears of the quiet and

silent hear wonders from God.” As the church fathers have

taught us, we should pray without ceasing, and we should recite

the following prayer: O LORD Jesus Christ, Son of the living God,

have mercy upon me, a sinner. While reciting this prayer, we

should be in a quiet state of mind, with our eyes closed and our

hands in a position of supplication. We should draw our minds

into our hearts, regulate our breathing, and imagine that we are

in God’s presence. We should remember our sins and iniquities.

Then our souls will feel completely quieted, and we will have a

profound sense of God’s presence, feeling no desire to speak to

anyone else, and completely satisfied with and saturated in

God’s presence. HG lived this ideal form of prayer in his

personal life.

When HG did speak, it was with the words of the Holy Spirit,

which help, nourish, and give strength. His words were

1 In Greek, St. John Klimakos; honored by the Church as a great ascetic, and

author of the renowned spiritual book, The Ladder, from which his name

comes.

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priceless. He also had the gift of spiritual discernment, knowing

what each person was capable of and giving to that person

accordingly. For example, if a person was not spiritual at all, HG

would not set high spiritual goals for that person; instead he

would say, “You have to confess and take communion.” Or, he

would tell the person a story or a parable, as Jesus was

accustomed to doing with his disciples, saying to them, “To you

it has been given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God,

but to the rest it is given in parables.” (Luke 8:10) However, with

those who walked in the way of Christ and valued spirituality,

HG would talk about higher spiritual stages, such as those of the

ascetics and hermits. He would talk to them of heaven and the

heavenly secrets, of angels, and of God’s way of approaching

and dealing with the soul.

In silence and quietness, this spiritual giant worked and served.

His legacy can be explained by what Mar-Isaac the Syrian said:

“Do not expect to learn anything about the kingdom of heaven

from a man who did not experience complete silence for a long

time, even if he was a wise teacher or someone who

accomplished many great works. Quietness makes you shine

like the sun and purifies you from ignorance.”

His Fasting and Charitable Deeds

His Grace Bishop Makarios was an ascetic who excelled in

fasting. As one of the Church Fathers said about fasting,

“Receive healing for your soul from the table of those who fast

and watch, those who are working in the LORD; deliver up your

soul from the pit, because among those who fast sits the

Beloved, who sanctifies them and turns their bitterness into

indescribable sweetness; as the heavenly dwellers comfort and

guide those who fast. Receive this healing for your life.” From

this we learn that those who fast have the power to heal souls;

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as Jesus said, “This kind can come forth by nothing, but by

prayer and fasting.” HG also used to see heavenly souls

attending the afternoon Liturgies during the season of the fast,

sharing with us and rejoicing as we fast.

In keeping with his practice of hiding his virtues, HG often said,

“I have a PhD in greed;” he claimed that he never gave anything

to anyone. However, those who were close to him knew that he

was always giving. During his annual visits, he would say to the

priests that accompanied him, “Tell me about the needy

families and after I leave their houses, you give them their

needs.” He used to accept all of the monetary offerings of these

families so as not to embarrass anyone, and later he would send

money back with the priests according to each family’s needs.

One of these visits involved a family who was both needy and

greedy. The man did not want to come out and meet with HG or

to give him any money. After an argument between the man

and his wife, the wife was forced to go to her neighbor and ask

for money in order to give to HG; but HG refused to take

anything from her, even though he was not accustomed to

rejecting offerings. Instead he told her “Go return this money to

whoever you borrowed it from,” as he knew exactly what had

happened.

On another visit, HG met with a man who was enduring severe

financial hardships; HG gave this man all of the money that he

had collected on his annual visit to this village. HG also

happened to hear that one of his priests was in need; HG cried a

lot and called the priest and paid for all of his needs. He always

asked his priests to give special care to the needy families,

especially those who were too shy to ask. All of the money that

HG collected during his annual visits would go to the building,

beautification, and services of the church.

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Bishop Makarios and the Anchorites

The Anchorites are those who grow in the spirit and forget their

basic earthly needs. Their bodies become light, so that their

spirits, through the name of the Holy One, may be in charge.

They are so consumed with the heavenly Groom that they

forget they even have a body. Therefore, their bodies are not

obstacles to flying. They are granted the qualities of spirits and

angels, flying without being seen and crossing oceans in a

twinkle of an eye, even though they are still in their flesh. These

are the Anchorites, which means the Spirit Born.

There is no doubt that our blessed bishop grew in spirituality to

a degree that made him a friend of the Anchorites; he became

one of them.

It is beyond our minds to comprehend those who go against

earthly logic, defy all the measures of gravity, and challenge the

basics of this earthly life; therefore, we will observe the life of

HG in order to come up with a few points that will illustrate to

us how he attained this level of spirituality:

1. His Grace was in a state of constant prayer. As St.

Theophan the Recluse1 teaches us, prayer without

ceasing is a constant existence in God’s presence, and

can be likened to feeding the fire (The Holy Spirit) with

1 St. Theophan the Recluse, also known as "Theophan Zatvornik," (1815–1894)

is a well-known saint in the Russian Orthodox Church. He is especially wellknown

today through the many books he wrote concerning the spiritual life,

especially on the subjects of the Christian life and the training of youth in the

faith. He also played an important role in translating

the Philokalia from Church Slavonic into Russian.

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logs (words of prayer). Through his unceasing prayers,

our bishop found himself constantly in God’s presence.

He would sit reverently, in a way that suggested that he

was sitting in the presence of the Almighty, as though

he was one of the 24 elders sitting around the throne of

the Holy One.

2. He had a fervent love for God and his children; he cared

and prayed for them, and he was very concerned about

all of their needs. He used to visit them at night,

whether in their dreams, through visions, or in real time

apparitions; he did this both during his life and after his

departure, offering them advice and solutions to their

problems.

3. He was a man of great humility and self denial, as

evidenced by his escape from vain glory and any earthly

praise; on the contrary, he tried to show himself to be

an uneducated person who was not even capable of

preaching or preparing a sermon. He showed himself to

be a sinner who was in need of God’s mercy, and he

made himself inferior to others.

4. He possessed great simplicity, mingled with heavenly

wisdom; as it says in Matthew 10:16, “I am sending you

out like sheep among wolves. Therefore, be as shrewd

as snakes and as innocent as doves.”

5. He was very honest, and had a straight heart; he

despised hypocrisy and self glory, and was righteous in

all aspects of his life.

6. He had a pure heart and lived in a continuous state of

repentance. This raised him to a high level of holiness,

so that he was made worthy of the LORD’s gift of being

able to see people’s deepest thoughts and sins. Because

of his great humility and fatherly love for those around

him, he would never judge them; instead, he would

respond to their iniquities with great love and pity, and

would help them to abandon their sins.

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7. He was an ascetic who chose to live in poverty, and he

was very patient with everyone, even those who

reproached him. He responded to their transgressions

with patience. Some people, however, would lead

others to doubt the teachings of the church, or to

believe heresies. If these people insisted on their own

ways, despite HG’s patient and loving attempts to lead

them in the orthodox path, he became very stern with

them. He grew very much in his ascetics during his final

years, despite having an inflamed colon and being on

many medications.

Because of these virtues and many more, our beloved bishop

was full of the Holy Spirit and great glory. He used to say, “To be

an anchorite is to attain a very high spiritual level; but as for

myself, I need an entire year to be able to repent all of my sins.”

He also used to say, “My son, I do not know anything, but I only

repeat what I have heard; I wish to repent from my sins so that I

might attain this degree of spirituality.”

His Grace mentioned that there are some anchorites who are

capable of disappearing completely and fleeing to their dwelling

places and monasteries. No one can see them, and they rarely

talk with anybody; they have their own services, prayers and

praises. Sometimes, however, they go out to help those in

tribulations, hardships, or various trials. They also attend the

prayers of the children of God, whether offered in their rooms

or in the churches and monasteries.

Most of these anchorites now live in monasteries that are

located in different regions: between the monasteries of St.

Paul the First Anchorite, and St. Anthony the Great; in the

eastern desert; and between the monastery of St. John of the

Ladder, and the Light Tower of the Ladder; in the region of

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Marsa Matruh;1 and close to St. Bakhomios Monastery, as well

as in many other places. For their food, they eat grass or green

plants. They live in solitude and only meet at the time of prayers

and the Divine Liturgy, for which they usually choose older and

ancient churches to hold the services.

His Grace also mentioned an incident in which the anchorites

went to a specific church and found the Holy Bread baker inside.

They asked the baker to leave so that they could pray a Liturgy.

HG also told us that when the anchorites come to the bishopric,

the doors open for them and then close upon their departure.

In order to move from place to place, they spread their hands

out to form the shape of a cross, while saying, “Holy, Holy,

Holy,” and they fly into the sky. They look like birds that spread

their wings and become engulfed in light, but they do not move

their arms. Alternatively, a divine power in the form of a fiery

chariot carries them away, or the power of the Spirit that lives

within them carries them to where the Holy Spirit wishes to

lead them.

There are also other anchorites who live in the world among us,

such as HH Pope Kyrillos. The anchorites used to come to HH

and attend liturgies with him. HH used to also visit people in

their homes and appear to them.

HG Bishop Makarios used to pray in the ancient, deserted

churches and monasteries, as well as in the anchorites’

monasteries; the anchorites would often go and pray with him.

1 Marsa Matruh stands some 240 km (149 miles) west of Alexandria, along

the shore of the Mediterranean Sea, on the main highway from the Delta to

the Libyan border.

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There is a well-known story in the village of Faw Bahry involving

a visit by HG and a priest named Father Azer Toma (who

departed to the LORD on January 16, 1973). Father Azer Toma

was among the anchorites. While on a visit to one of the homes

in this village, HG asked Father Azer, “Do you know how many

columns are in the ancient church of St. Mary in Atrib?” Father

Azer answered and said “44, according to what is written in

history books.” HG said to Father Azer, “History books? Or were

you there praying with us? I saw you behind the column.”

Father Azer then became very quiet and tried to change the

subject.

His Grace also told us that Father Azer (a priest in the church of

Archangel Michael in Rahmania) used to always pray with the

anchorites in a church below the current church of St. Peter in

Qena and in the church of St. Blamon (this church is in an area

called The Palace and the Hunter), as well as many other

churches that are not known.

Nadia, a servant at the girls’ orphanage in Qena, said, “3 months

before Bishop Makarios’ departure, early one morning at

around 4 AM, we were working to prepare food for some

visitors; I noticed that the light of St. Mark’s church was on (the

church is very close to the orphanage, separated only by a

fence). The church was so brightly lit that I became curious as to

what was going on at such an early hour. I climbed a wooden

ladder and tried to listen to the prayers, since I thought the

fathers must be praying a liturgy. However, I could not hear

anything; I could only see the intense light. The next day I went

to see HG and as we were sitting, he looked at me, smiled, and

said, “Do not try to listen to what is going on again. The blessing

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you have received is sufficient. What if you had fallen off the

ladder and could not see such things anymore?” Nadia then said

to HG, ‘absolve me Your Grace, I will not do this again.’”

Another servant, who was responsible for the girls’ dormitory,

told us about a time when she was not very happy with the girls

in the dormitory; she told them that she would not pray or eat

with them anymore. A week later, HG Bishop Makarios came to

her at night in a dream, and he was very angry with her. He said

to her, “Do not ever leave the girls for a long time like that, lest

they become lukewarm in their spiritual lives.” The following

morning, she went to see HG; he looked at her lovingly and

asked her about the girls in the dormitory. She apologized and

promised him that she would not leave them again.

A man named Kamal Metry also told us the following story: “HG

used to ask me to take care of a few things in the bishopric.

Since I felt some fear about being there by myself, I asked a man

named Gawargios to send someone to stay with me; but he

sent me three young men who kept wandering from room to

room, so I rebuked them. One of these young men had played

around with the clock on the wall. It was a Saturday afternoon

and HG was in Naqada. HG came back on Monday, he told me

the following: ‘Kamal, I was resting on Saturday afternoon and I

dreamt that I came to the bishopric. Who played with the clock

on the wall? I have never seen those kids before. Even Riad Rizk

was sitting on this couch and never moved.’ Then a woman

named Feryal, who happened to be sitting with us, said to HG,

‘What about me, Your Grace? What did I do?’ HG replied, ‘You

were not with them, but Attiat was.’ And HG was right; Feryal

was not there, but Attiat was.”

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His Grace Bishop Makarios had told one of the priests that he

should wake up at 4 AM to finish praying his psalms. Then HG

came to this priest (the priest was unsure whether he was

awake or dreaming) and said, “You are not permitted to wake

up late in the morning.” The priest was so disturbed that he

went directly to HG to ask him about this vision, and whether it

was from God or Satan. HG replied, “Satan cannot tell you what

you were told, but either way, may God absolve you.”

His Grace also told a close priest that during his prayer, he was

carried to see a certain Bishop and to pray for him, as this

Bishop was very sick. To this day, that Bishop is still alive.

Our beloved Tamav Eriny, the head of the Abu Safain Convent in

Old Cairo, told us that a part of her responsibility in the convent

was to guide and lead each nun in her spiritual path. One time

she gave a nun spiritual direction, but the nun did not take it

well and began to cry. Tamav Eriny sent another nun after her

to console her and tell her that what happened was actually for

her own good, and that she should accept directions from

Tamav for her own spiritual benefit. However, the nun said, “I

cannot see Tamav now, it will hurt her a lot to see me like this

and she is already sick; I will go to her tomorrow.” At night while

the nun was praying, she saw Bishop Makarios standing in front

of her. He used his cross to make the sign of the cross on him

and on her, and then he asked her, “Why are you upset with

your mother? Believe me, she loves you and cares for you and

everything she has done is for your salvation. You must listen to

her and be obedient, that God may bless you. Now go, make a

metanyia to her, and ask her to forgive you.” With great joy, the

nun ran to Tamav Eriny saying, “Bishop Makarios came to me.”

She made a metanyia, asked for Tamav’s forgiveness, and told

her everything that had happened. At this time, Bishop

Makarios was actually in Qena. How did he know what

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happened between Tamav Eriny and the nun? How did he come

to her?

Father Samuel of Naqada told us about one of his spiritual

daughters who was in great trouble. She told Father Samuel

that she used to consult with HG Bishop Makarios about her

problems, but she was unable to get to him; so she stood before

a picture of HG and prayed wholeheartedly, shedding many

tears. Then HG came out of the picture, walked into the room,

and said to her, “Your problem will be solved.” He then went

back into the picture, and through God’s grace, the girl’s

problem was solved.

Father Abd El-Kodos of Naqada mentioned that he was

supposed to pray a Divine Liturgy in the village of El-Khatara.

The night before the Liturgy, Bishop Makarios came to him in a

dream and told him, “Do not go in the morning to pray the

Liturgy.” Father Abd El-Kodos woke up surprised, telling himself

that it was not possible that HG would tell him not to pray. He

thought it must be Satan trying to prevent him from praying, so

he told himself that he would go and pray the Liturgy in the

morning. Father Abd El-Kodos then went back to sleep and HG

came to him again and told him, “Father Abd El-Kodos, I am

Bishop Makarios, not the devil, and I am telling you not to go

and pray in the village of El-Khatara.” Father Abd El-Kodos woke

up puzzled again, thinking to himself, “Is it possible that the

devil would appear in the likeness of Bishop Makarios and tell

me not to go to pray the Liturgy?” Father Abd El-Kodos again

decided that he must go pray Liturgy in the morning. He slept

for a third time, and this time Bishop Makarios came to him

again and said, “Do not go to the village of El-Khatara; there are

many troubles there; do not pray tomorrow.” Father Abd El-

Kodos woke up again, but still decided to go pray in El-Khatara

the following morning. He did not believe that HG was trying to

warn him about something. In the morning, when Father Abd

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El-Kodos was about half way to the village of El-Khatara, some

of the villagers came out to meet him, blocked his way, and told

him that some people from the village were waiting to ambush

and harm him; so he turned back and went to the bishopric to

find HG Bishop Makarios. HG opened the door for him as if he

had been waiting for him, and told him, “Dear father, you have

suffered a lot and came early today.” Father Abd El-Kodos said

to him, “Absolve me Your Grace, I dreamt that you came to me

three times last night.” HG answered and said, “I was concerned

about you, because this village has many troubles.”

One of the anchorites (he now lives in solitude in one of the

monasteries) told one of the deacons that he attended HG’s last

liturgy, the Liturgy in which HG departed right before the

Fraction, and that HG always longed to depart during the Divine

Liturgy. He also said that HG’s soul stayed in the church until the

Liturgy finished, and departed at the end with the Angel of the

Sacrifice. He also added that HG Bishop Makarios used to visit

him in his cell, although HG never visited this monastery in the

flesh.

One of the women who used to host HG during his annual visit

to her city, about four years before his departure, received him

into her home. After HG had gone up to his room, the woman

was very happy with his presence. During the night, out of

curiosity, she went towards his room to see him. As she

ascended the stairs, she felt great fear pour into her heart, and

she felt as though she could not bring herself to go one step

further. On the window of his room, she saw a feared elder

standing, so she ran back down the stairs with great fear and

trembling knees. In the morning, as soon as HG saw her, he said,

“May God have mercy on you.”

One time Bishop Makarios held a funeral prayer for one of the

priests in the city of Qus, and it was an extremely hot day. After

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his arrival, he prayed an afternoon Liturgy that ended at about 6

PM That night he became very feverish, and his temperature

reached 107.6⁰F. The doctors said he had a heat stroke because

he was exposed to the sun for a long time. They surrounded

him, trying to bring his temperature down; but they did not get

any results from 10 PM to 4 AM the following morning.

Suddenly and without any reason, his temperature dropped to

97⁰F. He stood up, took off all of his ice packs, and went to take

a shower, as if nothing had happened and he had never been

sick. After many inquiries, HG told us that one of the anchorites

came to him when he was feverish, exchanged greetings and

blessings with him, and anointed him; his temperature then

dropped instantly.

Another time, HG Bishop Makarios went to the city of El-

Rahmania for his annual visit. While visiting one of the church

members, he went in to take a nap, and requested that no one

disturb him. In the meantime, a woman from the city came to

the home seeking HG, as she had an urgent matter for which

she sought his guidance. The owner of the house told her that

HG was sleeping, and that he did not wish to be disturbed. The

woman was not convinced, so she went to the room in which

HG slept and opened the door so that she could meet with him.

Much to her surprise, she found that HG was not in the room.

She walked out of the room angrily, thinking that the owner of

the house had lied to her. Upon hearing that HG was not there,

everyone in the house rushed to the room in disbelief, and saw

that he really was not there. They left the room and closed the

door behind them. After a little while, HG came out of the

room, and he was very angry at everyone in the house for not

having listened to him. Apparently, HG was on a divine mission,

like the Anchorites.

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His Grace in the Divine Liturgy

HG always taught us to give due respect to the altar, bearing in

mind that this is the place where the great King descends. The

priest must be respectful of the altar, and move around it

quietly and with reverence. He also stressed the importance of

respect for the Holy Eucharist, reminding the priests not to take

it lightly, as they are dealing with the LORD of Glory Himself and

with the spirits of angels and saints that surround the Holy

Sacrifice on the altar. HG would always say, “The Divine Liturgy,

for me, is my only consolation and extreme happiness. No one

knows how happy I feel while I am standing in the altar. If this

magnitude of happiness is felt here while we are still on earth,

how much more will our happiness be with our LORD Jesus

Christ in Heaven?”

His Grace used to repeat the following prayer while standing in

the altar: “Oh LORD, bestow Your peace on the diocese, take

charge of my life, forgive my sins through Your precious blood,

strengthen my faith and increase the love that I have for You.

Deepen my fellowship with You in the Spirit, and protect me

from self-dependence.” Then he would mention all those who

had asked him to pray for them, and would ask God to bestow

mercy upon those who departed, as he used to tell us that the

spirit of the saints that we mention in the Remembrance of the

Dead (Tarheem) would attend the Holy Liturgy, with God’s

permission.

The Divine Liturgy was a source of happiness and spiritual

fullness for HG and the entire congregation. HG always pleaded

with God not to prevent him from the Holy Altar until his last

breath, and God granted him his wish. He did not allow his

severe sickness to prevent him from the blessings of the Holy

Altar. During his last years, his love of the Holy Altar grew more

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and more, despite his deteriorating health and consequent

weakness. Prior to his departure to Heaven, he was praying the

afternoon liturgies of Jonah’s fast until about 7 PM. It was very

difficult for a person with heart disease to have the strength to

do this, but because of his great love and joy in serving the Holy

Altar and praying to God, he was granted the strength that he

needed to complete the Holy Liturgies.

From the time of his ordination as a bishop, and until right

before he became severely sick, HG used to pray most of the

Divine Liturgy (starting from the raising of incense to the end of

the Divine Liturgy) by himself, leaving only the Litanies and the

Commemoration of the Saints to the participating priests.

His Grace Bishop Makarios used to pray the Divine Liturgy with

great spiritual power, to the degree that the words of the

prayers came out of his mouth as fire, touching the hearts of

the congregation; it was clear that he prayed from the bottom

of his heart and with all his might. It was said about him, “Every

time Bishop Makarios prays the Mass, you feel as if he is

enjoying a delicious meal with great admiration. He prays

fervently and thoughtfully, contemplating on each word, even

on the prayers that are cited secretly (eg, during the Pauline

reading).” HG used to pray the Fraction prayers with great

passion, tears, a high level of spirituality, and with a heavenly

voice.

His Grace often said, “whoever respects the altar and gives it its’

due holiness will see amazing spiritual scenes, and God will

uncover for him the hidden mysteries.” HG used to deal with

the Holy Altar with unusual respect and reverence. This reminds

us of the angels, the Cherubim and the Seraphim, who stand

with great fear before God, covering their faces and feet, and

crying out saying, “Holy Holy Holy, LORD of Hosts, Heaven and

earth are full of Your holy glory.” HG truly was standing before

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God, as St. John of the Ladder said, “It is very hard to take water

away from a thirsty man, but it is even harder to prevent the

soul, which is full of reverence, from prayers, because prayer is

so loved by it and more preferred than all other deeds.”

Therefore, there was nothing on earth that could prevent HG

from prayer. He did not listen to the doctors or priests who

tried to talk him out of praying; he used to say, “when I stand

before the altar, I feel that I never want to leave it; I hope that

God never prevents me from praying, even if I have to die on

the altar while doing so.” He also used to say, “the secret of

Popes Kyrillos and the saints is in the prayers of the psalms,

midnight praises, and Divine Liturgies.” His love of the liturgies

was manifest at those times when he was seen unable to stand

while entering the church, his weak body shaking and trembling,

leaning on his cane, and breathing with great difficulty; yet this

never prevented him from attending on time. And to the

congregation’s great astonishment, it would only be a matter of

seconds after he started the liturgy that his shaking body would

become steady, his broken words would become strong and

clear, and his breathing would be regulated, as if he was a

different man. Members of the congregation would ask him

after the Liturgy, “What has happened Your Grace?” and he

would explain that Pope Kyrillos, Saint George, Abu Saifain, or a

group of the anchorites were praying in the Liturgy with him.

During St. Mary’s fast, one of the priests was praying an

afternoon Divine Liturgy with HG, in St. Mary’s church. During

Communion, HG gave out the Holy Blood, for his sight was

weak, and the priest gave out the Holy Body. They gave

communion first to the men, and then to the women. As the

last woman approached, there were two pieces of the Holy

Body remaining; the priest gave one piece to the woman, but

when he looked back he could not find the last piece. The priest

was greatly disturbed and perplexed; he looked for it

everywhere, but could not find this last piece. Then he looked to

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HG, who smiled at him and said, “Fear not, one of the

anchorites was praying with us today, and he took the last

piece. It is possible that the Eucharist can move from the tray to

the anchorite.”

In almost all the Divine Liturgies that HG prayed in the last six

years of his life, Pope Kyrillos VI came and attended with him.

His Grace also mentioned that at the beginning of his bishopric

service, and during the Divine Liturgy, he used to see blood

coming out of Jesus’ wounds in the icon of the crucifix on the

East side. And in his last year, during Holy Week, he also

mentioned that he used to see blood coming from Jesus’

wounds in the icon every year after the 400 metanyias of Good

Friday; that year, HG took out his handkerchief and wiped the

icon, then wiped his face, his eyes and his heart, and gave it to

the priest standing next to him saying, “Take the blessing

Father.” Wanting to conceal his virtues, he used to tell us,

“Because you prevented me from abstaining from food this Holy

Week, I could not see the bleeding wounds; I used to see the

wounds bleeding every year from the crucifix icon after the 400

metanyias (prostrations).”

On numerous occasions, HG saw the altar illuminate, and an

amazing heavenly light surrounding the Eucharist, as the LORD

Himself was present during the Liturgy. HG would be found

praying fervently, with heavenly hymns that penetrate to the

depth of hearts, render the thoughts captive, and lift up the

souls to the heavens, as he would see the LORD of Glory Himself

before him.

Those who witnessed him praying, either during Liturgies or

other prayers, would think that he was an angel standing before

the throne of the Almighty in Heaven, with all respect, fear and

reverence. During these times, his face was described as that of

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one who was talking to a king or a high ranking official, speaking

with great respect and fear, intermingled with love.

His only wish was to die during the Liturgy, and God granted

him his wish. HG Bishop Makarios died while he was praying

the Divine Liturgy on Sunday, February 3, 1991.

His Service

His Grace Bishop Makarios’ diocese was one of the largest; in

fact, after his departure it was divided into 4 dioceses. But

despite how large the diocese was, HG still managed to visit

each member of his congregation, house by house, once a year

for the 25 years that he was a bishop. He never skipped a year,

but persisted in his service, even in his final year when he was

sick. Up until his last breath, he regarded his service as a service

to God Himself, and he did not allow himself to be anything but

faithful to God and his children.

His Grace used to visit anywhere from 50 to 100 houses in one

day, starting in the morning and finishing at night. In 15 days,

HG would accomplish what another priest would strive to do in

a year. Even in his last two months on earth, he would visit and

serve his flock. Anytime he walked into a house, he would greet

every person individually, ask about every person, listen to each

one’s problems, follow up on their needs, and pray for them.

God would attend to all of his prayers and petitions; if HG

prayed for a person, that person’s problems would be solved or

his request granted. God also enabled HG to perform many

miracles, such as healing the sick, casting out demons, and

other heavenly powers. He used to stress to everyone the

importance of prayer, confession, communion, and fellowship

with God, as this is the only way that God will intervene, solve

problems, and lift tribulations. HG was a faithful servant who

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used his earthly talents to gain heavenly ones, and to save many

souls.

During his bishopric, many churches and altars were

consecrated in Qena and throughout his diocese, and most of

the existing churches were fixed and retrofitted.

He paid special care to the service of the Word and to spiritual

meetings. However, he did not give sermons himself; instead,

he made sure that any new priest who had the talent of

teaching and a great deal of spiritual knowledge would give the

sermon and lead the congregation. He was very careful when

choosing new priests, and he always said that the church

strongly advises the bishop not to choose a new priest in haste.

He would say, “I prefer to leave a church closed than to appoint

a priest who will close it.”

He strove to make all his deeds acceptable to the LORD, and the

LORD did indeed accept all of his deeds. The LORD granted HG

that which is written in the book of Proverbs: “When a man’s

ways please the LORD, He makes even his enemies to be at

peace with him.” (Proverbs 16:7) HG loved all, and everyone

loved him back because he cared for them out of his pure love

for God. He always said, “Do you know why our love for each

other grows? It is because this love has one goal, which is Jesus

Himself, without any other hidden goals; and this love is in

Jesus’ fear and for His acceptance.”

His Grace longed to build a church for St. Mary, his patron saint,

in Qena. He asked her to permit him to build a church for her

and to hold services in it before his departure. His request was

granted; the church was built in 15 years and it was one of the

most beautiful churches in the diocese.

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This church carries stories of many amazing miracles, which

shows the glory of God and his saints. HG was on his death bed,

and he was extremely ill. He had a heart attack, heart disease,

and a pulmonary embolism (blockage of the main artery of the

lung). As he progressively got worse and began to reach the

end, he told us that he found himself standing on his bed, but

he could still see his body lying down on the bed. A group of

angels surrounded him, ready to take his soul, and then St.

Mary came closer to him, signaled the angels to stop, and lifted

up her hands to heaven and prayed saying, “Oh my Son and my

LORD; glory, honor, and greatness are due unto you; if it is your

will, your son Anba Makarios built a church in my name, and I

would like him to consecrate it for me.” Then HG heard a voice

from far away saying, “It is my will.” At once, the Mother of

Light ordered the angels to return HG’s spirit to his body. Bishop

Makarios told us that it is very hard for the spirit to reenter the

body, more difficult than it is to leave the body. After this, HG’s

health unexpectedly began to improve and he consecrated the

church.

During the ceremony of the consecration, HG went up to anoint

the bishop’s seat, which had an engraved wooden picture of our

LORD Jesus Christ, with Myron.1 As he went to do this, he felt

great fear as he drew near the wooden picture on the back of

the seat; then he saw the picture turning into the person of

1 Myron or Chrism: a consecrated oil used in two sacraments, Baptism and

Chrismation, as well as in the consecration of the Church and of sacred

vessels, etc. The tradition of using this sacred oil goes back to the Old

Testament (Exodus 39), where God ordered Moses to prepare a compound

anointing oil of myrrh, cinnamon, cassia, and sweet calamus, mixed with pure

olive oil. It was used in anointing kings, priests, the tent of the tabernacle, and

its furniture. It is made of specific oils mixed with the spices that were

presented when the LORD was shrouded. Chrism is administered immediately

after baptism; the newly baptized person joins the church and becomes one of

its members through baptism, and is strengthened through the Chrism; this

gives him or her the right to partake of the Holy Communion.

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Jesus Christ, surrounded by a very bright light. He could not get

any closer, and so he barely anointed the far edges of the seat.

HG also mentioned that a large number of saints blessed the

consecration ceremonies, including St. Mary, St. George, St.

Philopateer Abu Safain, St. Mena, Pope Kyrillos, and some of the

anchorites (Spirit Born). Also, a number of people who watched

the video tapes of the consecration saw the spirits of the saints

on the main altar and in the side altars as well. During the

consecration ceremony, which lasted from 6:00 AM to 5:00 PM,

HG had amazing strength despite of all his medical conditions.

Ready for Departure

The final years of the life of HG Bishop Makarios were full of

spiritual vigilance and perseverance. His soul won its battle

against the weak body, illustrating St. Paul’s words, “I have

fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the

faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness,

which the LORD, the righteous judge, will give me on that day,

and not to me only but also to all who have longed for his

appearing.” (2 Timothy 4:7-8) On any given day, HG was ready

to depart from this earth. He welcomed death with happiness

and delight, like a saint who regarded the second of his

departure as his happiest moment, a time when God would give

him rest from his struggles and grant him a crown of victory.

Three years before Bishop Makarios’ departure, he asked one of

the fathers to renovate and prepare the area dedicated for

bishops’ burials under the northern altar in the Church of St.

Mark, where his predecessors, Bishop Lukas and Bishop Kyrillos,

lay. A year before his departure, he ordered a coffin to be

bought; and six months before his departure, he asked for a

burial license in his name, so that he could use the current

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burial place to avoid any later objections that might arise from

any officials. HG was then ready to depart.

He knew exactly when he would depart from this world; he

even asked for his final Divine Liturgy to be video taped, which

was very unlike him. One of the fathers asked him, “Your Grace,

where are you praying tomorrow?” He responded, “At St.

Mark’s church, and Father Metias will video tape me.” He also

made a reference to the day he would depart. Tamav Eriny

called him on Saturday morning to tell him that she would be

traveling on the following day, and then he answered and said,

“I am also traveling.” “Did you not finish your annual trip this

year, Your Grace?” she asked. “I am going on a very comfortable

trip tomorrow,” he explained. During Jonah’s feast, someone

else also asked him where he would be praying the following

week. Bishop Makarios answered, “Friday at St. Mary’s, Sunday

at St. Mark’s, and after that with Abu Safain.” Someone else

asked to see him on Sunday for an important matter, but HG

answered and said, “I won’t see anyone on Sunday.”

One lady who is very well known to us told us this story: On the

second day of Jonah’s fast, January 29, 1991, HG called me on

the phone and asked me to bring my niece to be baptized on

Friday; he insisted on this. I was very surprised, and when I saw

him I said, “Why did you insist on baptizing her on Friday, Your

Grace?” He replied, “On Friday I will pray at St. Mary’s, on

Sunday I will pray at St. Mark’s, then with Abu Safain.” I never

imagined that he meant he was departing to the heavens and

would be praying there. I also happened to be with him on

January 14, 1991, the day before he was traveling to Cairo to

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pray the feast of the Epiphany1 at the Abu Safain Convent in Old

Cairo. I begged him not to go because he had gotten very sick

on the plane the last time he went there. He said to me, “This is

my last time to travel; I will travel this time and travel once

again after 21 days, and then I will not travel anymore.” HG

departed to heaven 21 days after this conversation. I was also

with HG on the morning of Thursday, January 31, and at night I

had something to consult with him about. I telephoned him to

ask for his advice, but he asked me to come to him; I told him

that I had been with him in the morning, and he answered and

said, “OK, whatever you want. There are only two days left

before I travel.” HG did in fact travel to the heavens on Sunday.

Another lady named Feryal, who is HG’s niece, told us that on

the Saturday before his departure, HG told her, “Tomorrow a

certain person is coming to us; you don’t need to prepare lunch,

but you must attend the Liturgy.” He was trying to prepare her

for what was going to happen but she didn’t realize what he

meant. Anyone who watches the video tape of his last Liturgy

will be amazed beyond measure at how HG knew his hour was

coming and still prayed with steadiness and strength. This is

how the saints are, always ready and never shaken.

Then the hour came for this spiritual giant to join the cloud of

saints. It was on the holy day of Sunday, the day of the LORD,

during the Holy prayer of the Divine Liturgy; it happened on the

1 The Epiphany, or the Baptism of Christ on Tobah 11, AM (January 19). It is

connected with Christmas and the circumcision feasts. For on Christmas, the

Word of God took what is ours (our humanity) and in the "circumcision," He

subjected Himself to the Law as He became one of us, but in the Epiphany, He

offered us what is His own. By His incarnation, He became a true man while

still being the Only-begotten Son of God; and by baptism we become children

of God while we are human beings. On this feast, the Liturgy of blessing the

water is conducted, and the priest blesses the people with the water on their

foreheads and hands to commemorate baptism.

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holy altar at a holy time, the time of Pre-Fraction prayer while

HG was saying, “O You who gave to His holy disciples and saintly

apostles at that time, now also give to us and to all…” As he said

the word ‘all,’ he leaned forward toward the altar for a short

period and then dropped suddenly to the floor while holding

the Eucharist in his hands in 2 parts (a third and two thirds),

putting them together in the form of a cross.

His Grace Bishop Moussa, the General Bishop of the Coptic

Youth, watched this video on one of his visits to the United

States, along with a big group of youth. They watched it in very

slow motion. HG Bishop Moussa, along with many of the

American and Egyptian youth, saw 5 fingers of light lift up the

Holy Body as HG Bishop Makarios was falling, so that it landed

safely on the paten. Many of these youth confirm that they

really believe in the Eucharist’s mystery and believe that it is the

Body and Blood of our LORD; however, this incident had

strengthened their faith.

It seems that it was God’s will for HG to depart at the moment

he did. The Eucharist moved miraculously back to the paten,

and the whole event was recorded, that the LORD might glorify

His saint, who succeeded in hiding his righteousness for many

years. As it is said, “For those who honor Me I will honor, and

those who despise Me shall be lightly esteemed.” (1 Samuel

2:30)

His body remained before the altar at St. Mark’s church where

he departed for the whole day, February 3, 1991; then they

moved him to St. Mary’s church, which he built, to attend the

Divine Liturgy. After the Liturgy, the procession started from St.

Mary’s church to St. Mark’s church. It was a great procession

with people on both sides the entire way between the two

churches; so many people gathered that nobody would have

been able to find room to place a foot. Everybody flocked to the

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church, including all of the governmental representatives, a

large number of our Muslim brethren, the governor, the police

chief, and many more. The funeral ceremony was held by 11

bishops: Abba Mina (metropolitan of Girga), Abba Hedra

(bishop of Aswan), Abba Wisa (bishop of El-Balyana), Abba

Amonins (bishop of Luxor), Abba Fam (bishop of Tema), Abba

Kyrillos (bishop of Nag Hammady), Abba Abraam (bishop of

Fayoum), Abba Basanty (bishop of Helwan), Abba Bakhom

(bishop of Sohag), Abba Antonious (bishop of Manfloat), Abba

Bemoa (the abbot of St. George’s Monastery in Khatatba), and a

large number of priests from all denominations. After the

funeral and condolence speeches, at about midday on Monday,

February 4, 1991, the body was taken into a procession inside

the church until it reached the bishopric burial place under the

northern altar.

There rested the body of a holy man who lived a saintly life and

who became like a lit lamp in the way of holiness. There rested

our beloved bishop after a great journey, where he well pleased

his Creator and fulfilled His will. There rested a watchful man

waiting for his Master to return from the wedding banquet, so

that he could open the door for him immediately. (Luke 12:35-

37)

His departure caused great grief for his entire congregation, as

well as in the monasteries and convents. He had a profound

effect on the hearts of those he served and dealt with. Our

beloved Tamav Eriny, the abbot of Abu Safain’s Convent, cried a

lot for him. He was her father of confession and she knew how

saintly he was. She used to pray saying, “Lord, you have too

many saints in heaven; we wish you kept Bishop Makarios here

on earth, because in him we saw a manifestation of Your image,

love, and holy life.” One day Tamav Eriny was sick with a fever,

and she was taking an antibiotic every six hours. But despite all

her pain, she stood up to pray, and suddenly found herself in a

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beautiful place, so vast, peaceful, and full of joy and green

pastures; it was lit with a heavenly light that automatically lifts

the soul in praises and thanksgiving to the LORD Jesus Christ.

And then came Bishop Makarios in a beautiful, heavenly robe,

wearing a cross full of diamonds, walking slowly and completely

engulfed in praises to the Holy LORD Jesus Christ. Then he drew

near to Tamav Eriny and asked her, “What do you think of this

place, Mother?” She responded, “It is very beautiful, Your

Grace. Is that your place?” He replied, “No, my place is more

beautiful than this; this is only a vast place in which I walk, but

my place is much more beautiful;” then he added, “What do

you think, is this place not better than earth?” Tamav Eriny

asked, “But, did I already die? Is that why I am here?” HG

responded, “No, you did not die, but our LORD Jesus Christ

allowed you to come here and see me so that you would be

consoled and stop being sad for me.” Then she found herself

standing in the very same place in her cell.

During this spiritual experience, the nun that took care of

Tamav’s medication came to her cell, at 10 AM, but Tamav Eriny

was nowhere to be found. She looked for her everywhere, but

with no results; so she walked out, brought a chair and sat

down before the door and said to herself, “Let me see where

she will be coming from.” Six hours later, at 4 PM, she looked

into the cell and found Tamav Eriny inside. “Where were you

Tamav?” the nun asked. “I was existent,” Tamav answered. “I

looked for you everywhere inside the cell!” exclaimed the nun.

After much nagging, Tamav gave up and told the nun

everything. She described the experience, and when she had

finished she added, “I felt I was away for only 10 minutes.” “You

were taken for 6 hours” said the nun, confirming the earthly

time. But our dear Tamav was no longer sad; she was consoled

and thankful to God for giving her a chance to see her beloved

father in heaven.

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Since the celibate’s body was laid to rest under the northern

altar, to this day the room has never been closed. Unlike all

other bodies that decompose and produce a stench, HG’s body

only produces a great smell, like that of the martyrs that are

anointed with sweet spices. This body was martyred through

celibacy, purity, fasting, prayers and many ascetic practices; he

was a bloodless martyr.

After Departure Messages

There is a woman who dreamt consecutive dreams about the

departure of HG Bishop Makarios. One day, she dreamt that HG

was sitting on a great throne and he had a crown on his head; it

was as if he was at a feast. She asked him, “Are you going to

pray a Divine Liturgy now, Your Grace?” He answered and said,

“Prayers here are continuous without ceasing,” and then he

added, “I want you to deliver a message to Father….. and to Om

Makarios (the mother of Makarios).” “Is your mother still living,

Your Grace?,” she asked. “My daughter, don’t you know Feryal?

She is Om Makarios; her son is a very good deacon, prayed with

me always in Liturgies,” he answered. “Tell her that I was upset

with her, but that I now have forgiven her, because she kept

screaming all the way from St. Mary’s Church to St. Mark’s

Church during my funeral procession.” He then added, “Also tell

her to go to church, confess, and partake of the communion all

the time; that way we will not be apart. And remember me in

the Commemoration of the Departed in the Divine Liturgy, and I

will remember her, as if I came to visit her and she visited me.

She will feel my presence next to her. But again keep on

confessing and partaking in communion so you can reach where

I am, because those who confess and partake of the Eucharist

have a great position with the saints in heaven.”

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“And tell Father…., sermons became too many, in cassette tapes

and books, but the most important thing that all of you are

coming here soon. Stress in the sermons the importance of

repentance, confession, and communion, because those who

confess and partake of the Holy Eucharist have a great position

with the saints in Heaven.”

The same message and vision were repeated with a different

person, in a different city, around the same time, and he is

currently a monk in one of our monasteries.

His Miracles

“Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every

creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he

who does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will

follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out

demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up

serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means

hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will

recover.” (Mark 16:15-18)

God the Almighty granted his servants these gifts, to perform

wonders for the glory of His name, to be a sign of their holiness,

and to provide help and freedom to those who are bound and

sitting in darkness, according to His good will.

As children of God, our faith is dependent on the Word of Life.

As we learn from the story of Lazarus and the rich man, when

the rich man was being tormented, he asked Abraham to send

Lazarus to his brothers to forewarn them of the consequences

they would face if they remained in sin. “Then he said, ‘I beg

you therefore, father, that you would send him to my father’s

house, for I have five brothers, that he may testify to them, lest

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they also come to this place of torment.’ Abraham said to him,

‘They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.’ And

he said, ‘No, father Abraham; but if one goes to them from the

dead, they will repent.’ But he said to him, ‘If they do not hear

Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though

one rise from the dead.’’’ (Luke 16: 27-31)

Therefore, as children of the LORD, we have faith in Him and in

His word. “For the word of God is living and powerful,

and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the

division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a

discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” (Hebrews

4:12) This is the faith that moves mountains. This is the faith

that is manifested in the lives of all who surrender themselves

to God’s love.

Therefore, we glorify God in all His works and in all His saints,

because He shows His strength and mercy towards us through

His holy men, who walk according to His word.

The miracles and wonders of our beloved father, Bishop

Makarios, are countless, whether they were performed during

his earthly life or after his departure to the heavens. It is worth

noting that there are currently eight published books in the

Arabic language about the miracles performed by HG to this

day, and there are additional stories and miracles that have

been recorded, but are awaiting publication.

To this day, HG Bishop Makarios still performs miracles,

interceding for a great number of people who seek his blessings.

The remainder of this book will focus on just a few of the

miracles performed by HG Bishop Makarios, serving as an

example of his powerful intercessions and love for his children.

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Feryal (Bishop Makarios’ niece) told us that as a child, HG liked

to attend the praises of St. Mary during the Month of Kiahk. To

attend the service, he would walk from the village of Awlad

Yehia to the village of El-Kosheh, a distance of about 20

kilometers (12.4 miles). On his way to church, there were times

when he would run, and he would feel as if a certain power had

carried him above the ground.

Another miracle reported was of a barren woman from

Alexandria who had been married for 7 years to Dr. Fahim, a

gynecologist. One day, she went to visit her sister, who lived in

Qena. While there, she went with one of the priests to see HG

Bishop Makarios. As soon as HG saw her, he told her, “God will

give you Samuel.” The lady indeed became pregnant, but after 3

months she had a miscarriage. After all tests were done, she

was told that she had an immature uterus (womb); given her

medical condition, it was unlikely that she would be able to

conceive again. However, after some time, she did become

pregnant again. Upon further examination, it was determined

that the hormones from her first pregnancy worked towards

enlarging her uterus, preparing her for the second pregnancy.

As HG had foretold, she indeed gave birth to a boy and named

him Samuel; she later also had another boy and named him

Matthew.

Mr. Rafat Adib of Qena told us his story: He had a lot of

problems with his fiancé, to the degree where he felt that

marrying her would be impossible. He had great faith that HG

could help him and so he went to visit him. Mr. Adib noted that

before he even uttered a word, HG said “Come here next to me.

Are you worried about the engagement? Alright, that is it, there

will be no more troubles, and you will get married and have

children!!” Mr. Adib stated, “I walked out of his presence as if I

was in a dream…how did he know about my troubles? He is

indeed a man of God and all that he predicted did happen.”

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Mrs. Amal Milad of Qena told the following story about her

infant son: “We had already set a date for my son, Mina, to

receive the sacrament of Baptism, but suddenly, he got the flu

and was very feverish. I went to HG and sought his guidance,

asking him whether or not we should postpone the Baptism. HG

refused the idea of postponing the baptism and told us ‘God

willing, your son will be okay, by the blessings of my Lady Saint

Mary.’ The next day, my son was completely cured and HG

baptized him in the church of St. Mary. All our hearts were filled

with great joy.”

Mrs. Shadia Helmy Farah, also from Qena, told a story about

one of our current reverend fathers: “My husband’s brother

went to the monastery to pursue the life of monasticism;

however, my mother-in-law was very sad following his

departure. So I took her one day to see HG Bishop Makarios.

When HG saw her, he asked, ‘Why are you sad? Your son will

become a bishop.’” And his prophecy was fulfilled; her son is

the current bishop of Manflot, HG Bishop Antonious.

The nephew and disciple of HG Bishop Makarios, Mr. Rateb,

lived and interacted with HG on a daily basis. He accompanied

HG on all his visits, as he was his designated driver. Mr. Rateb

told us about a time when HG was visiting one of the villages:

“As we were passing by, we saw a man possessed with many

evil spirits; he was naked and chained with iron chains at the

bottom of a stairwell of one of the houses, screaming and wild.

As HG drew near him, the man started to throw sand and dirt at

HG. Despite this, Bishop Makarios asked for a cup of water,

prayed on it, and sprinkled the water on the possessed man. HG

then left and went on his way. Shortly after, a man came to the

bishopric, asking to see HG. When he saw Bishop Makarios, he

fell on his knees and said, ‘Forgive me for all that I have done to

you…I was not conscious.’ When HG did not recognize him, the

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man introduced himself saying, ‘I am the person who was

possessed with many evil spirits in the village. Your Grace

prayed for me and the spirits were all cast out.’ HG prayed the

absolution for him and bid him farewell.”

During one of HG’s visits to Hurgada, a non-Christian woman

who had seen HG visiting other homes invited him over saying,

“Come Your Grace, come, visit me and bless me as you bless

your children.” HG heeded her request and visited her house.

He asked for a cup of water, prayed on it, and sprinkled the

entire house, as he was accustomed to doing. Then HG asked

her, “Do you have any children?” She replied, “I have none, and

I have been married for 19 years.” So HG told her, “On this very

day next year, you will be carrying your son Ibrahim.” As he

foretold, God gave the woman the fruit of the womb, namely,

Ibrahim, at the same time HG had indicated.

The reverend Father Mata Marko shared this story: “A friend of

mine asked HG to pray for him, that he might have children. HG

kept him in his prayers constantly. On one occasion, as the man

was sitting with HG, his wife walked in. As soon as HG saw her,

his face lit up with a heavenly glow. HG became very joyful and

told her, ‘Congratulations.’ She replied, with great wonder,

‘May God keep Your Grace…but congratulations for what?!’ HG

answered her saying, ‘You are pregnant, in your second day.’“

Mrs. Nadia Naguib from Alexandria went with her husband,

Magdy, and her children to the Convent of Saint Abu Safain in

Old Cairo. At the time, HG was visiting the Convent. Mrs. Naguib

and her family sat with HG and the beloved saintly Mother

Eriny, the abbot of the convent. She told us, “During this

meeting, one of the reverend fathers asked HG to pray for my 5

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year old son, Michael, who had a G6PD Deficiency,1 which left

him anemic. We went through numerous tests and Dr. Thoria

analyzed all of them; the G6PD enzyme was very low. Two years

later, I wanted to repeat the tests, but the doctor refused,

saying that the enzyme level would never change, especially

since it was very low to begin with. But HG put his hand on

Michael, prayed for him, and said with great simplicity: ‘Give

him all kinds of food to eat.’ I then asked HG whether we should

repeat the tests, but HG told us not to.” Michael’s mother

obeyed in great faith, giving her son everything to eat, including

Fava beans and all other foods that were forbidden, given his

condition. Thereafter, the child never developed anemia and

was completely normal.

Mr. Kamal Metry, who served with HG for 18 years and was

entrusted with many responsibilities by HG, told us this story:

“HG used to give me work to finish in the bishopric. There was

one time when we were in need of a sewing machine. One of

the servants, Mr. Ohdy Gawargios, offered to bring his own

sewing machine from home. But HG answered and said, ‘God

will send us a sewing machine very soon.’ And at about 5 PM

that same day, a lady knocked on the door of the bishopric and

said, ‘Here is a sewing machine. We brought it for HG.’ And we

still have this sewing machine until now. Besides this incident,

there were many things that used to happen before my eyes

that were beyond my comprehension, but I was told not to

ask!”

1Glucose-6-phosphate-dehydrogenase (abbreviated G6PD or G6PDH);

individuals with the disease may exhibit non-immune hemolytic anemia in

response to a number of causes, most commonly infection or exposure to

certain medications or chemicals. G6PD deficiency is closely linked to favism, a

disorder characterized by a hemolytic reaction to consumption of broad

beans, with a name derived from the Italian name of the broad bean (fava).

The name favism is sometimes used to refer to the enzyme deficiency as a

whole.

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Mr. Metry went on to tell another story: “One night HG called

me and said, ‘I love you so much Kamal; I wish you can be

granted a son. I pray for you all the time.’ Then after 10 minutes

of utter silence, HG said, ‘What would you like to name the baby

girl that you will have?’ But I did not know what to answer, as

my wife was pregnant. Later on, HG visited us at home and told

my wife, ‘after 10 days, you will give birth to a girl and you will

name her Lillian.’ And this is exactly what happened.”

Mr. Gergis Nagy of Qena told us this story: “I was suffering from

a great deal of pain in my stomach, and I tried a lot of different

medications, but nothing seemed to work. One of my relatives

advised me to seek magicians and sorcerers, and so I heeded his

advice. The sorcerer gave me a list of things to do to help ease

my pain. At night, however, HG Bishop Makarios came to me in

a dream and said, ‘What are all those bad things that you have

in the balcony?’ In the morning, I woke up in haste and threw

out all the materials I had in the balcony from the sorcerer.

Since then I was made well, and required no medication or any

other treatment.”

HG Bishop Makarios was accustomed to praying for all those

who did not have children, and through his prayers and

supplications, God would indeed grant them children. Mrs.

Magda had been married for 3 years; she was unable to

conceive due to arthritis that affected her Fallopian Tubes,

according to a diagnosis by Dr. Samy El-Keshtah. Magda said, “I

was very sad. One day I went to see HG Bishop Makarios. I was

crying bitterly and HG told me that God would give me a child in

a month. The following month, as HG had predicted, I

conceived. However, because of my weak faith, I was very

worried about having a miscarriage. HG told me, ‘Worry and

sadness can make you miscarry.’ And this is true; sorrow and

worry can be the cause of a miscarriage, but thank God, the

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pregnancy period passed in peace, and God gave me Maria,

through the prayers and intercessions of HG. Later, I got

pregnant again and went to HG, asking him to bless me and

name the baby for me. HG answered and said, ‘Not now.’ I kept

going back to him for the same reason and he kept giving me

the same answer until I gave birth to a baby girl. However, the

baby died on the second day after she was born; HG apparently

knew this would happen, and this is why he did not want to

name the baby for me. May his blessings be with us all.”

Another amazing story happened with a man who had also

been married for 3 years. After undergoing check-ups and

testing, he was diagnosed with male infertility, Azoospermia. On

a Lenten Friday afternoon, HG was praying a Liturgy at St.

George Church. As HG was walking out of the altar, this man

walked up to him and asked him to pray that he might have

good offspring. HG told him, ‘May God give you a boy and a

girl!’ A year later, his wife conceived and gave birth to a baby

girl, but she had many physical abnormalities and died one day

after birth. In the second year, another baby girl was born, but

this time, she was born dead. However, in the third year, they

had a baby boy, Gergis, and in the fourth year, they were

granted a baby girl, Eriny. Therefore, all that HG said was

fulfilled. Glory to Him who said: “…for those who honor Me I

will honor, and those who despise Me shall be lightly

esteemed.” (1 Samuel 2:30)

Another lady from Qena who preferred to remain anonymous

said: “When I was in my last year of grammar school, I started

to have seizure attacks. This was a catastrophe to my family,

especially since we had no family history of this disorder. My

mother took me to HG as he finished praying the Divine Liturgy.

He prayed for me, anointed me with the holy oil, and I took the

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blessings of his white tonya.1 Instantaneously, I was made well

and I never had any more seizure episodes.” “For with God

nothing will be impossible,” as it is written in Luke 1:37. When

we think that something is impossible or no power on the face

of the earth can help, we remember that we have many

promises from our Father who art in Heaven to render us a

heavenly power that, with faith, can overcome the impossible.

A lady told us the following story to show the glory of God that

is manifested in the lives of his saints: “One day, I noticed a spot

on my left breast; it looked like black blood to me. After

undergoing numerous tests and scans, I was diagnosed with a

tumor in my left breast, which needed to be removed. With

faith, I answered and said, ‘God will heal me with a miracle.’ But

the doctors laughed at me in disbelief. I refused the

mastectomy2 and went to see HG. I told him about my condition

and he prayed for me, made the sign of the cross on the tumor,

and said, ‘God will not allow that.’ Later I dreamt of HG sitting at

a desk with many sick people surrounding him, asking for his

prayers, but he called me and prayed for me. I was very happy

with this dream; however, I still asked God for a sign of my

healing. In another dream, I saw HG Bishop Makarios standing

next to the relics of Abu Safain. He opened the box containing

the relics and said to me, ‘I came for you, especially.’ He then

took the covering off the relics, put it on my chest, and put his

cross and prayed for me. He then said, ‘That is it, you are well

1 A white tunic worn by all monks and priests while celebrating the Holy

Liturgy. It is white because it represents the joyous angels who are serving

God in purity and holiness.

2 Mastectomy is the medical term for the surgical removal of one or both

breasts, partially or completely.

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now.’ And God gave me other signs as I had asked Him to do. I

was made well by the prayers of HG.”

This very same lady also went on to tell another story: “I was

pregnant in my sixth month, but I was about to have a

miscarriage due to serious complications during my pregnancy.

Despite the pain I was going through, I took a cab and went to

see HG Bishop Makarios. At the time of my visit, HG had a

doctor sitting with him. As soon as the doctor saw me, she told

HG that I was in danger, especially since I had a previous

miscarriage. HG answered the doctor saying, ‘I will pray for her,

don’t be afraid, doctor. She will not miscarry.’ He asked for a

cup of water, prayed on it, and gave me to drink. He then told

me, ‘Take these little calendars and distribute them to all the

people in the room.’ I heeded his word and did as he said. The

amazing thing is that I was moving about as if I never had any

pain in my body; through his prayers I was made well.” She also

added, “God gave me two daughters and in my third pregnancy,

I wished that I could have a boy. So I went to HG and asked him

for my wish. HG looked at me and said, ‘Matthew, Matthew,

Matthew,’ and God indeed gave me Matthew according to the

word of HG.”

Mrs. Mariam Anwar Boles told us of an incident she personally

had with HG: “I was 9 months pregnant, but I had passed my

due date by a few days. The doctor told me that if I did not

deliver naturally within one week, he would have to perform a

C-section. The one week passed and I was terrified, so I went to

Bishop Makarios in the bishopric on September 17, 1990. I told

HG about my situation and he told me, ‘Come, sit down my

daughter. Do not fear.’ I sat with HG and I felt a lot of peace. He

went on to say, ‘You still have a few days to go; you will give

birth naturally on Friday.’ He then stood up and anointed me

with the oil from the lantern that was before the icon of St.

Mary. One of the priests who was there at the time asked HG to

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name the baby for me. HG answered and said, ‘Congratulations,

you will have Matthew.’ He also asked me for some money for

St. Mary. And all that he told me happened exactly as he had

said.”

Mr. Gergis of Qena and his wife went to meet HG Bishop

Makarios, seeking his blessings. They had been married for 3

years, but God did not grant them any children. Mr. Gergis told

us the following: “HG told us that God would give us David, but I

asked him if we should go see a doctor; he said no, don’t go. We

went out of his presence in great joy, waiting for the fulfillment

of the promise. However, when we went to do a scan just to

make sure that everything was okay, the doctor told me that my

wife had a blockage in her Fallopian Tubes and that she would

never conceive. I kept that to myself and never told my wife,

and I left everything in God’s hands. A month later, my wife saw

HG Bishop Makarios in a dream. ‘Do you know what is wrong

with you?’ HG asked her, and my wife answered negatively.

‘Your tubes are blocked. But God will open one for you and give

you a child.’ After my wife woke up, she told me about the

dream. At this point, I had to tell her what the doctor had said

and that what HG told her in the dream was true. But before a

month passed, my wife became pregnant and God granted us a

boy, then a girl, and finally twins.”

Another person came to HG with his young son. After taking his

blessings he asked, “Don’t you remember me Your Grace? I

came to you last night with my son who was suffering from an

eye cataract. The cataract disappeared after you prayed for

him.” Then HG told him, “Now, of course, you will go fill the air

with those words. You know that my lady St. Mary performed

this miracle for your son, because we are currently in her fast.

Don’t tell anybody about this miracle until I die.” This is an

example of how HG was striving everyday to cover his virtues

and complete his days in peace.

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A lady who wished not to disclose her identity said, “I was

shocked when I saw a huge tumor in my right breast. I went to

many physicians, including Dr. Jacob and Dr. Rachel, who

started talking to each other in English; this worried me. I went

to different physicians—Dr. Moris, Dr. Waheed Thabet, and Dr.

Ahmed El-Amir, to name just a few. They suggested a biopsy,

but I strongly refused. Then I had a group of 9 doctors review

my case, one of them being Dr. Gamal Abd El-Hameed, who

works as a professor at The University of Asiut. He said that

time was of the essence and that the biopsy was necessary in

order to start treatment. It happened that we were passing by

the bishopric building, and my husband suggested that I go

inside and ask HG to pray for me. However, I was completely

devastated and told my husband that the doctors said it was

cancer. ‘What will HG do?’ I asked him. But my husband

insisted, so we went and met with one of the servants who told

us that we came after visiting hours, and that we could not see

HG now. We explained the situation to her, so she went and

told HG and came back with a smile on her face saying, ‘HG will

see you.’ After we sat down, he waved at me to come to him, so

I kneeled at his feet and he prayed a long prayer for me. After

he finished, I went back to my seat. ‘You do not have cancer or

anything,’ HG said; ‘God will heal you, God will heal you, God

will heal you. And if there is anything left, just confess and take

communion and nothing will be left in your chest.’ That same

night, my husband suggested that I anoint myself with Abu

Safain’s oil and that I put the book of the miracles of Pope

Kyrillos VI on my chest, and I did. The next morning I felt the

tumor, which had previously been the size of an orange, with

my hands. There was nothing left except for a very small piece,

so I remembered the words of HG; I went to my father of

confession, who I had not seen for a very long time and I

partook of the Holy Communion. After I received the Eucharist,

the tumor disappeared completely, as the Saint Bishop

Makarios had told me. Then I returned to the same physicians

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who had diagnosed my tumor before, and they were in a great

awe. They were astonished that there was nothing left of the

tumor. They asked me what had happened and I laughingly told

them that I had gone to someone better than all of them. Then

one of them answered and said, ‘You indeed went to see

someone who is better than all of us, because medicine is

unable to treat such a case.’”

A well known man who holds a high position came to our

beloved Bishop Makarios, and he was desperate. A judicial jury

had sentenced him to prison. He had filed for an appeal, and it

was to be held very close to the date of his meeting with HG. He

complained to HG that his situation was very weak and that it

would be very hard to get out of this position; if the appeal

yielded the same verdict, he would lose everything. On the

night of the appeal, our beloved bishop stayed up all night

praying, and God accepted his prayers. The judge found him not

guilty.

On one of the Lenten days, after the afternoon Liturgy, HG met

with Mr. Roshdy Aziz Abd-Elsheheed. Mr. Abd-Elsheheed

thought it would be a great chance to tell HG about the pain he

was having in his gallbladder and to ask for his prayers. “Are you

fasting this Lent?” HG asked, ignoring the main issue. Mr. Abd-

Elsheheed was surprised and started giving excuses, saying “I

am sick and unable to fast. My gallbladder hurts so much…” But

HG said, “How could you hear that the church is fasting the

Great Lent and still not fast?” So he promised HG that he would

start fasting; then HG said, “Fast and you will see what God will

do for you.” After he started fasting, all of the pain disappeared.

His Grace was an expert on the human soul; he was able to read

people’s inner thoughts. Mr. Sarwat Nazer Tawfik of Nag

Hammadi told us this story to show the gift that God entrusted

HG with: “My wife was diagnosed with Bacteremia, or bacteria

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in the blood. The doctors said there was no treatment for her

case, that there was no hope, and that even if there was, she

would be paralyzed. I heard about the saint Bishop Makarios, so

we went to meet him at the bishopric in Qena. As we ascended

the stairs, he saw us from above and said, “Come Feryal, my

daughter.” We were shocked, as this was our first time to see

HG. We sat down with him and before we said anything HG

said, “Feryal, ya baba (a word to show closeness to the heart of

the speaker), do not be afraid, I will pray for you and you will be

made well.” I was very preoccupied at this time, thinking about

how we were going to get back home, and which means of

transportation we would have to take. HG asked, ‘Are you in a

rush?’ causing me to be greatly surprised. So I told him that

transportation to Nag Hammadi was difficult and that it was

almost 3 PM. HG said, ‘I will just pray for her.’ He prayed for my

wife, put his cross on her, and then said, ‘May God be with you

all.’ On our way home, my wife told me that while HG was

praying for her, she felt as if she had some electrical treatment

and she felt changes in her body. My wife was healed and

completely recovered, thanks to the Lord and to his great saint,

Bishop Makarios.”

Mr. Agib Gergis, a retired principle in Qus, was visiting his

brother Aziz in the Rahmania Village. A Muslim guard (Ghafeer)

was present at that time, and he approached Mr. Gergis saying:

“Do you know Qena’s metropolitan?” “I was so surprised at the

question,” said Mr. Gergis. “Do you know him?” he asked the

guard. The guard answered, “Yes, of course, I used to do work

for HH Pope Kyrillos; after that I worked for HG Bishop

Makarios.” Then the guard told the following story: “HG was

visiting the west side of the Village of Rahmania. A lot of people

gathered and followed HG; they almost blocked the entire road.

All of a sudden HG stopped and said, ‘There is a sick girl behind

me in the crowd, her mother is carrying her.’ We looked for the

sick girl and her mother and we brought them to HG; he prayed

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for her, and she was healed. I was amazed at this incident,

especially because the girl was not Christian. I was sure that he

was a righteous man; otherwise, how would he have known

about the sick child?”

There seems to be a similarity between this story and the story

of the woman who had a flow of blood lasting for twelve years.

She touched the hem of Jesus’ garment while the multitudes

pressed Him. But Jesus knew about her and stopped and said,

“Who touched me?” The disciples, amazed at the question,

answered him saying, “Master, the multitudes throng and press

You, and You ask ‘Who touched Me?’” (Luke 8:45) This story

illustrates for us how our LORD Jesus Christ is faithful and true,

and grants His little children the power to do His works, and

even greater. Like He said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who

believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and

greater works than these he will do ….” (John 14:12)

As a man whose eyes were open to the future, HG had a habit

of naming babies after the saints whose feast or

commemoration would be celebrated around the child’s birth

date. Mr. Rizk Mahrous experienced one of these incidents, and

he told us the following story: “I went to HG Bishop Makarios,

and I asked him to pray that God might give me children. HG

answered and said, ‘God will give you Zacharias.’ God answered

HG’s request; and on the day of the delivery, my father

attended the Divine Liturgy and came back saying that the

Synaxarium1 was about Zacharias the priest.

Father Hegomen Ayob of Neqada had a similar story. He asked

HG to pray that God would give him a son; HG said, “May God

1 Synaxarium is a book of the life of the saints, used by the Orthodox church. It

lists the saints in the order of their anniversaries and it is read in the Divine

Liturgy before the reading of the Bible.

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give you Matthew.” On the day of the delivery, the reading of

the Synaxarium was about the departure of Saint Matthew the

Evangelist.

Mr. Zachariah Gadallah Fam also had a similar experience:

“During one of HG’s visits to my house, as it was his custom, he

asked me how many children I had. I told him I had four girls

and that my wife was pregnant, and that I was hoping God

would grant me a son. HG put his cross on my wife’s head,

prayed and said, ‘Congratulations, you will have Athanasius.’1

We were very happy to hear these words. Later, closer to the

delivery, I dreamt that I was on a trip to visit the monasteries. In

one of the monasteries, I saw HG Bishop Makarios, so I kneeled

and made a metanya for him, and kissed his cross and his hand;

but he said to me, ‘Did your wife deliver Zachariah?’ I answered

negatively, so he said, ‘Zachariah, your wife is about to deliver,

but there is nobody with her.’ Amazingly, on my wife’s due

date, there was nobody around her except my mom, since

everyone else went to attend the feast of St. George in his

monastery. And when the time came to name the baby boy,

everyone was hesitant about the name Athanasius; they

advised me to give him another name that would be easier to

call, so I thought of naming him after the saint of the day. I

opened the Synaxarium to the 3rd day of the Coptic month of

Hathor, my son’s birthday, and surprisingly, it was the

commemoration of the departure of St. Athanasius and his

sister, Irene. I then hastened to call the baby Athanasius, as

Saint Makarios had told me to do.”

1 After a great Coptic saint, Athanasius of Alexandria. He was a Christian

theologian, bishop of Alexandria, Church Father, and a noted Egyptian leader

of the 4th century. He is best remembered for his role in the conflict

with Arius. At the First Council of Nicea, Athanasius argued against Arius and

his doctrine that Christ is of a distinct substance from the Father.

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“Strengthen the weak hands, and make firm the feeble

knees. Say to those who are fearful-hearted, ‘Be strong, do not

fear!’” (Isaiah 35: 3-4) It is one of the jobs of the children of God

to strengthen the weak—whether they are weak spiritually,

mentally, or physically. Mrs. Demiana Fekry told us a story that

shows how God’s hands work through His saints to heal,

support, and make firm the feeble knees. “It was November of

1989,” she said. “I was pregnant, and I started to feel numbness

in my lower body; I was not able to move easily, and I kept on

getting worse, to the degree that I had to use a wheelchair.

After I delivered my baby, my lower body became completely

paralyzed. Physicians thought it was a psychological reaction,

since I had been pregnant with my fifth child. My husband

called Dr. Suzan Halwa, a neurologist and a psychiatrist who,

upon seeing the scan, told us to go to Asiut immediately. I was

crying a lot and praying with many tears, and I called upon God

saying, ‘O Lord, I have no help or support but You. Stand by me,

I am the work of your hands, and you will never leave me … if it

is possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, do not as I

will, but as You will.’ That night I dreamt that I was looking at

Jesus’ picture and praying; Jesus stretched His hands toward

me, and I held onto His hand and said, ‘O Jesus, help me to

stand up.’ I did in fact stand up, and I was very happy. I ran

down to my neighbor and told her, ‘God made me stand up and

healed me.’ This dream had been like a promise from God that

He would heal me.

I then went to Asiut, and was admitted to one of the hospitals

(El-Mabarah Hospital), and God’s hand was with me. He

arranged for me to be with another lady who was admitted on

the same day as I was; she kept on serving me, even though she

was sick herself. Then the orthopedic doctor decided to do

surgery on my spinal cord, since the scans showed a cancerous

tumor between the fourth and fifth vertebrae of my spinal

column. I did not feel any improvement after the surgery, and

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for three months, I was back and forth between chemotherapy

and physical therapy. I remember the chemotherapy doctor

telling me to get used to this lifestyle, since it would be this way

for the rest of my life. However, I answered him with great faith,

saying ‘God is able to make me stand up…’ At that time, I was

corresponding with Tamav Eriny, the abbot of Abu Safain

convent, and thankfully she was answering my letters and

praying for me. She sent me a letter with a piece of cotton with

oil from Abu Safain’s lantern, and told me that they placed my

name under the relics of this great martyr. She also told me to

anoint my legs and the surgical wound with the oil, and I did so.

One night, when I was about to sleep, I felt two people coming

into the room. One of them touched my eyes and closed them;

then they kept on rubbing my legs. I was terrified and I cried out

for help, so one of them told me, ‘Quiet down now, or you will

make a big scene for us.’ Then they left me. When I woke up, I

felt like my legs were stretched and then I started regaining

feeling in them gradually, which I never did before. I went back

to Qena to send the news to HG Bishop Makarios, who used to

say that I would be healed by a miracle.

One day, I was very depressed. I looked at HH Pope Kyrillos’

picture and started pleading with him, saying ‘I am a burden

now, a heavy one, for my husband and girls; I feel as if I am

neither living nor dead.’ Then I went into a deep sleep and I

dreamt that Pope Kyrillos was looking at me with great love,

and he said, ‘Wouldn’t fasting and prayers do it?’ So I asked him

to pray for me, and he put his hand on my head and prayed.

When I woke up, my big toe started to move. Then I dreamt

that I went to St. Mark’s Church, which was lit with a great light.

HG Bishop Makarios was sitting inside and he said, ‘Sit down

next to me…’ He asked me about my medical status and then

gave me a cup of water, which he told me to drink. He then took

out a small bottle of holy oil and anointed me. I also had a

dream in which Tamav Eriny gave me some flour; then while

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walking, I met HG who asked me again about my health. I

wanted to give him the bag of flour but he laughed and said, ‘Do

they give out flour in monasteries nowadays?’ He took the flour

from me and took out his bottle of oil again and anointed my

back. At that very second I felt his hands on my back.

When HG passed away, I was very sad that I could not go and

take the blessings of his body like the rest of the congregation. I

then dreamt that he came to me, stood over me, and wrapped

me in his tunic.

With all these dreams, I started feeling gradual progress

towards healing until I was fully able to walk. One day, my

husband brought a magazine (Jesus’ Voice magazine) and the

edition was about HG. My daughter took the magazine and with

great faith, she started touching HG’s picture and touching my

legs. After that, I started to move inside the apartment and I

stopped using the wheelchair until I was completely healed. I

thank my LORD Jesus Christ and all His saints, especially Saint

Abba Makarios. They did not leave me at all, and I am in good

health now and have returned to my duties at work and at

home.”

HG was also granted a great power over unclean spirits. They

feared the image of Christ in him, from his simplicity to his

depth and humbleness. We pray daily and say, “for it is You who

has given us the authority to tread on serpents and scorpions,

and upon all the power of the enemy.”1 This is a power that God

grants His honest children, to exercise it not only spiritually, but

also physically.

Father Mata Marko told the following story: “One day, we were

sitting with HG Bishop Makarios. At about 9 PM, I remembered

1 A part of the Prayer of Thanksgiving of the Coptic prayer book (Agpeya).

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that I had an appointment to visit a family, one of whose

members was demon possessed. They asked for the cloth cover

of Saint Abu Safain’s relics, that God may have mercy on her

through the prayers of this great martyr. So I asked HG to pray

for her. He answered and said, ‘God will cast it out.’ Half an

hour later, I excused myself to go to my appointment with the

cover of the relics. The family greeted me with great joy and

astonishment, telling me that she had been completely healed

at exactly 9 PM. She became normal and the unclean spirit left

her. This happened at the same second that Saint Abba

Makarios had said ‘God will cast it out.’”

Another time, they brought a demon possessed lady to Father

Mata Marko at midnight. The spirit caused her to convulse

greatly, so she cried out loudly and bitterly. “I told them to take

her to HG, who was traveling to Qus in the morning,” Father

Mata told us. When they met HG, he told them to take her to

the church and lay her before the altar. It was only seconds

before she walked out of the church, happy and delighted. She

told HG, “I saw a dove descend from above the altar curtain,

and it came to me and touched me, and I was healed…” After

they left, Father Mata asked HG if this dove was St. Mary, but

he answered and said, “No, it was the Holy Spirit.”

Two years prior to the departure of HG Bishop Makarios from

this earth, during his visit to the Village of El-Rahmania, he was

unable to ascend stairs due to his health situation; so he used to

go in to the ground floor of each house, where everybody could

gather and take his blessings. One person stopped him and

asked him to go pray for a paralyzed woman who lived on the

second floor of one of the houses, but HG said to him, “My son,

my legs are hurting. Just bring me a cup of water and I will pray

on it.” But the man insisted that Abba Makarios go back with

him and go upstairs to pray for the sick woman. HG told him, “I

cannot go up the stairs…I am physically unable. Go with a few

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people and bring her down to me.” So two men went up and

brought the paralyzed woman to HG; he noticed that her legs

were immobile and that they kept rubbing against the rail

because she was unable to lift them. HG told them to leave her,

but as soon as they did, she fell to the ground, unable to keep

herself up; so he ordered them to carry her again. He asked for

a cup of water and put the cross on her head and prayed, and

then sprinkled her with the water. She immediately stood up on

her feet, and she kissed his hand and the hands of Father David

and Father Gabriel who were with HG. She went up the stairs

full of joy. Then Father David, overwhelmed with what he had

just encountered, unconsciously clapped his hands and cried

out, “Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the Lord.”

After his departure, HG appeared to a child deacon in the altar

during the Divine Liturgy and had the following conversation

with him:

“Where is daddy?” HG asked.

“Daddy is praying,” answered the child.

“And where is mom?”

“She is at work.”

“And where are your brothers?”

“At school.”

“So, did you come with your dad?”

“Yes…”

The child told this story with great simplicity and innocence. He

said HG was wearing a white tunic and that he prayed the entire

Liturgy with the priest. He also said that HG was not using his

mouth to talk, but rather he was talking to him mentally, and

the child answered him in the same manner.

One of the priests told us another story which shows HG’s great

transparency: “HG, thankfully, had promoted me to be a

Hegomen along with three other fathers. During the Liturgy,

while we were in the side altar, one of us whispered saying, ‘We

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should write an official Thank You to HG in the newspaper of El-

Ahram.’ It was just an idea that nobody communicated about

any further. After the Liturgy, I went to thank HG; he looked at

me as one who had read my mind, and told me with an

innocent smile on his lips, ‘Oh brother, no El-Ahram….’ I was

completely shocked and said, ‘How did Your Grace know?’ So

HG answered with great meekness and said ‘I know

everything…and I know what I am saying.’”

Mrs. Y. also told us the following story, which took place at her

sister’s house. HG was invited to her house for lunch during his

visit to Naqada. They had all been working with great joy and a

lot of energy since early in the morning to prepare food and

clean the house. Then a lady came from outside and said, “What

is all of this? You look like you are having a wedding here. All of

this for a Metropolitan?” She was standing a great distance

from the stove, but her clothing suddenly caught fire from the

back. However, she did not feel it; another woman behind her

screamed, “Fire…there is fire all over you.” The lady ripped her

tunic away frantically and threw it away from her. Feeling that

what happened was because she belittled HG, she stayed and

joined us in preparing for HG’s visit.

During HG’s visit to the Village of El-Khatarah, while he was

walking in the street, an unbeliever started to mock and curse

him. The man described what happened afterwards, saying, “He

looked at me in a way that filled me with fear; I went back home

blind. My neighbor begged me to go to El Mullah1 (he meant HG

Bishop Makarios) so he could ask God to heal my eyes; so I went

to the bishopric and met HG and said, ‘Do you remember me,

1 The word Mullah is primarily understood in the Muslim world as a term of

respect for a religiously educated man.

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Mullah?’ He said ‘No my son, I do not.’ I replied, ‘I am the one

that cursed at you in El-Khatarah; and look, I got what I

deserved and became blind.’ So he said to me with great love,

‘Dear son…I will pray for you and anoint your eyes.’ He did this

and I was able to see instantly.” He left with great joy in his

heart, believing in the holiness of this Mullah, HG Bishop

Makarios.

A woman named Mrs. Botros told us another story: “In 1988, I

suffered a great ordeal while building my house. Problems were

arising everywhere, so I went to HG and asked for his prayers,

that God might solve the problems. He looked at me deeply and

was silent for a while; then he said, ‘Go ahead and build, and

God will be with you each step of the way.’ So I started the work

but I encountered a big problem. After praying the nighttime

prayers, I looked at HG’s picture, which hung on the wall in my

room, and I said, ‘I did as you told me. Where are you now?

Everything is complicated; you have to do something.’ To my

astonishment, HG came out of the picture and came close to

me, holding his cross in his hand; he made the sign of the cross

on me and said in his usual tone, ‘Don’t be worried; everything

will work out in peace.’ I had a certain feeling within me that I

cannot describe. It was a mixture of amazement, joy, fear and

shock, and I could not stop my tears from falling. On the very

next day, some people intervened to solve the problem and

everything went well, through the prayers of this Saint.”

Mr. Sameh told us the following story: “I went with my sister to

visit HG Abba Makarios. He was not there, so we waited until he

came. As he led us up the stairs, he stopped and looked back at

my sister in anger. Then he continued to ascend the stairs. My

sister whispered in my ear, ‘Why did HG look at me angrily?’

‘Then what were you thinking about before he looked at you?’ I

asked. ‘I was singing a worldly song in my mind,’ she answered.”

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Doctor A. also told us a story which further supports how

transparent people were in HG’s eyes. “I used to visit HG to

check his blood pressure and blood sugar. One day I was on my

way to see him with my brother. I told my brother that I really

wanted to partake of the Eucharist, but that I was hesitant to do

so. As soon as we went in to see HG, he said to me, ‘You have to

take communion, Doctor.’ It was as if he had heard what I had

said to my brother when we were still a long distance away, and

was responding.”

One of the fathers of the city of Naqada told us this story about

HG: “During the Saint Abba Makarios’ visit to Naqada, he used

to pray the Divine Liturgy every day. I used to go meet him,

where he lived, before the Liturgy and I always found him

waiting for me on the stairs. One day I went to meet him as

usual, but he was not there. I knocked on the door of the

apartment across the hall from HG, where one of the priests

lived. The priest’s wife answered the door and I went in to wait

for HG to open his door. While I was there, the priest’s wife told

me the following story: ‘Father, last night I dreamt that I was

attending a Liturgy that HG was praying, and I partook of the

Eucharist. In the morning, when I woke up, I knocked on HG’s

door and he opened for me in his home clothing. I asked him if

he would go to pray the Liturgy today, but he said that he had a

stomachache and that you should go and pray the Liturgy.’ The

priest’s wife then asked if I could wait for her so she could come

attend the Liturgy with me. Then, much to our dismay, HG came

out and told her, ‘May God have mercy on you; but did you not

just take communion?’” Indeed, what this woman thought was

a dream had not been. She had actually taken communion, and

therefore could not take communion again in the same day.

Our beloved father Bishop Makarios has revealed to us many

secrets, whether about the world of the spirits, the life of the

anchorites (the Spirit Born), or life in Heaven. In the Bible and

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throughout the history of the church, we hear about similar

people, saints and prophets who lived a holy life and reached

very high levels of spirituality; but they were nothing but

mysteries to us. And here we are now, living with one of them.

HG has showed us what we could not fathom; he told us about

the secrets of this mysterious life, secrets which amazingly have

turned out to be so simple and obvious.

The miracles of HG Bishop Makarios are ongoing, and can be

seen everyday with all who ask for him and seek his help. We

also ask those who have encountered the work of God in their

lives, through the prayers of His Grace Abba Makarios, to

contact us and send us their miracles in complete honesty,

supported with documentation, reports, and any applicable xrays

or medical records.

Contact information is as follows:

Email: هذا البريد محمى من المتطفلين. تحتاج إلى تشغيل الجافا سكريبت لمشاهدته.

Tel: 0112 010 114 2600 (Egypt) OR 732 952 3799 (USA)

Fax: 0112 096 533 8003 (Egypt)

May the blessings of the Saint, the Thrice Blessed, His Grace

Bishop Makarios, be with us all. Amen.

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 Introduction

It is my pleasure to present this book to all our English speaking

children, about the life and miracles of the Thrice Blessed, the

Late Bishop Makarios, Bishop of Qena and its tributaries in

Upper Egypt who departed to heaven in 1991 while praying the

Divine Liturgy. As you read this book, God’s work with him and

the power of the Holy Spirit that supports the saints and the

church, will be evident.

The amazing video of Bishop Makarios’ last Liturgy is the reason

for the spread knowledge of his saintly life, almost to the entire

world, although he was unknown to many during the course of

his life. Since his departure, his saintly aroma has spread widely,

capturing the hearts of many who never even knew him prior to

his departure; therefore, we felt obligated to publish books in

Arabic about his life and miracles. To date, there are a total of 8

published books in the Arabic language.

While we have been trying to produce an English translation of

His Grace Bishop Makarios’ saintly life for quite a while, it took

some time until God arranged, through Abba Makarios’ prayers,

for a blessed family to take on the blessings of this work.

I wish to all of you, from the bottom of my heart, all blessings

and grace. I sincerely hope you enjoy reading about the holy life

of Bishop Makarios and that you follow his faith, as it is written:

“Remember those who rule over you, who have spoken the

word of God to you, whose faith follow, considering the

outcome of their conduct.” (Hebrews 13:7)

My heartfelt thanks to the family that worked on the translation

and to all who helped produce this book. May God bless them

all and grant them their heart’s desires, through the prayers and

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intercessions of our mother Saint Mary, all the choir of the

heavenly hosts, our fathers the apostles, the martyrs and all the

saints, and the blessings of the great saint Bishop Abba

Makarios and the blessings of our generation’s teacher, who has

the golden tongue, His Holiness Pope Abba Shenouda III and all

honored metropolitans and bishops.

To our LORD be due all glory and honor forever, Amen.

HG Bishop Cherubim,

Bishop of Qena and Its Tributaries

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HIS GRACE BISHOP MAKARIOS

HIS LIFE AT A GLANCE

His Grace (HG) Bishop Makarios was born on Wednesday,

September 10, 1923 (the 5th day of the Coptic month of El

Nasii, 1639 AM)1 in the village of Awlad Yehia, Dar El Salam,

Sohag, Egypt. His name was Helmy Ayob Mikhael and was born

to righteous parents, Ayob Mikhael and Rena Shenouda.

As a young lad, Helmy studied in the village’s grammar school

and then worked as a farmer and a shepherd. According to his

brother, Aziz, when Helmy was young, he used to attend the

family spiritual meeting every Sunday; he was the only child

that gave up play-time with the other children in order to listen

to the Bible and pray with the adults.

One day, Helmy left his village to visit one of his relatives,

Tawfik Abaskhiron. During this visit, Helmy revealed his love and

desire for the monastic life, however Mr. Abaskhiron did not

encourage Helmy and refused such an idea. Later, Helmy went

with two of his relatives, Kamal Attiatalla and Labib Meshraky,

to the mountain east of the village of El Kosheh. There, they

sought the guidance of a blessed monk who lived in this

1 The Coptic year is an extension of the ancient Egyptian civil year. This

calendar is still in use by farmers throughout Egypt, as it aids them in tracking

the various agricultural seasons. The Coptic calendar has 13 months, 12 of

which are made up of 30 days and an intercalary month at the end of the year,

which is made up of either 5 or 6 days, depending on whether or not it is a

leap year. The Feast of Neyrouz marks the first day of the Coptic year. The

Coptic calendar started in the year 284 AC, the year in which

Diocletian became the Roman Emperor; his reign was marked by torture and

mass execution of Christians, especially in Egypt. Hence, the Coptic year is

identified by the abbreviation AM (for Anno Martyrum or "Year of the

Martyrs").

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mountain. When they told him of their desire to become

monks, the monk answered and said, “Kamal and Labib should

go back home and get married, but Helmy should go to the

monastery.” And so it was, on Friday, June 7, 1946 (Pashons 30,

1662 AM), that Helmy joined the monastery of St. Mary El

Baramous and was ordained a monk on November 21, 1946

(Hathor 12, 1664 AM). His new monastic name was the monk (El

Raheb) Adam.

On Wednesday, March 26, 1947 (Baramhat 17, 1665AM), El

Raheb Adam was ordained as a deacon by the late Bishop

Thomas of Tanta, and then went on to join the Theological

School of Helwan in October 1948. On Palm Sunday, April 2,

1950 (Baremoude 4, 1668 AM), he was ordained a priest by the

late Bishop Makarios, the Abbot of the monastery, and was

named Father Boles El Baramousy. In May 1953, Father Boles El

Baramousy graduated from the Theological School and shortly

after, October 1953, he was appointed to serve the church of

Saint George in Bor Foad. On Sunday, March 25, 1956

(Baramhat 16, 1674 AM), Father Boles was promoted to a

protopriest (Hegomen).1

On Sunday, September 19, 1965, Father Boles El Baramousy was

ordained a bishop for the diocese of Qena, Qift, Naqada,

Dishna, and the Red Sea area, and was given the name Bishop

(Abba) Makarios; he remained on his seat for over a quarter of a

century until he rested in the LORD on Sunday, February 3, 1991

(Tobi 26, 1707 AM) as he was praying the Holy Liturgy. May his

prayers and blessings be with us all, Amen.

1 Also called "Hegumenos" meaning a "disposer," for he disposes church

affairs together with his brethren, the priests.

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His Monastic Life

HG Bishop Makarios joined the monastery of Saint Mary El

Baramous when he was about 23 years old. At the monastery,

he became a disciple of three great elders of the desert, Father

Boles El Baramousy the Great, Father Faltas El Baramousy, and

Father Abd Elthalouth the Ethiopian. He served them with a

pure and joyful heart, washing their clothes, cleaning their cells,

and filling their basins with water. They therefore loved him

very much and bestowed their blessing upon him. Not only did

he attend to the needs of the elders, but with an obedient,

humble, and thankful heart, he took on the majority of the

monastery’s services.

One of the fathers who lived with Bishop Makarios in the

monastery for quite some time said, “HG was very organized in

his spiritual life, his countenance, his personal life, and in his

cell. He held fast to his monastic canon, through metanyias,1

praying the psalms, and fasting until nighttime daily; HG broke

his fast by eating bread and cumin for 12 years.”

As a monk, HG preferred to remain isolated, minimizing his

interactions with the other monks and any monastery visitors;

his time was spent within his cell, completing his chores, or in

the church. He was a typical example of a silent monk who only

spoke when necessary; when he did speak, he would use a few

words to get his point across. His words were so simple, yet

they touched the hearts of those who heard them, as it

reflected the way he lived.

1 Metanyia means prostration. There are three different reasons why we

prostrate: for worship, when we enter the church and prostrate before the

Holy Altar; for respect, in the presence of the Pope or bishop; for repentance,

to show sorrow for our sins.

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Not only was HG Bishop Makarios quiet and simple, but he was

also very humble. He never engaged in any disputes nor caused

pain or hardship to others. He spent most of his time in solitude

within his cell, studying and completing his daily canon. He

exemplified the true meaning of a monk through his lifestyle,

his way of dealing with others, his countenance, and his selfdiscipline

and control. HG rarely laughed, but when he did, he

did so in the most polite manner, as deemed fit for a true monk

who does not care for the earthly matters, even those that

seem important.

As a monk, HG devoted his mind to his monastic duties. His

ultimate goal and dedication was to live with Christ, for whom

he left his family, village, and all that he had, following Saint

Paul’s saying, “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I

who live, but Christ lives in me.” (Galatians 2:20)

At the beginning of his monastic life, HG himself mentioned that

he saw a vision in which he was holding a cross and the Brass

Serpent, and was praying the absolution. He mentioned this

vision to his father of confession, who said to him “brother, you

will be a bishop,” and so it was.

After his graduation from the Theological School of Helwan, he

was appointed to serve in Bor Foad. He was so loved by the

entire congregation, and he himself said that he read an

uncountable number of books during this period. Then HH Pope

Kyrillos VI chose him to be his secretary. HH loved him dearly

and used to call him Father Boles the Simple,1 and always used

to call him saying, “Come, O blessed.”

1 His Holiness probably called him by this name after Father Boles the Simple,

the disciple of Saint Anthony the great (the father of monasticism).

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Our Father Boles had a strong relationship with the LORD and

this was the secret to his strength, humility, and righteousness.

He was truly a man of prayers, always fleeing to God for the

guidance of the Holy Spirit. This was the only solution he had for

any problems that he faced.

As the father of confession to the nuns of Abi Saifain Convent in

Old Cairo, Father Boles used to pray before listening to any

confession, asking God for His grace, that he may be able to give

each nun the appropriate advice that suits her. When faced

with a question or a problem that he did not know how to deal

with, he would answer in humility, “I don’t know, but go now

my daughter to your cell and pray, and leave me here to pray

that God my Savior might guide me.” After praying, he would

tell the nun, “As for me, I don’t know anything, but God has

given me this answer…” The advice given to the nuns by HG

Bishop Makarios would always be the appropriate solution to

the problem.

If one of the nuns forgot to confess a sin or if, by the grace of

the Holy Spirit, Father Boles knew that she was in need of some

guidance on a certain issue, he would kindly pretend and

mention to the nun that he himself had a problem; this would

trigger her to recall her own problem or sin, and she would

therefore gain the opportunity to seek his guidance.

HG was great in his simplicity and righteous spirit, and so the

light emitted from within him. His spirit was anointed by the

Holy Spirit, and God entrusted him with the treasures of His

true knowledge. And with his light spirit and pure soul, HG

Bishop Makarios provided the children of God with pure and

straight teachings from the well of truth.

So his words were effective; his advice penetrated the hearts of

the nuns and sank to the bottom of their souls. His humility and

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purity were a living example to all the nuns, encouraging them

to follow his footsteps in meekness.

His Holy Inner Life

HG Bishop Makarios took his spiritual life very seriously. He was

watchful, spiritually vigilant, and prudent in following his daily

monastic canon, prayers and metanyias. He used to pray all his

psalms and prayers during their respective times, with many

tears and extreme reverence.

The beloved Tamav Eriny, the abbot of Saint Philopateer (Abi

Saifain) Convent said that her convent was honored to have had

Father Boles El Baramousy pray the first mass on the first altar

in the convent; he also prayed his last mass there on January 19,

1991, fifteen days prior to his departure from the earth.

His Grace had a great deal of transparency and he used to feel

the needs of his children. At one point, the Convent of St.

Philopateer was going through financial hardship. The convent

did not have any money to even buy vegetables, so Tamav Eriny

went to her cell to pray and put the matter in the hands of the

LORD. A few minutes later, she was told that Father Boles El

Baramousy had arrived, although this was not his customary

visitation time. As soon as he saw Tamav Eriny he asked her,

“Does the convent need anything?” The beloved mother was

surprised at the question, and she asked him how he knew of

their need. He replied that the Martyr Abi Saifain told him of the

convent’s hardships and continued to say: “After I finished the

Liturgy, I wanted to get some rest before going to the

patriarchate (as he was the secretary of HH Pope Kyrillos VI). As

soon as I closed my eyes, I heard a voice saying ‘get up, take

money and go to the Convent of Abi Saifain.’ I opened my eyes,

made the sign of the cross and thought to myself that this may

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be one of the devil’s tricks. So once more, I closed my eyes but I

heard the voice again saying, ‘I am the martyr Abi Saifain and I

am telling you to get up, take money, and go to my convent in

Old Cairo.’ After this, I was sure that this was a message from

God, so I took the money I had in the closet and brought it

over.” Tamav Eriny then told Father Boles the whole story and

praised God for His mercy and thanked His martyr Abi Saifain.

One day, Father Boles met with Father Attalla of Saint Mary’s

monastery El Moharak, as the latter was responsible for printing

the hymn books that are used by the deacons during Liturgy.

During their conversation, Father Attalla mentioned that he

liked Father Boles’ tunic; at once, with great simplicity, Father

Boles took off his tunic and gave it to him. When Father Attalla

offered to pay for it, Father Boles answered that he did not

need any money in return, but instead suggested that Father

Attalla provide hymn books, up to the monetary value of the

tunic, to the Convent of Abi Saifain. There was only one book in

the entire convent that all the nuns shared and rotated amongst

themselves to memorize the hymns. So Father Attalla, as agreed

upon, delivered new hymn books to the convent. The number

of books sent to the convent was sufficient enough to allow for

each nun to have her own book, and there was an additional 10

copies remaining.

Father Boles was simple, yet wise; he used his wisdom while

demonstrating great love and pity to others. The late Mother

Aghapy of Abi Saifain Convent had mentioned that she used to

brush her teeth every morning before going to the Liturgy and

partaking of the Holy Eucharist. When she heard from the other

nuns that she should not do so, she asked her father of

confession, Father Boles, who answered her and said, “I will ask

you a question, where does the digestive system start?” “In the

mouth,” Mother Aghapy answered. “Then the mouth should

also fast,” he replied.

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After the Late Metropolitan Kyrillos of Qena departed to the

heavens, His Holiness Pope Kyrillos VI performed an altar draw,

where he wrote the names of Father Ekladios of the monastery

of Saint Anthony, Father Antonios El Baramousy, and another

blank piece of paper. Following the Divine Liturgy, HH invited

one of the deacons to draw one of the three pieces of paper in

the presence of the entire congregation. The deacon picked the

blank paper, which meant that God wanted someone else for

this diocese. So HH Pope Kyrillos chose Father Boles El

Baramousy for this task. On Saturday, September 18, 1965,

during the Vespers raising of incense, HH ordained Bishop

Makarios over the diocese of Qena, Qus, Naqada, Qift, Dishna,

and the Red Sea area.

Since the time of his enthronement, HG started to serve this far

spread diocese with all his might; he used to visit his entire

congregation in their homes once a year. Nothing could hinder

him from visiting them, even during his last days when he

became very sick. It is noteworthy to mention that his diocese

was divided into 4 dioceses after his departure; this is how vast

and spread his diocese was.

HG had always wished to die while serving or during the Divine

Liturgy, and his wish was granted to him. He departed during

the Liturgy as he prayed the “O our Master” part, which is said

before the Fraction prayer of the Gregorian Liturgy. As he was

saying “O You who gave to His holy disciples and saintly apostles

at that time, now also give to us and to all…,” he dropped on

the floor and was given the eternal life.

As a good shepherd, HG Bishop Makarios gave up his rest and

necessities for the service and salvation of his children. He

never passed up an opportunity to serve, and he did so

thankfully and happily, always asking for God’s help, protection

and guidance. As he loved God so much, he did all that pleases

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Him prudently, whether by his words, deeds or his thoughts. His

personal life was a daily sacrifice, barely giving rest to his body.

He spent his nights in prayers and his days in fasting and

unconditional love; he toiled earnestly to achieve pardon for

himself and for his children as well. He did this in secrecy, lest

anybody sees and praises him and he loses his reward. He

always used to say a famous Egyptian saying, “to keep your

candle lit, you must hide it from the wind.”

HG had a deep feeling within him that he is falling short on all

his rituals in his service. He was often seen weeping like a little

child and saying, “I don’t pray;” by this he meant that he does

not pray as he should. However, the spiritual power that was

within him was far from being hidden; the reflection of his

honest personal life was manifested in his life, words, and

service.

Father Samuel of Naqada tells us that HG used to spend some

nights over the houses of the priests when he went out on his

visits. The priests used to leave their homes for HG so that he

may feel comfortable. It also happened that Father Samuel had

an apartment that HG used to lodge in, and there was a man

who really wanted to see HG. So Father Samuel took this person

to the apartment and waited a long time, knocking on the door

with no response. Father Samuel started to get worried, so he

used his personal key to open the apartment door; at this point,

they saw that HG’s door was closed, so they waited in the living

room. They started to hear HG praying so deeply, as if he was

struggling with somebody. HG kept praying with great passion,

to the point that the apartment started to shake fervently; so

Father Samuel and the man fled from the apartment with great

fear.

A similar situation happened with Mr. Milad Ghattas, as HG was

staying over his house during his visit at Safaga. Mr. Ghattas

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provided HG with a private room and his family stayed in

another room. At night, they started to hear a great struggle, as

if HG was fighting with someone with great passion. Mr.

Ghattas and his family felt so unworthy to be in the same place

with such a great saint, to the degree that they could not stay in

the apartment and went out to the street.

HG used to spend all his nights in prayer with lots of tears, and if

he would sleep, it would only be from midnight until 2 or 3 AM.

It happened that a person who lived across the street from the

bishopric used to see HG standing praying, praising, and reading

the bible all night. This person spread the word about what he

had seen, and since then, HG never prayed in this room again.

And if it happened that someone asked him to rest, he would

say: “People need someone to comfort them, they come from

far away seeking some comfort, and I must attend to their

needs in this troublesome age and give them rest.” He gave

himself to serve the children of God to the last breath, as our

Master and LORD Jesus Christ did. He was as a candle that burns

to give light and peace for his congregation, and he was a living

example of what Saint Paul said: “I have fought the good fight, I

have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in

store for me the crown of righteousness, which the LORD, the

righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to

me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.” (2

Timothy 4:7-8)

HG was a great saint that manifested the life of our LORD Jesus

Christ in all his deeds and words. He was the aroma of Christ

among us, as you were able to feel the LORD’s presence in his

life at all times.

His virtues were many and uncountable; no matter how

knowledgeable we may be, we cannot comprehend or

understand its depth. He showed us what we used to hear and

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read about the early fathers of the church, in the lives of the

great saints, hermits, anchorites, popes and great monks, in a

clear and simple way. He was growing in virtue everyday, as we

saw marvelous secrets of hidden treasures full of precious

virtues and a heavenly aroma.

HG was full of Christ’s love; he was able to show that same love

to his children, and to hold captive those who went astray and

were living in deep sin. He knew everything about them, as God

granted him this gift; but with great love and a merciful heart,

he was able to capture them and turn them into fiery servants,

or rather, saints with a real fellowship with God. He never

judged or made anyone feel like a sinner; but as a father, he

gave hope to the sinner, that he might throw him into the

bosom of our LORD Jesus and direct him to confession,

communion, and to a knowledge of the importance and

strength of praying the psalms. He always said that nobody was

strong enough to withstand sin, and for this reason, he never

judged; but instead, with great wisdom, he led souls to salvation

with words that were few and simple, yet so deep.

HG Bishop Makarios had a great and forgiving heart. He

endured all who reproached or dealt with him wrongfully,

responding with great patience and a simple, accepting heart; if

they would return to their senses and ask for HG to forgive

them, he would accept them with great love and complete

forgiveness, as if nothing had ever happened. Moreover, he

would visit them, pray for them, and absolve them, asking God

to care for them and their families. HG acted as a living example

of Saint Paul’s saying, “Love suffers long and is kind; ...does not

seek its own...bears all things...endures all things.” (1

Corinthians 4-7)

He was a father to everyone; he had the gift of making every

person feel like he was their own father and nobody else’s. He

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was therefore very loved by all, because he loved all very much.

He used to always recite the verse in Proverbs 27:19 that stated,

“As in water face reflects face, so a man’s heart reveals the

man.”

HG had a special love for the priests; they always said, “HG’s

love for us is so deep, we never feel as though he is a boss or

has any control over us, but rather a loving father who is

zealous over his children and always watching over them,

protecting them from all kinds of evil and risks, whatever they

may be. If he learned that one of us was sick, struggling

financially, or in any kind of hardship, he would not cease to ask

about us continuously and pray for us all the time. We were his

constant concern, as he felt that we were all he had, his children

and his help in service. He used to be very happy if we were

happy, and he dealt lovingly and in one accord with us. He

always said that a successful service was a fruit of your love to

each other, adding ‘May God make you successful in your

service and be a helper to you, because the yoke of service is

too heavy’ He also said, ‘I don’t want to be a burden on any one

of you because the burden of the bishop is so heavy on the

priest, and I don’t want to be like that with any priest.’

Great Humbleness

HG used to say, “A fruitful tree’s branches droop towards the

ground, but a bare tree seems to stand with pride; likewise the

meek and humble soul that possesses the fruits of the Holy

Spirit looks down upon itself with humility, but the proud soul

stands upright, because it lacks the fruits of the Spirit.”

His Grace’s humility was apparent to anyone who merely looked

at him, without even hearing him speak. He was a living

example of our LORD of Glory, Jesus Christ, who said “Take My

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yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in

heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matthew 11:29)

HG loved our Lord Jesus Christ, and he sought Him with all his

heart; Christ’s image was therefore imprinted in the heart of HG

Bishop Makarios. The more he lifted his eyes in prayer, the

more that God revealed His glory to him, thereby allowing HG

to recognize the extent of his self weakness and flaws, and to

realize how much of the Lord’s help and guidance he was in

need of. If anyone ever told him about their self-pride, he would

say, “Look to the saints that won victory before us, and were so

great in their struggles, ascetics, love and good deeds, and think

about how lacking we are next to them.” He would also never

accept a word of praise about himself, responding with, “Have

mercy upon me, Satan troubles me much, I am the poor.”

He was humble outwardly, as well as deep within his soul, in his

words and acts, in his attire and in his prayers, in his dealings

with others, and in his deepest feelings towards himself and

those around him. He always felt like he was the least, and he

had a gift of lifting others up while bringing himself down.

Anyone who sat with him would walk out of his presence

believing to be much better than HG. Not too many people can

exhibit such humility, but it was a way of life for HG. He was

often heard saying, “I am not educated, I don’t know how to

give a sermon, I am poor, I am weak and need God’s mercy, that

He may forgive my sins.” These words, coming from deep within

him, reflect how he truly viewed himself. No one ever felt that

his humble words or actions were insincere, or that they were a

means of showing off.

He was often seen sitting on his chair, listening to priests’

sermons and crying wholeheartedly at their words, like a little

child in need of learning from others. He never embarrassed or

cut anybody off, but would give others a complete chance to

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say everything; he would always be the last to talk. He never

allowed anyone to carry his bag, Faragia,1 or his cane; nor did he

allow anybody to bring his shoes to him except his own disciple

or a little deacon. He also did not allow anybody to do a

metanyia before him; instead, he would make a metanyia back.

He often said that when someone would do a metanyia to Pope

Kyrillos VI, His Holiness would say in a low voice, “To You only is

due worship O my LORD Jesus Christ.” HG used to add that

metanyias are also due when there is a quarrel between two

people or when someone sins against another; both of them

should do metanyias to each other and ask for the other’s

forgiveness.

Because he gave himself to the LORD, the LORD filled him with

His Holy Spirit and its gifts, which are only given to the meek

and humble. For example, HG had the gift of knowing a person’s

deepest thoughts; he could read any person he saw like an open

book and he even knew things about people that they did not

know about themselves. He was also a loving and kind father

who was filled with mercy and pity for everyone. HG would tell

stories, either about parables or miracles, that the people might

see themselves in the story and receive some guidance. Other

times he would make up stories about himself, depicting

himself as one in need of humility. For example, he would say, “I

am not praying the psalms as I ought to, I have no patience and

am quick to anger,” or “I suffer from the sin of pride.” He truly

meant it when he said such things, and after the other person

would leave he would say, “I really hope that this person

understood what I meant.”

1 A black tunic worn by monks and priests. It is black because it symbolizes the

fact that they have died completely to the world, and everything in the world,

and are now devoting their life to Christ.

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If he wanted to direct someone or give advice, he would do it

with great humility, as if he was not worthy to speak to the

person. However, he was able to see deep inside the person

and to know everything about him or her.

His words were simple, yet so deep. They reached into the

depths of peoples’ souls, and everyone who heard him felt joy

and happiness and also benefited. When he spoke about the

works of God, or edification of the souls, even if he took a long

time, his listeners felt attracted, nourished, and satisfied; they

were lifted up and captivated by his words. As he spoke the

words of the Holy Spirit and saw the looks of praise and

reverence in the eyes of his audience, he would say, “I don’t

know anything, I am not an educated person.” He did this so as

to escape the audience’s vain glory and praise. If he talked

about the heavens and eternal life, he would say, “I wish to just

be able to get past the gates of heaven, even if I am the last one

there.”

His Simplicity and Self Denial

Matthew 11:25 says, “At that time Jesus answered and said, ‘I

thank you Father, LORD of heaven and earth, that you have

hidden these things from the wise and prudent and have

revealed them to babes.’” It is well known that simplicity is

superior to worldly wisdom; as St. Paul says in his second epistle

to the Corinthians, “For our boasting is this: the testimony of

our conscious that we conducted ourselves in the world in

simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom but by

the grace of God, and more abundantly toward you.” (2

Corinthians 1:12) In this manner our blessed bishop conducted

himself in the world, refusing any worldly wisdom. He never

counted on any human being’s help, no matter his or her rank

or position, but instead used to flee to Him who holds all in His

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hands and would say, “I don’t know anyone except the LORD

Jesus Christ;” then he would pray frequent Divine Liturgies

during the fasting season, and any problem would be solved.

We can see this methodology in the book of Ezra in the Old

Testament. King Artaxerxes sent Ezra and all willing Jews to

rebuild the house of God and leave the land of captivity. Ezra

knew he would face lots of troubles; but even though he was

close to the king, he did not ask for his help against his

adversaries, but instead said, “Then I proclaimed a fast there at

the river of Ahava, that we might humble ourselves before our

God, to seek from Him the right way for us and our little ones

and all our possessions. For I was ashamed to request of the

king an escort of soldiers and horsemen to help us against the

enemy on the road, because we had spoken to the king, saying,

‘The hand of our God is upon all those for good who seek Him,

but His power and His wrath are against all those who forsake

Him.’ So we fasted and entreated our God for this, and He

answered our prayer.”

Bishop Makarios was very wise, strong, and straight-forward. He

never feared a human being and he always witnessed to the

truth in his usual humble spirit. Even his prayers were simple

and yet deep, expressing what he felt inside with profound faith

and love.

Like a hidden treasure, many aspects of his life were kept

secret. He often reiterated the Egyptian saying, “protect your

candle, that it may stay lit,” or in other words, hide your virtues,

lest the enemy of righteousness steal them. He did not like to

be recognized or to talk about his spiritual life; he hid his life

from everybody, just as our LORD said, “Take heed that you do

not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them.

Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven.”

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(Matthew 6:1) “That your charitable deed may be in secret; and

your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly.”

(Matthew 6:4)

He was very clever when it came to fulfilling this verse, always

working in silence and secrecy, lest anyone should see his works

and praise him. He was so secretive with his works that people

even began to think of him as a simple-minded man who lacked

credibility. They had no knowledge of his true inner man and

high level of spirituality until after his departure from this earth.

At that time, they realized his true glory and the saintly life he

had lived.

During one afternoon liturgy in the Lenten season, HG was

distributing the Holy Blood (because he had poor eyesight, he

could only distribute the Blood, and not the Body). A strong,

beautiful light appeared next to the Chalice, and was seen by

one of the female servants. She thought to herself that this light

meant that a Spirit Born1 must be present, and that HG must

also be one of them. As she thought this, Bishop Makarios

instantly looked at her. That night she had a dream in which she

saw HG sitting on his Throne in the bishopric; she went to get

his blessing, but he refused. She kept trying to even kiss his feet,

but he did not let her. Then she woke up and told herself never

again to say that HG was one of the hermits. The second night,

she dreamt of HG again in the same surroundings as the

previous dream; but this time he was smiling and he extended

his cross to her to take a blessing, and she was very happy. This

1 Better known as Anchorites, the Spirit Born. They are usually called "El

Souah" in Arabic. This type of monk has reached a very high level of spirituality

where his spirit is heavier than his body, because he is fervent in spirit, and he

rarely eats. They live in groups and can easily move from one place to another

in a very short time, without anyone seeing them.

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shows us the extent to which HG kept himself hidden, even in

the subconscious of people.

God Answers His Prayers

As the giver of all good gifts, God granted HG Bishop Makarios

all his requests. As it is written, “The effective, fervent prayer of

a righteous man avails much.” (James 5:16) HG himself often

repeated the verse, “His ears are attentive to their cry” (Psalm

34:15), referring to those who love God from all their hearts.

Over the course of his bishopric, which lasted over 25 years, HG

never asked God for something (for his children) that was not

granted to him. For example, HG used to ask God to give

children to those who were childless; he even used to name the

children before they were born or even conceived. He also used

to ask that God may solve certain problems, or send a righteous

spouse to his children, or to help students pass their exams.

Whatever he asked, God granted, so he became as a healing

ointment for his people’s wounds.

His Wise Counsel

HG was full of wisdom, as he was to the fullness of God

(Ephesians 3:19). Occasionally, there would be differences

between him and the priests regarding certain issues, but it

would only be a matter of days, or even hours, until they would

realize that his counsel was the best, as he, in humility, would

say to the priests that the perfect solution is in the multitude of

counselors. (Proverbs 24:6)

The congregation knew this about HG, so they flocked to him

every day, telling him their problems and tribulations, with a

profound faith that they would hear the counsel of God on his

lips. Therefore, they always left his presence in joy and delight.

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As for young men and women, they always sought his advice

regarding marriage and their future plans, and heeded his

words with joy. Those who did not follow his advice would

confess later, with great agony and regret, that he or she should

have listened.

In essence, the entire congregation had put their trust in HG

and listened to him, knowing that he was a wise counselor who

received his wisdom from heaven. His counsel was a reason for

great rest and joy among his people. He depended completely

on God, and God granted him His wisdom. He used to say,

“there is nothing we can do greater than praying Divine

Liturgies;” and so he offered all his needs, the churches needs,

and the congregation’s needs on the altar, before the true

sacrifice of the Eucharist. The usual request HG had during the

Liturgy was, “LORD, please take charge of my life and bestow

your peace upon the diocese.”

Therefore, the diocese lived in perfect peace during his time,

and every satanic wind that blew on it used to come to nothing

quickly, and even turned to the benefit of the diocese. HG had

committed his life and his diocese in Jesus’ hands, and looked to

Him as the true director and counselor of the diocese. If anyone

would come to him with a problem or sickness, he used to say

to them, “May God be with you,” “May God heal you,” or “May

God solve your problem,” and then he would say to the priests,

“if people only believe these simple words and take them with

faith, they would get all that they want.”

His Ascetics

Our beloved Bishop loved prayers so much, especially the

prayers of the psalms. Mar-Isaac the Syrian had said, “The

darkness of mind starts if you become lazy in completing your

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psalms. And if you neglect its times, God’s help departs from

you, so your soul sways to evil little by little, because leaving the

right direction only means drifting to the left.”

When HG was a monk, he used to pray the psalms in their due

times, but after becoming a bishop he used to pray them in the

morning and at night. He once said, “A spiritual man has to pray

the psalms” and then added, “I cannot sleep under any

condition without praying my psalms. If any person neglects his

psalms even once, either devils devour him or he becomes so

cold spiritually and careless toward prayers, and it becomes

very difficult to go back to his warm prayers.” Regarding the

priests HG would advise and say, “The priest must pray the

psalms, even if he needs to do so at any time of the day,

according to his service and responsibilities (for example,

between liturgies, anointing of the sick (unction), spiritual home

visits, congregation problem solving and others).” In his later

years, HG Bishop Makarios’ sight grew dimmer as a result of his

diabetes, and his memory weakened as a result of brain

atherosclerosis;1 as a result, he was unable to read or to recite

all the psalms. But this was God’s will, as the LORD wanted him

to reach a different spiritual level, namely, prayers with no

limits, wherever the Spirit guided him. Then HG started to have

heavenly visions and revelations beyond the comprehension of

humans, and experienced what the skillful fathers call ecstasy or

“caught up.”2

1 Atherosclerosis is hardenings of the arteries which carry the oxygenated

blood from the heart to the other parts of the body.

2 This is a state of amazement and ecstasy, when the activity of the senses

is suspended, such as what St. Paul said about himself “…was caught up to the

third heaven…whether in the body or out of the body I don’t know, God

knows.” (2 Cor 12:2)

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HG loved prayers to a degree that is difficult to comprehend; he

used to pray the psalms and midnight praises in his cell, and

often, as he looked upon the icon of St. Mary that hung in his

cell, he would see the icon emitting light. The light would get

brighter and brighter, and then St. Mary’s face would redden

and she would turn into a complete person, with her full height

engulfed in light. Even after leaving his cell, the face of HG

would still be shining and his hands would become like candles,

sparkling in a way that would attract the eyes. He would find

himself in a state of great joy and delight.

To HG, prayer was everything. He spoke much with God, while

limiting his dialogue with people. He was filled with God’s

presence and love, and this love overflowed from him and

poured into the people around him, nourishing them. One of

the amazing stories about HG involves a visit he made to

Hurghada1. While on this visit, a priest came to him one

morning, accompanied by some visitors. They saw that HG’s

face was extremely flushed and shiny, as though glowing with

heavenly light. They all gazed at him, mesmerized by this

fascinating image. Seeing their amazement, HG laughed and

said, “A hot shower makes one’s face so red;” however, during a

more private sitting, he explained what had really happened.

HG had been very troubled and anxious about a certain matter.

He prayed throughout the night with many tears and great

strife, pleading with the LORD and entreating Him to solve the

problem. As he prayed, a fiery chariot appeared to HG and a

1 A city in the Red Sea Governorate of Egypt, and a tourist center located on

the coast of the Red Sea.

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voice from heaven said, “Ride along and fear not.” HG got on

the chariot and found himself in the sky, above a cloud on which

the LORD stood. The LORD said to HG, “What is wrong, my son

Makarios? Why are you upset, when I am with you?” The Lord

spoke with HG for some time, and then HG found himself back

in his room with his face shining.

The Virtue of Silence

Saint John of the Ladder1 had said, “The ears of the quiet and

silent hear wonders from God.” As the church fathers have

taught us, we should pray without ceasing, and we should recite

the following prayer: O LORD Jesus Christ, Son of the living God,

have mercy upon me, a sinner. While reciting this prayer, we

should be in a quiet state of mind, with our eyes closed and our

hands in a position of supplication. We should draw our minds

into our hearts, regulate our breathing, and imagine that we are

in God’s presence. We should remember our sins and iniquities.

Then our souls will feel completely quieted, and we will have a

profound sense of God’s presence, feeling no desire to speak to

anyone else, and completely satisfied with and saturated in

God’s presence. HG lived this ideal form of prayer in his

personal life.

When HG did speak, it was with the words of the Holy Spirit,

which help, nourish, and give strength. His words were

1 In Greek, St. John Klimakos; honored by the Church as a great ascetic, and

author of the renowned spiritual book, The Ladder, from which his name

comes.

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priceless. He also had the gift of spiritual discernment, knowing

what each person was capable of and giving to that person

accordingly. For example, if a person was not spiritual at all, HG

would not set high spiritual goals for that person; instead he

would say, “You have to confess and take communion.” Or, he

would tell the person a story or a parable, as Jesus was

accustomed to doing with his disciples, saying to them, “To you

it has been given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God,

but to the rest it is given in parables.” (Luke 8:10) However, with

those who walked in the way of Christ and valued spirituality,

HG would talk about higher spiritual stages, such as those of the

ascetics and hermits. He would talk to them of heaven and the

heavenly secrets, of angels, and of God’s way of approaching

and dealing with the soul.

In silence and quietness, this spiritual giant worked and served.

His legacy can be explained by what Mar-Isaac the Syrian said:

“Do not expect to learn anything about the kingdom of heaven

from a man who did not experience complete silence for a long

time, even if he was a wise teacher or someone who

accomplished many great works. Quietness makes you shine

like the sun and purifies you from ignorance.”

His Fasting and Charitable Deeds

His Grace Bishop Makarios was an ascetic who excelled in

fasting. As one of the Church Fathers said about fasting,

“Receive healing for your soul from the table of those who fast

and watch, those who are working in the LORD; deliver up your

soul from the pit, because among those who fast sits the

Beloved, who sanctifies them and turns their bitterness into

indescribable sweetness; as the heavenly dwellers comfort and

guide those who fast. Receive this healing for your life.” From

this we learn that those who fast have the power to heal souls;

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as Jesus said, “This kind can come forth by nothing, but by

prayer and fasting.” HG also used to see heavenly souls

attending the afternoon Liturgies during the season of the fast,

sharing with us and rejoicing as we fast.

In keeping with his practice of hiding his virtues, HG often said,

“I have a PhD in greed;” he claimed that he never gave anything

to anyone. However, those who were close to him knew that he

was always giving. During his annual visits, he would say to the

priests that accompanied him, “Tell me about the needy

families and after I leave their houses, you give them their

needs.” He used to accept all of the monetary offerings of these

families so as not to embarrass anyone, and later he would send

money back with the priests according to each family’s needs.

One of these visits involved a family who was both needy and

greedy. The man did not want to come out and meet with HG or

to give him any money. After an argument between the man

and his wife, the wife was forced to go to her neighbor and ask

for money in order to give to HG; but HG refused to take

anything from her, even though he was not accustomed to

rejecting offerings. Instead he told her “Go return this money to

whoever you borrowed it from,” as he knew exactly what had

happened.

On another visit, HG met with a man who was enduring severe

financial hardships; HG gave this man all of the money that he

had collected on his annual visit to this village. HG also

happened to hear that one of his priests was in need; HG cried a

lot and called the priest and paid for all of his needs. He always

asked his priests to give special care to the needy families,

especially those who were too shy to ask. All of the money that

HG collected during his annual visits would go to the building,

beautification, and services of the church.

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Bishop Makarios and the Anchorites

The Anchorites are those who grow in the spirit and forget their

basic earthly needs. Their bodies become light, so that their

spirits, through the name of the Holy One, may be in charge.

They are so consumed with the heavenly Groom that they

forget they even have a body. Therefore, their bodies are not

obstacles to flying. They are granted the qualities of spirits and

angels, flying without being seen and crossing oceans in a

twinkle of an eye, even though they are still in their flesh. These

are the Anchorites, which means the Spirit Born.

There is no doubt that our blessed bishop grew in spirituality to

a degree that made him a friend of the Anchorites; he became

one of them.

It is beyond our minds to comprehend those who go against

earthly logic, defy all the measures of gravity, and challenge the

basics of this earthly life; therefore, we will observe the life of

HG in order to come up with a few points that will illustrate to

us how he attained this level of spirituality:

1. His Grace was in a state of constant prayer. As St.

Theophan the Recluse1 teaches us, prayer without

ceasing is a constant existence in God’s presence, and

can be likened to feeding the fire (The Holy Spirit) with

1 St. Theophan the Recluse, also known as "Theophan Zatvornik," (1815–1894)

is a well-known saint in the Russian Orthodox Church. He is especially wellknown

today through the many books he wrote concerning the spiritual life,

especially on the subjects of the Christian life and the training of youth in the

faith. He also played an important role in translating

the Philokalia from Church Slavonic into Russian.

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logs (words of prayer). Through his unceasing prayers,

our bishop found himself constantly in God’s presence.

He would sit reverently, in a way that suggested that he

was sitting in the presence of the Almighty, as though

he was one of the 24 elders sitting around the throne of

the Holy One.

2. He had a fervent love for God and his children; he cared

and prayed for them, and he was very concerned about

all of their needs. He used to visit them at night,

whether in their dreams, through visions, or in real time

apparitions; he did this both during his life and after his

departure, offering them advice and solutions to their

problems.

3. He was a man of great humility and self denial, as

evidenced by his escape from vain glory and any earthly

praise; on the contrary, he tried to show himself to be

an uneducated person who was not even capable of

preaching or preparing a sermon. He showed himself to

be a sinner who was in need of God’s mercy, and he

made himself inferior to others.

4. He possessed great simplicity, mingled with heavenly

wisdom; as it says in Matthew 10:16, “I am sending you

out like sheep among wolves. Therefore, be as shrewd

as snakes and as innocent as doves.”

5. He was very honest, and had a straight heart; he

despised hypocrisy and self glory, and was righteous in

all aspects of his life.

6. He had a pure heart and lived in a continuous state of

repentance. This raised him to a high level of holiness,

so that he was made worthy of the LORD’s gift of being

able to see people’s deepest thoughts and sins. Because

of his great humility and fatherly love for those around

him, he would never judge them; instead, he would

respond to their iniquities with great love and pity, and

would help them to abandon their sins.

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7. He was an ascetic who chose to live in poverty, and he

was very patient with everyone, even those who

reproached him. He responded to their transgressions

with patience. Some people, however, would lead

others to doubt the teachings of the church, or to

believe heresies. If these people insisted on their own

ways, despite HG’s patient and loving attempts to lead

them in the orthodox path, he became very stern with

them. He grew very much in his ascetics during his final

years, despite having an inflamed colon and being on

many medications.

Because of these virtues and many more, our beloved bishop

was full of the Holy Spirit and great glory. He used to say, “To be

an anchorite is to attain a very high spiritual level; but as for

myself, I need an entire year to be able to repent all of my sins.”

He also used to say, “My son, I do not know anything, but I only

repeat what I have heard; I wish to repent from my sins so that I

might attain this degree of spirituality.”

His Grace mentioned that there are some anchorites who are

capable of disappearing completely and fleeing to their dwelling

places and monasteries. No one can see them, and they rarely

talk with anybody; they have their own services, prayers and

praises. Sometimes, however, they go out to help those in

tribulations, hardships, or various trials. They also attend the

prayers of the children of God, whether offered in their rooms

or in the churches and monasteries.

Most of these anchorites now live in monasteries that are

located in different regions: between the monasteries of St.

Paul the First Anchorite, and St. Anthony the Great; in the

eastern desert; and between the monastery of St. John of the

Ladder, and the Light Tower of the Ladder; in the region of

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Marsa Matruh;1 and close to St. Bakhomios Monastery, as well

as in many other places. For their food, they eat grass or green

plants. They live in solitude and only meet at the time of prayers

and the Divine Liturgy, for which they usually choose older and

ancient churches to hold the services.

His Grace also mentioned an incident in which the anchorites

went to a specific church and found the Holy Bread baker inside.

They asked the baker to leave so that they could pray a Liturgy.

HG also told us that when the anchorites come to the bishopric,

the doors open for them and then close upon their departure.

In order to move from place to place, they spread their hands

out to form the shape of a cross, while saying, “Holy, Holy,

Holy,” and they fly into the sky. They look like birds that spread

their wings and become engulfed in light, but they do not move

their arms. Alternatively, a divine power in the form of a fiery

chariot carries them away, or the power of the Spirit that lives

within them carries them to where the Holy Spirit wishes to

lead them.

There are also other anchorites who live in the world among us,

such as HH Pope Kyrillos. The anchorites used to come to HH

and attend liturgies with him. HH used to also visit people in

their homes and appear to them.

HG Bishop Makarios used to pray in the ancient, deserted

churches and monasteries, as well as in the anchorites’

monasteries; the anchorites would often go and pray with him.

1 Marsa Matruh stands some 240 km (149 miles) west of Alexandria, along

the shore of the Mediterranean Sea, on the main highway from the Delta to

the Libyan border.

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There is a well-known story in the village of Faw Bahry involving

a visit by HG and a priest named Father Azer Toma (who

departed to the LORD on January 16, 1973). Father Azer Toma

was among the anchorites. While on a visit to one of the homes

in this village, HG asked Father Azer, “Do you know how many

columns are in the ancient church of St. Mary in Atrib?” Father

Azer answered and said “44, according to what is written in

history books.” HG said to Father Azer, “History books? Or were

you there praying with us? I saw you behind the column.”

Father Azer then became very quiet and tried to change the

subject.

His Grace also told us that Father Azer (a priest in the church of

Archangel Michael in Rahmania) used to always pray with the

anchorites in a church below the current church of St. Peter in

Qena and in the church of St. Blamon (this church is in an area

called The Palace and the Hunter), as well as many other

churches that are not known.

Nadia, a servant at the girls’ orphanage in Qena, said, “3 months

before Bishop Makarios’ departure, early one morning at

around 4 AM, we were working to prepare food for some

visitors; I noticed that the light of St. Mark’s church was on (the

church is very close to the orphanage, separated only by a

fence). The church was so brightly lit that I became curious as to

what was going on at such an early hour. I climbed a wooden

ladder and tried to listen to the prayers, since I thought the

fathers must be praying a liturgy. However, I could not hear

anything; I could only see the intense light. The next day I went

to see HG and as we were sitting, he looked at me, smiled, and

said, “Do not try to listen to what is going on again. The blessing

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you have received is sufficient. What if you had fallen off the

ladder and could not see such things anymore?” Nadia then said

to HG, ‘absolve me Your Grace, I will not do this again.’”

Another servant, who was responsible for the girls’ dormitory,

told us about a time when she was not very happy with the girls

in the dormitory; she told them that she would not pray or eat

with them anymore. A week later, HG Bishop Makarios came to

her at night in a dream, and he was very angry with her. He said

to her, “Do not ever leave the girls for a long time like that, lest

they become lukewarm in their spiritual lives.” The following

morning, she went to see HG; he looked at her lovingly and

asked her about the girls in the dormitory. She apologized and

promised him that she would not leave them again.

A man named Kamal Metry also told us the following story: “HG

used to ask me to take care of a few things in the bishopric.

Since I felt some fear about being there by myself, I asked a man

named Gawargios to send someone to stay with me; but he

sent me three young men who kept wandering from room to

room, so I rebuked them. One of these young men had played

around with the clock on the wall. It was a Saturday afternoon

and HG was in Naqada. HG came back on Monday, he told me

the following: ‘Kamal, I was resting on Saturday afternoon and I

dreamt that I came to the bishopric. Who played with the clock

on the wall? I have never seen those kids before. Even Riad Rizk

was sitting on this couch and never moved.’ Then a woman

named Feryal, who happened to be sitting with us, said to HG,

‘What about me, Your Grace? What did I do?’ HG replied, ‘You

were not with them, but Attiat was.’ And HG was right; Feryal

was not there, but Attiat was.”

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His Grace Bishop Makarios had told one of the priests that he

should wake up at 4 AM to finish praying his psalms. Then HG

came to this priest (the priest was unsure whether he was

awake or dreaming) and said, “You are not permitted to wake

up late in the morning.” The priest was so disturbed that he

went directly to HG to ask him about this vision, and whether it

was from God or Satan. HG replied, “Satan cannot tell you what

you were told, but either way, may God absolve you.”

His Grace also told a close priest that during his prayer, he was

carried to see a certain Bishop and to pray for him, as this

Bishop was very sick. To this day, that Bishop is still alive.

Our beloved Tamav Eriny, the head of the Abu Safain Convent in

Old Cairo, told us that a part of her responsibility in the convent

was to guide and lead each nun in her spiritual path. One time

she gave a nun spiritual direction, but the nun did not take it

well and began to cry. Tamav Eriny sent another nun after her

to console her and tell her that what happened was actually for

her own good, and that she should accept directions from

Tamav for her own spiritual benefit. However, the nun said, “I

cannot see Tamav now, it will hurt her a lot to see me like this

and she is already sick; I will go to her tomorrow.” At night while

the nun was praying, she saw Bishop Makarios standing in front

of her. He used his cross to make the sign of the cross on him

and on her, and then he asked her, “Why are you upset with

your mother? Believe me, she loves you and cares for you and

everything she has done is for your salvation. You must listen to

her and be obedient, that God may bless you. Now go, make a

metanyia to her, and ask her to forgive you.” With great joy, the

nun ran to Tamav Eriny saying, “Bishop Makarios came to me.”

She made a metanyia, asked for Tamav’s forgiveness, and told

her everything that had happened. At this time, Bishop

Makarios was actually in Qena. How did he know what

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happened between Tamav Eriny and the nun? How did he come

to her?

Father Samuel of Naqada told us about one of his spiritual

daughters who was in great trouble. She told Father Samuel

that she used to consult with HG Bishop Makarios about her

problems, but she was unable to get to him; so she stood before

a picture of HG and prayed wholeheartedly, shedding many

tears. Then HG came out of the picture, walked into the room,

and said to her, “Your problem will be solved.” He then went

back into the picture, and through God’s grace, the girl’s

problem was solved.

Father Abd El-Kodos of Naqada mentioned that he was

supposed to pray a Divine Liturgy in the village of El-Khatara.

The night before the Liturgy, Bishop Makarios came to him in a

dream and told him, “Do not go in the morning to pray the

Liturgy.” Father Abd El-Kodos woke up surprised, telling himself

that it was not possible that HG would tell him not to pray. He

thought it must be Satan trying to prevent him from praying, so

he told himself that he would go and pray the Liturgy in the

morning. Father Abd El-Kodos then went back to sleep and HG

came to him again and told him, “Father Abd El-Kodos, I am

Bishop Makarios, not the devil, and I am telling you not to go

and pray in the village of El-Khatara.” Father Abd El-Kodos woke

up puzzled again, thinking to himself, “Is it possible that the

devil would appear in the likeness of Bishop Makarios and tell

me not to go to pray the Liturgy?” Father Abd El-Kodos again

decided that he must go pray Liturgy in the morning. He slept

for a third time, and this time Bishop Makarios came to him

again and said, “Do not go to the village of El-Khatara; there are

many troubles there; do not pray tomorrow.” Father Abd El-

Kodos woke up again, but still decided to go pray in El-Khatara

the following morning. He did not believe that HG was trying to

warn him about something. In the morning, when Father Abd

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El-Kodos was about half way to the village of El-Khatara, some

of the villagers came out to meet him, blocked his way, and told

him that some people from the village were waiting to ambush

and harm him; so he turned back and went to the bishopric to

find HG Bishop Makarios. HG opened the door for him as if he

had been waiting for him, and told him, “Dear father, you have

suffered a lot and came early today.” Father Abd El-Kodos said

to him, “Absolve me Your Grace, I dreamt that you came to me

three times last night.” HG answered and said, “I was concerned

about you, because this village has many troubles.”

One of the anchorites (he now lives in solitude in one of the

monasteries) told one of the deacons that he attended HG’s last

liturgy, the Liturgy in which HG departed right before the

Fraction, and that HG always longed to depart during the Divine

Liturgy. He also said that HG’s soul stayed in the church until the

Liturgy finished, and departed at the end with the Angel of the

Sacrifice. He also added that HG Bishop Makarios used to visit

him in his cell, although HG never visited this monastery in the

flesh.

One of the women who used to host HG during his annual visit

to her city, about four years before his departure, received him

into her home. After HG had gone up to his room, the woman

was very happy with his presence. During the night, out of

curiosity, she went towards his room to see him. As she

ascended the stairs, she felt great fear pour into her heart, and

she felt as though she could not bring herself to go one step

further. On the window of his room, she saw a feared elder

standing, so she ran back down the stairs with great fear and

trembling knees. In the morning, as soon as HG saw her, he said,

“May God have mercy on you.”

One time Bishop Makarios held a funeral prayer for one of the

priests in the city of Qus, and it was an extremely hot day. After

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his arrival, he prayed an afternoon Liturgy that ended at about 6

PM That night he became very feverish, and his temperature

reached 107.6⁰F. The doctors said he had a heat stroke because

he was exposed to the sun for a long time. They surrounded

him, trying to bring his temperature down; but they did not get

any results from 10 PM to 4 AM the following morning.

Suddenly and without any reason, his temperature dropped to

97⁰F. He stood up, took off all of his ice packs, and went to take

a shower, as if nothing had happened and he had never been

sick. After many inquiries, HG told us that one of the anchorites

came to him when he was feverish, exchanged greetings and

blessings with him, and anointed him; his temperature then

dropped instantly.

Another time, HG Bishop Makarios went to the city of El-

Rahmania for his annual visit. While visiting one of the church

members, he went in to take a nap, and requested that no one

disturb him. In the meantime, a woman from the city came to

the home seeking HG, as she had an urgent matter for which

she sought his guidance. The owner of the house told her that

HG was sleeping, and that he did not wish to be disturbed. The

woman was not convinced, so she went to the room in which

HG slept and opened the door so that she could meet with him.

Much to her surprise, she found that HG was not in the room.

She walked out of the room angrily, thinking that the owner of

the house had lied to her. Upon hearing that HG was not there,

everyone in the house rushed to the room in disbelief, and saw

that he really was not there. They left the room and closed the

door behind them. After a little while, HG came out of the

room, and he was very angry at everyone in the house for not

having listened to him. Apparently, HG was on a divine mission,

like the Anchorites.

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His Grace in the Divine Liturgy

HG always taught us to give due respect to the altar, bearing in

mind that this is the place where the great King descends. The

priest must be respectful of the altar, and move around it

quietly and with reverence. He also stressed the importance of

respect for the Holy Eucharist, reminding the priests not to take

it lightly, as they are dealing with the LORD of Glory Himself and

with the spirits of angels and saints that surround the Holy

Sacrifice on the altar. HG would always say, “The Divine Liturgy,

for me, is my only consolation and extreme happiness. No one

knows how happy I feel while I am standing in the altar. If this

magnitude of happiness is felt here while we are still on earth,

how much more will our happiness be with our LORD Jesus

Christ in Heaven?”

His Grace used to repeat the following prayer while standing in

the altar: “Oh LORD, bestow Your peace on the diocese, take

charge of my life, forgive my sins through Your precious blood,

strengthen my faith and increase the love that I have for You.

Deepen my fellowship with You in the Spirit, and protect me

from self-dependence.” Then he would mention all those who

had asked him to pray for them, and would ask God to bestow

mercy upon those who departed, as he used to tell us that the

spirit of the saints that we mention in the Remembrance of the

Dead (Tarheem) would attend the Holy Liturgy, with God’s

permission.

The Divine Liturgy was a source of happiness and spiritual

fullness for HG and the entire congregation. HG always pleaded

with God not to prevent him from the Holy Altar until his last

breath, and God granted him his wish. He did not allow his

severe sickness to prevent him from the blessings of the Holy

Altar. During his last years, his love of the Holy Altar grew more

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and more, despite his deteriorating health and consequent

weakness. Prior to his departure to Heaven, he was praying the

afternoon liturgies of Jonah’s fast until about 7 PM. It was very

difficult for a person with heart disease to have the strength to

do this, but because of his great love and joy in serving the Holy

Altar and praying to God, he was granted the strength that he

needed to complete the Holy Liturgies.

From the time of his ordination as a bishop, and until right

before he became severely sick, HG used to pray most of the

Divine Liturgy (starting from the raising of incense to the end of

the Divine Liturgy) by himself, leaving only the Litanies and the

Commemoration of the Saints to the participating priests.

His Grace Bishop Makarios used to pray the Divine Liturgy with

great spiritual power, to the degree that the words of the

prayers came out of his mouth as fire, touching the hearts of

the congregation; it was clear that he prayed from the bottom

of his heart and with all his might. It was said about him, “Every

time Bishop Makarios prays the Mass, you feel as if he is

enjoying a delicious meal with great admiration. He prays

fervently and thoughtfully, contemplating on each word, even

on the prayers that are cited secretly (eg, during the Pauline

reading).” HG used to pray the Fraction prayers with great

passion, tears, a high level of spirituality, and with a heavenly

voice.

His Grace often said, “whoever respects the altar and gives it its’

due holiness will see amazing spiritual scenes, and God will

uncover for him the hidden mysteries.” HG used to deal with

the Holy Altar with unusual respect and reverence. This reminds

us of the angels, the Cherubim and the Seraphim, who stand

with great fear before God, covering their faces and feet, and

crying out saying, “Holy Holy Holy, LORD of Hosts, Heaven and

earth are full of Your holy glory.” HG truly was standing before

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God, as St. John of the Ladder said, “It is very hard to take water

away from a thirsty man, but it is even harder to prevent the

soul, which is full of reverence, from prayers, because prayer is

so loved by it and more preferred than all other deeds.”

Therefore, there was nothing on earth that could prevent HG

from prayer. He did not listen to the doctors or priests who

tried to talk him out of praying; he used to say, “when I stand

before the altar, I feel that I never want to leave it; I hope that

God never prevents me from praying, even if I have to die on

the altar while doing so.” He also used to say, “the secret of

Popes Kyrillos and the saints is in the prayers of the psalms,

midnight praises, and Divine Liturgies.” His love of the liturgies

was manifest at those times when he was seen unable to stand

while entering the church, his weak body shaking and trembling,

leaning on his cane, and breathing with great difficulty; yet this

never prevented him from attending on time. And to the

congregation’s great astonishment, it would only be a matter of

seconds after he started the liturgy that his shaking body would

become steady, his broken words would become strong and

clear, and his breathing would be regulated, as if he was a

different man. Members of the congregation would ask him

after the Liturgy, “What has happened Your Grace?” and he

would explain that Pope Kyrillos, Saint George, Abu Saifain, or a

group of the anchorites were praying in the Liturgy with him.

During St. Mary’s fast, one of the priests was praying an

afternoon Divine Liturgy with HG, in St. Mary’s church. During

Communion, HG gave out the Holy Blood, for his sight was

weak, and the priest gave out the Holy Body. They gave

communion first to the men, and then to the women. As the

last woman approached, there were two pieces of the Holy

Body remaining; the priest gave one piece to the woman, but

when he looked back he could not find the last piece. The priest

was greatly disturbed and perplexed; he looked for it

everywhere, but could not find this last piece. Then he looked to

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HG, who smiled at him and said, “Fear not, one of the

anchorites was praying with us today, and he took the last

piece. It is possible that the Eucharist can move from the tray to

the anchorite.”

In almost all the Divine Liturgies that HG prayed in the last six

years of his life, Pope Kyrillos VI came and attended with him.

His Grace also mentioned that at the beginning of his bishopric

service, and during the Divine Liturgy, he used to see blood

coming out of Jesus’ wounds in the icon of the crucifix on the

East side. And in his last year, during Holy Week, he also

mentioned that he used to see blood coming from Jesus’

wounds in the icon every year after the 400 metanyias of Good

Friday; that year, HG took out his handkerchief and wiped the

icon, then wiped his face, his eyes and his heart, and gave it to

the priest standing next to him saying, “Take the blessing

Father.” Wanting to conceal his virtues, he used to tell us,

“Because you prevented me from abstaining from food this Holy

Week, I could not see the bleeding wounds; I used to see the

wounds bleeding every year from the crucifix icon after the 400

metanyias (prostrations).”

On numerous occasions, HG saw the altar illuminate, and an

amazing heavenly light surrounding the Eucharist, as the LORD

Himself was present during the Liturgy. HG would be found

praying fervently, with heavenly hymns that penetrate to the

depth of hearts, render the thoughts captive, and lift up the

souls to the heavens, as he would see the LORD of Glory Himself

before him.

Those who witnessed him praying, either during Liturgies or

other prayers, would think that he was an angel standing before

the throne of the Almighty in Heaven, with all respect, fear and

reverence. During these times, his face was described as that of

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one who was talking to a king or a high ranking official, speaking

with great respect and fear, intermingled with love.

His only wish was to die during the Liturgy, and God granted

him his wish. HG Bishop Makarios died while he was praying

the Divine Liturgy on Sunday, February 3, 1991.

His Service

His Grace Bishop Makarios’ diocese was one of the largest; in

fact, after his departure it was divided into 4 dioceses. But

despite how large the diocese was, HG still managed to visit

each member of his congregation, house by house, once a year

for the 25 years that he was a bishop. He never skipped a year,

but persisted in his service, even in his final year when he was

sick. Up until his last breath, he regarded his service as a service

to God Himself, and he did not allow himself to be anything but

faithful to God and his children.

His Grace used to visit anywhere from 50 to 100 houses in one

day, starting in the morning and finishing at night. In 15 days,

HG would accomplish what another priest would strive to do in

a year. Even in his last two months on earth, he would visit and

serve his flock. Anytime he walked into a house, he would greet

every person individually, ask about every person, listen to each

one’s problems, follow up on their needs, and pray for them.

God would attend to all of his prayers and petitions; if HG

prayed for a person, that person’s problems would be solved or

his request granted. God also enabled HG to perform many

miracles, such as healing the sick, casting out demons, and

other heavenly powers. He used to stress to everyone the

importance of prayer, confession, communion, and fellowship

with God, as this is the only way that God will intervene, solve

problems, and lift tribulations. HG was a faithful servant who

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used his earthly talents to gain heavenly ones, and to save many

souls.

During his bishopric, many churches and altars were

consecrated in Qena and throughout his diocese, and most of

the existing churches were fixed and retrofitted.

He paid special care to the service of the Word and to spiritual

meetings. However, he did not give sermons himself; instead,

he made sure that any new priest who had the talent of

teaching and a great deal of spiritual knowledge would give the

sermon and lead the congregation. He was very careful when

choosing new priests, and he always said that the church

strongly advises the bishop not to choose a new priest in haste.

He would say, “I prefer to leave a church closed than to appoint

a priest who will close it.”

He strove to make all his deeds acceptable to the LORD, and the

LORD did indeed accept all of his deeds. The LORD granted HG

that which is written in the book of Proverbs: “When a man’s

ways please the LORD, He makes even his enemies to be at

peace with him.” (Proverbs 16:7) HG loved all, and everyone

loved him back because he cared for them out of his pure love

for God. He always said, “Do you know why our love for each

other grows? It is because this love has one goal, which is Jesus

Himself, without any other hidden goals; and this love is in

Jesus’ fear and for His acceptance.”

His Grace longed to build a church for St. Mary, his patron saint,

in Qena. He asked her to permit him to build a church for her

and to hold services in it before his departure. His request was

granted; the church was built in 15 years and it was one of the

most beautiful churches in the diocese.

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This church carries stories of many amazing miracles, which

shows the glory of God and his saints. HG was on his death bed,

and he was extremely ill. He had a heart attack, heart disease,

and a pulmonary embolism (blockage of the main artery of the

lung). As he progressively got worse and began to reach the

end, he told us that he found himself standing on his bed, but

he could still see his body lying down on the bed. A group of

angels surrounded him, ready to take his soul, and then St.

Mary came closer to him, signaled the angels to stop, and lifted

up her hands to heaven and prayed saying, “Oh my Son and my

LORD; glory, honor, and greatness are due unto you; if it is your

will, your son Anba Makarios built a church in my name, and I

would like him to consecrate it for me.” Then HG heard a voice

from far away saying, “It is my will.” At once, the Mother of

Light ordered the angels to return HG’s spirit to his body. Bishop

Makarios told us that it is very hard for the spirit to reenter the

body, more difficult than it is to leave the body. After this, HG’s

health unexpectedly began to improve and he consecrated the

church.

During the ceremony of the consecration, HG went up to anoint

the bishop’s seat, which had an engraved wooden picture of our

LORD Jesus Christ, with Myron.1 As he went to do this, he felt

great fear as he drew near the wooden picture on the back of

the seat; then he saw the picture turning into the person of

1 Myron or Chrism: a consecrated oil used in two sacraments, Baptism and

Chrismation, as well as in the consecration of the Church and of sacred

vessels, etc. The tradition of using this sacred oil goes back to the Old

Testament (Exodus 39), where God ordered Moses to prepare a compound

anointing oil of myrrh, cinnamon, cassia, and sweet calamus, mixed with pure

olive oil. It was used in anointing kings, priests, the tent of the tabernacle, and

its furniture. It is made of specific oils mixed with the spices that were

presented when the LORD was shrouded. Chrism is administered immediately

after baptism; the newly baptized person joins the church and becomes one of

its members through baptism, and is strengthened through the Chrism; this

gives him or her the right to partake of the Holy Communion.

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Jesus Christ, surrounded by a very bright light. He could not get

any closer, and so he barely anointed the far edges of the seat.

HG also mentioned that a large number of saints blessed the

consecration ceremonies, including St. Mary, St. George, St.

Philopateer Abu Safain, St. Mena, Pope Kyrillos, and some of the

anchorites (Spirit Born). Also, a number of people who watched

the video tapes of the consecration saw the spirits of the saints

on the main altar and in the side altars as well. During the

consecration ceremony, which lasted from 6:00 AM to 5:00 PM,

HG had amazing strength despite of all his medical conditions.

Ready for Departure

The final years of the life of HG Bishop Makarios were full of

spiritual vigilance and perseverance. His soul won its battle

against the weak body, illustrating St. Paul’s words, “I have

fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the

faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness,

which the LORD, the righteous judge, will give me on that day,

and not to me only but also to all who have longed for his

appearing.” (2 Timothy 4:7-8) On any given day, HG was ready

to depart from this earth. He welcomed death with happiness

and delight, like a saint who regarded the second of his

departure as his happiest moment, a time when God would give

him rest from his struggles and grant him a crown of victory.

Three years before Bishop Makarios’ departure, he asked one of

the fathers to renovate and prepare the area dedicated for

bishops’ burials under the northern altar in the Church of St.

Mark, where his predecessors, Bishop Lukas and Bishop Kyrillos,

lay. A year before his departure, he ordered a coffin to be

bought; and six months before his departure, he asked for a

burial license in his name, so that he could use the current

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burial place to avoid any later objections that might arise from

any officials. HG was then ready to depart.

He knew exactly when he would depart from this world; he

even asked for his final Divine Liturgy to be video taped, which

was very unlike him. One of the fathers asked him, “Your Grace,

where are you praying tomorrow?” He responded, “At St.

Mark’s church, and Father Metias will video tape me.” He also

made a reference to the day he would depart. Tamav Eriny

called him on Saturday morning to tell him that she would be

traveling on the following day, and then he answered and said,

“I am also traveling.” “Did you not finish your annual trip this

year, Your Grace?” she asked. “I am going on a very comfortable

trip tomorrow,” he explained. During Jonah’s feast, someone

else also asked him where he would be praying the following

week. Bishop Makarios answered, “Friday at St. Mary’s, Sunday

at St. Mark’s, and after that with Abu Safain.” Someone else

asked to see him on Sunday for an important matter, but HG

answered and said, “I won’t see anyone on Sunday.”

One lady who is very well known to us told us this story: On the

second day of Jonah’s fast, January 29, 1991, HG called me on

the phone and asked me to bring my niece to be baptized on

Friday; he insisted on this. I was very surprised, and when I saw

him I said, “Why did you insist on baptizing her on Friday, Your

Grace?” He replied, “On Friday I will pray at St. Mary’s, on

Sunday I will pray at St. Mark’s, then with Abu Safain.” I never

imagined that he meant he was departing to the heavens and

would be praying there. I also happened to be with him on

January 14, 1991, the day before he was traveling to Cairo to

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pray the feast of the Epiphany1 at the Abu Safain Convent in Old

Cairo. I begged him not to go because he had gotten very sick

on the plane the last time he went there. He said to me, “This is

my last time to travel; I will travel this time and travel once

again after 21 days, and then I will not travel anymore.” HG

departed to heaven 21 days after this conversation. I was also

with HG on the morning of Thursday, January 31, and at night I

had something to consult with him about. I telephoned him to

ask for his advice, but he asked me to come to him; I told him

that I had been with him in the morning, and he answered and

said, “OK, whatever you want. There are only two days left

before I travel.” HG did in fact travel to the heavens on Sunday.

Another lady named Feryal, who is HG’s niece, told us that on

the Saturday before his departure, HG told her, “Tomorrow a

certain person is coming to us; you don’t need to prepare lunch,

but you must attend the Liturgy.” He was trying to prepare her

for what was going to happen but she didn’t realize what he

meant. Anyone who watches the video tape of his last Liturgy

will be amazed beyond measure at how HG knew his hour was

coming and still prayed with steadiness and strength. This is

how the saints are, always ready and never shaken.

Then the hour came for this spiritual giant to join the cloud of

saints. It was on the holy day of Sunday, the day of the LORD,

during the Holy prayer of the Divine Liturgy; it happened on the

1 The Epiphany, or the Baptism of Christ on Tobah 11, AM (January 19). It is

connected with Christmas and the circumcision feasts. For on Christmas, the

Word of God took what is ours (our humanity) and in the "circumcision," He

subjected Himself to the Law as He became one of us, but in the Epiphany, He

offered us what is His own. By His incarnation, He became a true man while

still being the Only-begotten Son of God; and by baptism we become children

of God while we are human beings. On this feast, the Liturgy of blessing the

water is conducted, and the priest blesses the people with the water on their

foreheads and hands to commemorate baptism.

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holy altar at a holy time, the time of Pre-Fraction prayer while

HG was saying, “O You who gave to His holy disciples and saintly

apostles at that time, now also give to us and to all…” As he said

the word ‘all,’ he leaned forward toward the altar for a short

period and then dropped suddenly to the floor while holding

the Eucharist in his hands in 2 parts (a third and two thirds),

putting them together in the form of a cross.

His Grace Bishop Moussa, the General Bishop of the Coptic

Youth, watched this video on one of his visits to the United

States, along with a big group of youth. They watched it in very

slow motion. HG Bishop Moussa, along with many of the

American and Egyptian youth, saw 5 fingers of light lift up the

Holy Body as HG Bishop Makarios was falling, so that it landed

safely on the paten. Many of these youth confirm that they

really believe in the Eucharist’s mystery and believe that it is the

Body and Blood of our LORD; however, this incident had

strengthened their faith.

It seems that it was God’s will for HG to depart at the moment

he did. The Eucharist moved miraculously back to the paten,

and the whole event was recorded, that the LORD might glorify

His saint, who succeeded in hiding his righteousness for many

years. As it is said, “For those who honor Me I will honor, and

those who despise Me shall be lightly esteemed.” (1 Samuel

2:30)

His body remained before the altar at St. Mark’s church where

he departed for the whole day, February 3, 1991; then they

moved him to St. Mary’s church, which he built, to attend the

Divine Liturgy. After the Liturgy, the procession started from St.

Mary’s church to St. Mark’s church. It was a great procession

with people on both sides the entire way between the two

churches; so many people gathered that nobody would have

been able to find room to place a foot. Everybody flocked to the

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church, including all of the governmental representatives, a

large number of our Muslim brethren, the governor, the police

chief, and many more. The funeral ceremony was held by 11

bishops: Abba Mina (metropolitan of Girga), Abba Hedra

(bishop of Aswan), Abba Wisa (bishop of El-Balyana), Abba

Amonins (bishop of Luxor), Abba Fam (bishop of Tema), Abba

Kyrillos (bishop of Nag Hammady), Abba Abraam (bishop of

Fayoum), Abba Basanty (bishop of Helwan), Abba Bakhom

(bishop of Sohag), Abba Antonious (bishop of Manfloat), Abba

Bemoa (the abbot of St. George’s Monastery in Khatatba), and a

large number of priests from all denominations. After the

funeral and condolence speeches, at about midday on Monday,

February 4, 1991, the body was taken into a procession inside

the church until it reached the bishopric burial place under the

northern altar.

There rested the body of a holy man who lived a saintly life and

who became like a lit lamp in the way of holiness. There rested

our beloved bishop after a great journey, where he well pleased

his Creator and fulfilled His will. There rested a watchful man

waiting for his Master to return from the wedding banquet, so

that he could open the door for him immediately. (Luke 12:35-

37)

His departure caused great grief for his entire congregation, as

well as in the monasteries and convents. He had a profound

effect on the hearts of those he served and dealt with. Our

beloved Tamav Eriny, the abbot of Abu Safain’s Convent, cried a

lot for him. He was her father of confession and she knew how

saintly he was. She used to pray saying, “Lord, you have too

many saints in heaven; we wish you kept Bishop Makarios here

on earth, because in him we saw a manifestation of Your image,

love, and holy life.” One day Tamav Eriny was sick with a fever,

and she was taking an antibiotic every six hours. But despite all

her pain, she stood up to pray, and suddenly found herself in a

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beautiful place, so vast, peaceful, and full of joy and green

pastures; it was lit with a heavenly light that automatically lifts

the soul in praises and thanksgiving to the LORD Jesus Christ.

And then came Bishop Makarios in a beautiful, heavenly robe,

wearing a cross full of diamonds, walking slowly and completely

engulfed in praises to the Holy LORD Jesus Christ. Then he drew

near to Tamav Eriny and asked her, “What do you think of this

place, Mother?” She responded, “It is very beautiful, Your

Grace. Is that your place?” He replied, “No, my place is more

beautiful than this; this is only a vast place in which I walk, but

my place is much more beautiful;” then he added, “What do

you think, is this place not better than earth?” Tamav Eriny

asked, “But, did I already die? Is that why I am here?” HG

responded, “No, you did not die, but our LORD Jesus Christ

allowed you to come here and see me so that you would be

consoled and stop being sad for me.” Then she found herself

standing in the very same place in her cell.

During this spiritual experience, the nun that took care of

Tamav’s medication came to her cell, at 10 AM, but Tamav Eriny

was nowhere to be found. She looked for her everywhere, but

with no results; so she walked out, brought a chair and sat

down before the door and said to herself, “Let me see where

she will be coming from.” Six hours later, at 4 PM, she looked

into the cell and found Tamav Eriny inside. “Where were you

Tamav?” the nun asked. “I was existent,” Tamav answered. “I

looked for you everywhere inside the cell!” exclaimed the nun.

After much nagging, Tamav gave up and told the nun

everything. She described the experience, and when she had

finished she added, “I felt I was away for only 10 minutes.” “You

were taken for 6 hours” said the nun, confirming the earthly

time. But our dear Tamav was no longer sad; she was consoled

and thankful to God for giving her a chance to see her beloved

father in heaven.

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Since the celibate’s body was laid to rest under the northern

altar, to this day the room has never been closed. Unlike all

other bodies that decompose and produce a stench, HG’s body

only produces a great smell, like that of the martyrs that are

anointed with sweet spices. This body was martyred through

celibacy, purity, fasting, prayers and many ascetic practices; he

was a bloodless martyr.

After Departure Messages

There is a woman who dreamt consecutive dreams about the

departure of HG Bishop Makarios. One day, she dreamt that HG

was sitting on a great throne and he had a crown on his head; it

was as if he was at a feast. She asked him, “Are you going to

pray a Divine Liturgy now, Your Grace?” He answered and said,

“Prayers here are continuous without ceasing,” and then he

added, “I want you to deliver a message to Father….. and to Om

Makarios (the mother of Makarios).” “Is your mother still living,

Your Grace?,” she asked. “My daughter, don’t you know Feryal?

She is Om Makarios; her son is a very good deacon, prayed with

me always in Liturgies,” he answered. “Tell her that I was upset

with her, but that I now have forgiven her, because she kept

screaming all the way from St. Mary’s Church to St. Mark’s

Church during my funeral procession.” He then added, “Also tell

her to go to church, confess, and partake of the communion all

the time; that way we will not be apart. And remember me in

the Commemoration of the Departed in the Divine Liturgy, and I

will remember her, as if I came to visit her and she visited me.

She will feel my presence next to her. But again keep on

confessing and partaking in communion so you can reach where

I am, because those who confess and partake of the Eucharist

have a great position with the saints in heaven.”

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“And tell Father…., sermons became too many, in cassette tapes

and books, but the most important thing that all of you are

coming here soon. Stress in the sermons the importance of

repentance, confession, and communion, because those who

confess and partake of the Holy Eucharist have a great position

with the saints in Heaven.”

The same message and vision were repeated with a different

person, in a different city, around the same time, and he is

currently a monk in one of our monasteries.

His Miracles

“Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every

creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he

who does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will

follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out

demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up

serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means

hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will

recover.” (Mark 16:15-18)

God the Almighty granted his servants these gifts, to perform

wonders for the glory of His name, to be a sign of their holiness,

and to provide help and freedom to those who are bound and

sitting in darkness, according to His good will.

As children of God, our faith is dependent on the Word of Life.

As we learn from the story of Lazarus and the rich man, when

the rich man was being tormented, he asked Abraham to send

Lazarus to his brothers to forewarn them of the consequences

they would face if they remained in sin. “Then he said, ‘I beg

you therefore, father, that you would send him to my father’s

house, for I have five brothers, that he may testify to them, lest

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they also come to this place of torment.’ Abraham said to him,

‘They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.’ And

he said, ‘No, father Abraham; but if one goes to them from the

dead, they will repent.’ But he said to him, ‘If they do not hear

Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though

one rise from the dead.’’’ (Luke 16: 27-31)

Therefore, as children of the LORD, we have faith in Him and in

His word. “For the word of God is living and powerful,

and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the

division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a

discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” (Hebrews

4:12) This is the faith that moves mountains. This is the faith

that is manifested in the lives of all who surrender themselves

to God’s love.

Therefore, we glorify God in all His works and in all His saints,

because He shows His strength and mercy towards us through

His holy men, who walk according to His word.

The miracles and wonders of our beloved father, Bishop

Makarios, are countless, whether they were performed during

his earthly life or after his departure to the heavens. It is worth

noting that there are currently eight published books in the

Arabic language about the miracles performed by HG to this

day, and there are additional stories and miracles that have

been recorded, but are awaiting publication.

To this day, HG Bishop Makarios still performs miracles,

interceding for a great number of people who seek his blessings.

The remainder of this book will focus on just a few of the

miracles performed by HG Bishop Makarios, serving as an

example of his powerful intercessions and love for his children.

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Feryal (Bishop Makarios’ niece) told us that as a child, HG liked

to attend the praises of St. Mary during the Month of Kiahk. To

attend the service, he would walk from the village of Awlad

Yehia to the village of El-Kosheh, a distance of about 20

kilometers (12.4 miles). On his way to church, there were times

when he would run, and he would feel as if a certain power had

carried him above the ground.

Another miracle reported was of a barren woman from

Alexandria who had been married for 7 years to Dr. Fahim, a

gynecologist. One day, she went to visit her sister, who lived in

Qena. While there, she went with one of the priests to see HG

Bishop Makarios. As soon as HG saw her, he told her, “God will

give you Samuel.” The lady indeed became pregnant, but after 3

months she had a miscarriage. After all tests were done, she

was told that she had an immature uterus (womb); given her

medical condition, it was unlikely that she would be able to

conceive again. However, after some time, she did become

pregnant again. Upon further examination, it was determined

that the hormones from her first pregnancy worked towards

enlarging her uterus, preparing her for the second pregnancy.

As HG had foretold, she indeed gave birth to a boy and named

him Samuel; she later also had another boy and named him

Matthew.

Mr. Rafat Adib of Qena told us his story: He had a lot of

problems with his fiancé, to the degree where he felt that

marrying her would be impossible. He had great faith that HG

could help him and so he went to visit him. Mr. Adib noted that

before he even uttered a word, HG said “Come here next to me.

Are you worried about the engagement? Alright, that is it, there

will be no more troubles, and you will get married and have

children!!” Mr. Adib stated, “I walked out of his presence as if I

was in a dream…how did he know about my troubles? He is

indeed a man of God and all that he predicted did happen.”

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Mrs. Amal Milad of Qena told the following story about her

infant son: “We had already set a date for my son, Mina, to

receive the sacrament of Baptism, but suddenly, he got the flu

and was very feverish. I went to HG and sought his guidance,

asking him whether or not we should postpone the Baptism. HG

refused the idea of postponing the baptism and told us ‘God

willing, your son will be okay, by the blessings of my Lady Saint

Mary.’ The next day, my son was completely cured and HG

baptized him in the church of St. Mary. All our hearts were filled

with great joy.”

Mrs. Shadia Helmy Farah, also from Qena, told a story about

one of our current reverend fathers: “My husband’s brother

went to the monastery to pursue the life of monasticism;

however, my mother-in-law was very sad following his

departure. So I took her one day to see HG Bishop Makarios.

When HG saw her, he asked, ‘Why are you sad? Your son will

become a bishop.’” And his prophecy was fulfilled; her son is

the current bishop of Manflot, HG Bishop Antonious.

The nephew and disciple of HG Bishop Makarios, Mr. Rateb,

lived and interacted with HG on a daily basis. He accompanied

HG on all his visits, as he was his designated driver. Mr. Rateb

told us about a time when HG was visiting one of the villages:

“As we were passing by, we saw a man possessed with many

evil spirits; he was naked and chained with iron chains at the

bottom of a stairwell of one of the houses, screaming and wild.

As HG drew near him, the man started to throw sand and dirt at

HG. Despite this, Bishop Makarios asked for a cup of water,

prayed on it, and sprinkled the water on the possessed man. HG

then left and went on his way. Shortly after, a man came to the

bishopric, asking to see HG. When he saw Bishop Makarios, he

fell on his knees and said, ‘Forgive me for all that I have done to

you…I was not conscious.’ When HG did not recognize him, the

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man introduced himself saying, ‘I am the person who was

possessed with many evil spirits in the village. Your Grace

prayed for me and the spirits were all cast out.’ HG prayed the

absolution for him and bid him farewell.”

During one of HG’s visits to Hurgada, a non-Christian woman

who had seen HG visiting other homes invited him over saying,

“Come Your Grace, come, visit me and bless me as you bless

your children.” HG heeded her request and visited her house.

He asked for a cup of water, prayed on it, and sprinkled the

entire house, as he was accustomed to doing. Then HG asked

her, “Do you have any children?” She replied, “I have none, and

I have been married for 19 years.” So HG told her, “On this very

day next year, you will be carrying your son Ibrahim.” As he

foretold, God gave the woman the fruit of the womb, namely,

Ibrahim, at the same time HG had indicated.

The reverend Father Mata Marko shared this story: “A friend of

mine asked HG to pray for him, that he might have children. HG

kept him in his prayers constantly. On one occasion, as the man

was sitting with HG, his wife walked in. As soon as HG saw her,

his face lit up with a heavenly glow. HG became very joyful and

told her, ‘Congratulations.’ She replied, with great wonder,

‘May God keep Your Grace…but congratulations for what?!’ HG

answered her saying, ‘You are pregnant, in your second day.’“

Mrs. Nadia Naguib from Alexandria went with her husband,

Magdy, and her children to the Convent of Saint Abu Safain in

Old Cairo. At the time, HG was visiting the Convent. Mrs. Naguib

and her family sat with HG and the beloved saintly Mother

Eriny, the abbot of the convent. She told us, “During this

meeting, one of the reverend fathers asked HG to pray for my 5

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year old son, Michael, who had a G6PD Deficiency,1 which left

him anemic. We went through numerous tests and Dr. Thoria

analyzed all of them; the G6PD enzyme was very low. Two years

later, I wanted to repeat the tests, but the doctor refused,

saying that the enzyme level would never change, especially

since it was very low to begin with. But HG put his hand on

Michael, prayed for him, and said with great simplicity: ‘Give

him all kinds of food to eat.’ I then asked HG whether we should

repeat the tests, but HG told us not to.” Michael’s mother

obeyed in great faith, giving her son everything to eat, including

Fava beans and all other foods that were forbidden, given his

condition. Thereafter, the child never developed anemia and

was completely normal.

Mr. Kamal Metry, who served with HG for 18 years and was

entrusted with many responsibilities by HG, told us this story:

“HG used to give me work to finish in the bishopric. There was

one time when we were in need of a sewing machine. One of

the servants, Mr. Ohdy Gawargios, offered to bring his own

sewing machine from home. But HG answered and said, ‘God

will send us a sewing machine very soon.’ And at about 5 PM

that same day, a lady knocked on the door of the bishopric and

said, ‘Here is a sewing machine. We brought it for HG.’ And we

still have this sewing machine until now. Besides this incident,

there were many things that used to happen before my eyes

that were beyond my comprehension, but I was told not to

ask!”

1Glucose-6-phosphate-dehydrogenase (abbreviated G6PD or G6PDH);

individuals with the disease may exhibit non-immune hemolytic anemia in

response to a number of causes, most commonly infection or exposure to

certain medications or chemicals. G6PD deficiency is closely linked to favism, a

disorder characterized by a hemolytic reaction to consumption of broad

beans, with a name derived from the Italian name of the broad bean (fava).

The name favism is sometimes used to refer to the enzyme deficiency as a

whole.

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Mr. Metry went on to tell another story: “One night HG called

me and said, ‘I love you so much Kamal; I wish you can be

granted a son. I pray for you all the time.’ Then after 10 minutes

of utter silence, HG said, ‘What would you like to name the baby

girl that you will have?’ But I did not know what to answer, as

my wife was pregnant. Later on, HG visited us at home and told

my wife, ‘after 10 days, you will give birth to a girl and you will

name her Lillian.’ And this is exactly what happened.”

Mr. Gergis Nagy of Qena told us this story: “I was suffering from

a great deal of pain in my stomach, and I tried a lot of different

medications, but nothing seemed to work. One of my relatives

advised me to seek magicians and sorcerers, and so I heeded his

advice. The sorcerer gave me a list of things to do to help ease

my pain. At night, however, HG Bishop Makarios came to me in

a dream and said, ‘What are all those bad things that you have

in the balcony?’ In the morning, I woke up in haste and threw

out all the materials I had in the balcony from the sorcerer.

Since then I was made well, and required no medication or any

other treatment.”

HG Bishop Makarios was accustomed to praying for all those

who did not have children, and through his prayers and

supplications, God would indeed grant them children. Mrs.

Magda had been married for 3 years; she was unable to

conceive due to arthritis that affected her Fallopian Tubes,

according to a diagnosis by Dr. Samy El-Keshtah. Magda said, “I

was very sad. One day I went to see HG Bishop Makarios. I was

crying bitterly and HG told me that God would give me a child in

a month. The following month, as HG had predicted, I

conceived. However, because of my weak faith, I was very

worried about having a miscarriage. HG told me, ‘Worry and

sadness can make you miscarry.’ And this is true; sorrow and

worry can be the cause of a miscarriage, but thank God, the

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pregnancy period passed in peace, and God gave me Maria,

through the prayers and intercessions of HG. Later, I got

pregnant again and went to HG, asking him to bless me and

name the baby for me. HG answered and said, ‘Not now.’ I kept

going back to him for the same reason and he kept giving me

the same answer until I gave birth to a baby girl. However, the

baby died on the second day after she was born; HG apparently

knew this would happen, and this is why he did not want to

name the baby for me. May his blessings be with us all.”

Another amazing story happened with a man who had also

been married for 3 years. After undergoing check-ups and

testing, he was diagnosed with male infertility, Azoospermia. On

a Lenten Friday afternoon, HG was praying a Liturgy at St.

George Church. As HG was walking out of the altar, this man

walked up to him and asked him to pray that he might have

good offspring. HG told him, ‘May God give you a boy and a

girl!’ A year later, his wife conceived and gave birth to a baby

girl, but she had many physical abnormalities and died one day

after birth. In the second year, another baby girl was born, but

this time, she was born dead. However, in the third year, they

had a baby boy, Gergis, and in the fourth year, they were

granted a baby girl, Eriny. Therefore, all that HG said was

fulfilled. Glory to Him who said: “…for those who honor Me I

will honor, and those who despise Me shall be lightly

esteemed.” (1 Samuel 2:30)

Another lady from Qena who preferred to remain anonymous

said: “When I was in my last year of grammar school, I started

to have seizure attacks. This was a catastrophe to my family,

especially since we had no family history of this disorder. My

mother took me to HG as he finished praying the Divine Liturgy.

He prayed for me, anointed me with the holy oil, and I took the

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blessings of his white tonya.1 Instantaneously, I was made well

and I never had any more seizure episodes.” “For with God

nothing will be impossible,” as it is written in Luke 1:37. When

we think that something is impossible or no power on the face

of the earth can help, we remember that we have many

promises from our Father who art in Heaven to render us a

heavenly power that, with faith, can overcome the impossible.

A lady told us the following story to show the glory of God that

is manifested in the lives of his saints: “One day, I noticed a spot

on my left breast; it looked like black blood to me. After

undergoing numerous tests and scans, I was diagnosed with a

tumor in my left breast, which needed to be removed. With

faith, I answered and said, ‘God will heal me with a miracle.’ But

the doctors laughed at me in disbelief. I refused the

mastectomy2 and went to see HG. I told him about my condition

and he prayed for me, made the sign of the cross on the tumor,

and said, ‘God will not allow that.’ Later I dreamt of HG sitting at

a desk with many sick people surrounding him, asking for his

prayers, but he called me and prayed for me. I was very happy

with this dream; however, I still asked God for a sign of my

healing. In another dream, I saw HG Bishop Makarios standing

next to the relics of Abu Safain. He opened the box containing

the relics and said to me, ‘I came for you, especially.’ He then

took the covering off the relics, put it on my chest, and put his

cross and prayed for me. He then said, ‘That is it, you are well

1 A white tunic worn by all monks and priests while celebrating the Holy

Liturgy. It is white because it represents the joyous angels who are serving

God in purity and holiness.

2 Mastectomy is the medical term for the surgical removal of one or both

breasts, partially or completely.

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now.’ And God gave me other signs as I had asked Him to do. I

was made well by the prayers of HG.”

This very same lady also went on to tell another story: “I was

pregnant in my sixth month, but I was about to have a

miscarriage due to serious complications during my pregnancy.

Despite the pain I was going through, I took a cab and went to

see HG Bishop Makarios. At the time of my visit, HG had a

doctor sitting with him. As soon as the doctor saw me, she told

HG that I was in danger, especially since I had a previous

miscarriage. HG answered the doctor saying, ‘I will pray for her,

don’t be afraid, doctor. She will not miscarry.’ He asked for a

cup of water, prayed on it, and gave me to drink. He then told

me, ‘Take these little calendars and distribute them to all the

people in the room.’ I heeded his word and did as he said. The

amazing thing is that I was moving about as if I never had any

pain in my body; through his prayers I was made well.” She also

added, “God gave me two daughters and in my third pregnancy,

I wished that I could have a boy. So I went to HG and asked him

for my wish. HG looked at me and said, ‘Matthew, Matthew,

Matthew,’ and God indeed gave me Matthew according to the

word of HG.”

Mrs. Mariam Anwar Boles told us of an incident she personally

had with HG: “I was 9 months pregnant, but I had passed my

due date by a few days. The doctor told me that if I did not

deliver naturally within one week, he would have to perform a

C-section. The one week passed and I was terrified, so I went to

Bishop Makarios in the bishopric on September 17, 1990. I told

HG about my situation and he told me, ‘Come, sit down my

daughter. Do not fear.’ I sat with HG and I felt a lot of peace. He

went on to say, ‘You still have a few days to go; you will give

birth naturally on Friday.’ He then stood up and anointed me

with the oil from the lantern that was before the icon of St.

Mary. One of the priests who was there at the time asked HG to

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name the baby for me. HG answered and said, ‘Congratulations,

you will have Matthew.’ He also asked me for some money for

St. Mary. And all that he told me happened exactly as he had

said.”

Mr. Gergis of Qena and his wife went to meet HG Bishop

Makarios, seeking his blessings. They had been married for 3

years, but God did not grant them any children. Mr. Gergis told

us the following: “HG told us that God would give us David, but I

asked him if we should go see a doctor; he said no, don’t go. We

went out of his presence in great joy, waiting for the fulfillment

of the promise. However, when we went to do a scan just to

make sure that everything was okay, the doctor told me that my

wife had a blockage in her Fallopian Tubes and that she would

never conceive. I kept that to myself and never told my wife,

and I left everything in God’s hands. A month later, my wife saw

HG Bishop Makarios in a dream. ‘Do you know what is wrong

with you?’ HG asked her, and my wife answered negatively.

‘Your tubes are blocked. But God will open one for you and give

you a child.’ After my wife woke up, she told me about the

dream. At this point, I had to tell her what the doctor had said

and that what HG told her in the dream was true. But before a

month passed, my wife became pregnant and God granted us a

boy, then a girl, and finally twins.”

Another person came to HG with his young son. After taking his

blessings he asked, “Don’t you remember me Your Grace? I

came to you last night with my son who was suffering from an

eye cataract. The cataract disappeared after you prayed for

him.” Then HG told him, “Now, of course, you will go fill the air

with those words. You know that my lady St. Mary performed

this miracle for your son, because we are currently in her fast.

Don’t tell anybody about this miracle until I die.” This is an

example of how HG was striving everyday to cover his virtues

and complete his days in peace.

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A lady who wished not to disclose her identity said, “I was

shocked when I saw a huge tumor in my right breast. I went to

many physicians, including Dr. Jacob and Dr. Rachel, who

started talking to each other in English; this worried me. I went

to different physicians—Dr. Moris, Dr. Waheed Thabet, and Dr.

Ahmed El-Amir, to name just a few. They suggested a biopsy,

but I strongly refused. Then I had a group of 9 doctors review

my case, one of them being Dr. Gamal Abd El-Hameed, who

works as a professor at The University of Asiut. He said that

time was of the essence and that the biopsy was necessary in

order to start treatment. It happened that we were passing by

the bishopric building, and my husband suggested that I go

inside and ask HG to pray for me. However, I was completely

devastated and told my husband that the doctors said it was

cancer. ‘What will HG do?’ I asked him. But my husband

insisted, so we went and met with one of the servants who told

us that we came after visiting hours, and that we could not see

HG now. We explained the situation to her, so she went and

told HG and came back with a smile on her face saying, ‘HG will

see you.’ After we sat down, he waved at me to come to him, so

I kneeled at his feet and he prayed a long prayer for me. After

he finished, I went back to my seat. ‘You do not have cancer or

anything,’ HG said; ‘God will heal you, God will heal you, God

will heal you. And if there is anything left, just confess and take

communion and nothing will be left in your chest.’ That same

night, my husband suggested that I anoint myself with Abu

Safain’s oil and that I put the book of the miracles of Pope

Kyrillos VI on my chest, and I did. The next morning I felt the

tumor, which had previously been the size of an orange, with

my hands. There was nothing left except for a very small piece,

so I remembered the words of HG; I went to my father of

confession, who I had not seen for a very long time and I

partook of the Holy Communion. After I received the Eucharist,

the tumor disappeared completely, as the Saint Bishop

Makarios had told me. Then I returned to the same physicians

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who had diagnosed my tumor before, and they were in a great

awe. They were astonished that there was nothing left of the

tumor. They asked me what had happened and I laughingly told

them that I had gone to someone better than all of them. Then

one of them answered and said, ‘You indeed went to see

someone who is better than all of us, because medicine is

unable to treat such a case.’”

A well known man who holds a high position came to our

beloved Bishop Makarios, and he was desperate. A judicial jury

had sentenced him to prison. He had filed for an appeal, and it

was to be held very close to the date of his meeting with HG. He

complained to HG that his situation was very weak and that it

would be very hard to get out of this position; if the appeal

yielded the same verdict, he would lose everything. On the

night of the appeal, our beloved bishop stayed up all night

praying, and God accepted his prayers. The judge found him not

guilty.

On one of the Lenten days, after the afternoon Liturgy, HG met

with Mr. Roshdy Aziz Abd-Elsheheed. Mr. Abd-Elsheheed

thought it would be a great chance to tell HG about the pain he

was having in his gallbladder and to ask for his prayers. “Are you

fasting this Lent?” HG asked, ignoring the main issue. Mr. Abd-

Elsheheed was surprised and started giving excuses, saying “I

am sick and unable to fast. My gallbladder hurts so much…” But

HG said, “How could you hear that the church is fasting the

Great Lent and still not fast?” So he promised HG that he would

start fasting; then HG said, “Fast and you will see what God will

do for you.” After he started fasting, all of the pain disappeared.

His Grace was an expert on the human soul; he was able to read

people’s inner thoughts. Mr. Sarwat Nazer Tawfik of Nag

Hammadi told us this story to show the gift that God entrusted

HG with: “My wife was diagnosed with Bacteremia, or bacteria

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in the blood. The doctors said there was no treatment for her

case, that there was no hope, and that even if there was, she

would be paralyzed. I heard about the saint Bishop Makarios, so

we went to meet him at the bishopric in Qena. As we ascended

the stairs, he saw us from above and said, “Come Feryal, my

daughter.” We were shocked, as this was our first time to see

HG. We sat down with him and before we said anything HG

said, “Feryal, ya baba (a word to show closeness to the heart of

the speaker), do not be afraid, I will pray for you and you will be

made well.” I was very preoccupied at this time, thinking about

how we were going to get back home, and which means of

transportation we would have to take. HG asked, ‘Are you in a

rush?’ causing me to be greatly surprised. So I told him that

transportation to Nag Hammadi was difficult and that it was

almost 3 PM. HG said, ‘I will just pray for her.’ He prayed for my

wife, put his cross on her, and then said, ‘May God be with you

all.’ On our way home, my wife told me that while HG was

praying for her, she felt as if she had some electrical treatment

and she felt changes in her body. My wife was healed and

completely recovered, thanks to the Lord and to his great saint,

Bishop Makarios.”

Mr. Agib Gergis, a retired principle in Qus, was visiting his

brother Aziz in the Rahmania Village. A Muslim guard (Ghafeer)

was present at that time, and he approached Mr. Gergis saying:

“Do you know Qena’s metropolitan?” “I was so surprised at the

question,” said Mr. Gergis. “Do you know him?” he asked the

guard. The guard answered, “Yes, of course, I used to do work

for HH Pope Kyrillos; after that I worked for HG Bishop

Makarios.” Then the guard told the following story: “HG was

visiting the west side of the Village of Rahmania. A lot of people

gathered and followed HG; they almost blocked the entire road.

All of a sudden HG stopped and said, ‘There is a sick girl behind

me in the crowd, her mother is carrying her.’ We looked for the

sick girl and her mother and we brought them to HG; he prayed

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for her, and she was healed. I was amazed at this incident,

especially because the girl was not Christian. I was sure that he

was a righteous man; otherwise, how would he have known

about the sick child?”

There seems to be a similarity between this story and the story

of the woman who had a flow of blood lasting for twelve years.

She touched the hem of Jesus’ garment while the multitudes

pressed Him. But Jesus knew about her and stopped and said,

“Who touched me?” The disciples, amazed at the question,

answered him saying, “Master, the multitudes throng and press

You, and You ask ‘Who touched Me?’” (Luke 8:45) This story

illustrates for us how our LORD Jesus Christ is faithful and true,

and grants His little children the power to do His works, and

even greater. Like He said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who

believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and

greater works than these he will do ….” (John 14:12)

As a man whose eyes were open to the future, HG had a habit

of naming babies after the saints whose feast or

commemoration would be celebrated around the child’s birth

date. Mr. Rizk Mahrous experienced one of these incidents, and

he told us the following story: “I went to HG Bishop Makarios,

and I asked him to pray that God might give me children. HG

answered and said, ‘God will give you Zacharias.’ God answered

HG’s request; and on the day of the delivery, my father

attended the Divine Liturgy and came back saying that the

Synaxarium1 was about Zacharias the priest.

Father Hegomen Ayob of Neqada had a similar story. He asked

HG to pray that God would give him a son; HG said, “May God

1 Synaxarium is a book of the life of the saints, used by the Orthodox church. It

lists the saints in the order of their anniversaries and it is read in the Divine

Liturgy before the reading of the Bible.

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give you Matthew.” On the day of the delivery, the reading of

the Synaxarium was about the departure of Saint Matthew the

Evangelist.

Mr. Zachariah Gadallah Fam also had a similar experience:

“During one of HG’s visits to my house, as it was his custom, he

asked me how many children I had. I told him I had four girls

and that my wife was pregnant, and that I was hoping God

would grant me a son. HG put his cross on my wife’s head,

prayed and said, ‘Congratulations, you will have Athanasius.’1

We were very happy to hear these words. Later, closer to the

delivery, I dreamt that I was on a trip to visit the monasteries. In

one of the monasteries, I saw HG Bishop Makarios, so I kneeled

and made a metanya for him, and kissed his cross and his hand;

but he said to me, ‘Did your wife deliver Zachariah?’ I answered

negatively, so he said, ‘Zachariah, your wife is about to deliver,

but there is nobody with her.’ Amazingly, on my wife’s due

date, there was nobody around her except my mom, since

everyone else went to attend the feast of St. George in his

monastery. And when the time came to name the baby boy,

everyone was hesitant about the name Athanasius; they

advised me to give him another name that would be easier to

call, so I thought of naming him after the saint of the day. I

opened the Synaxarium to the 3rd day of the Coptic month of

Hathor, my son’s birthday, and surprisingly, it was the

commemoration of the departure of St. Athanasius and his

sister, Irene. I then hastened to call the baby Athanasius, as

Saint Makarios had told me to do.”

1 After a great Coptic saint, Athanasius of Alexandria. He was a Christian

theologian, bishop of Alexandria, Church Father, and a noted Egyptian leader

of the 4th century. He is best remembered for his role in the conflict

with Arius. At the First Council of Nicea, Athanasius argued against Arius and

his doctrine that Christ is of a distinct substance from the Father.

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“Strengthen the weak hands, and make firm the feeble

knees. Say to those who are fearful-hearted, ‘Be strong, do not

fear!’” (Isaiah 35: 3-4) It is one of the jobs of the children of God

to strengthen the weak—whether they are weak spiritually,

mentally, or physically. Mrs. Demiana Fekry told us a story that

shows how God’s hands work through His saints to heal,

support, and make firm the feeble knees. “It was November of

1989,” she said. “I was pregnant, and I started to feel numbness

in my lower body; I was not able to move easily, and I kept on

getting worse, to the degree that I had to use a wheelchair.

After I delivered my baby, my lower body became completely

paralyzed. Physicians thought it was a psychological reaction,

since I had been pregnant with my fifth child. My husband

called Dr. Suzan Halwa, a neurologist and a psychiatrist who,

upon seeing the scan, told us to go to Asiut immediately. I was

crying a lot and praying with many tears, and I called upon God

saying, ‘O Lord, I have no help or support but You. Stand by me,

I am the work of your hands, and you will never leave me … if it

is possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, do not as I

will, but as You will.’ That night I dreamt that I was looking at

Jesus’ picture and praying; Jesus stretched His hands toward

me, and I held onto His hand and said, ‘O Jesus, help me to

stand up.’ I did in fact stand up, and I was very happy. I ran

down to my neighbor and told her, ‘God made me stand up and

healed me.’ This dream had been like a promise from God that

He would heal me.

I then went to Asiut, and was admitted to one of the hospitals

(El-Mabarah Hospital), and God’s hand was with me. He

arranged for me to be with another lady who was admitted on

the same day as I was; she kept on serving me, even though she

was sick herself. Then the orthopedic doctor decided to do

surgery on my spinal cord, since the scans showed a cancerous

tumor between the fourth and fifth vertebrae of my spinal

column. I did not feel any improvement after the surgery, and

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for three months, I was back and forth between chemotherapy

and physical therapy. I remember the chemotherapy doctor

telling me to get used to this lifestyle, since it would be this way

for the rest of my life. However, I answered him with great faith,

saying ‘God is able to make me stand up…’ At that time, I was

corresponding with Tamav Eriny, the abbot of Abu Safain

convent, and thankfully she was answering my letters and

praying for me. She sent me a letter with a piece of cotton with

oil from Abu Safain’s lantern, and told me that they placed my

name under the relics of this great martyr. She also told me to

anoint my legs and the surgical wound with the oil, and I did so.

One night, when I was about to sleep, I felt two people coming

into the room. One of them touched my eyes and closed them;

then they kept on rubbing my legs. I was terrified and I cried out

for help, so one of them told me, ‘Quiet down now, or you will

make a big scene for us.’ Then they left me. When I woke up, I

felt like my legs were stretched and then I started regaining

feeling in them gradually, which I never did before. I went back

to Qena to send the news to HG Bishop Makarios, who used to

say that I would be healed by a miracle.

One day, I was very depressed. I looked at HH Pope Kyrillos’

picture and started pleading with him, saying ‘I am a burden

now, a heavy one, for my husband and girls; I feel as if I am

neither living nor dead.’ Then I went into a deep sleep and I

dreamt that Pope Kyrillos was looking at me with great love,

and he said, ‘Wouldn’t fasting and prayers do it?’ So I asked him

to pray for me, and he put his hand on my head and prayed.

When I woke up, my big toe started to move. Then I dreamt

that I went to St. Mark’s Church, which was lit with a great light.

HG Bishop Makarios was sitting inside and he said, ‘Sit down

next to me…’ He asked me about my medical status and then

gave me a cup of water, which he told me to drink. He then took

out a small bottle of holy oil and anointed me. I also had a

dream in which Tamav Eriny gave me some flour; then while

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walking, I met HG who asked me again about my health. I

wanted to give him the bag of flour but he laughed and said, ‘Do

they give out flour in monasteries nowadays?’ He took the flour

from me and took out his bottle of oil again and anointed my

back. At that very second I felt his hands on my back.

When HG passed away, I was very sad that I could not go and

take the blessings of his body like the rest of the congregation. I

then dreamt that he came to me, stood over me, and wrapped

me in his tunic.

With all these dreams, I started feeling gradual progress

towards healing until I was fully able to walk. One day, my

husband brought a magazine (Jesus’ Voice magazine) and the

edition was about HG. My daughter took the magazine and with

great faith, she started touching HG’s picture and touching my

legs. After that, I started to move inside the apartment and I

stopped using the wheelchair until I was completely healed. I

thank my LORD Jesus Christ and all His saints, especially Saint

Abba Makarios. They did not leave me at all, and I am in good

health now and have returned to my duties at work and at

home.”

HG was also granted a great power over unclean spirits. They

feared the image of Christ in him, from his simplicity to his

depth and humbleness. We pray daily and say, “for it is You who

has given us the authority to tread on serpents and scorpions,

and upon all the power of the enemy.”1 This is a power that God

grants His honest children, to exercise it not only spiritually, but

also physically.

Father Mata Marko told the following story: “One day, we were

sitting with HG Bishop Makarios. At about 9 PM, I remembered

1 A part of the Prayer of Thanksgiving of the Coptic prayer book (Agpeya).

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that I had an appointment to visit a family, one of whose

members was demon possessed. They asked for the cloth cover

of Saint Abu Safain’s relics, that God may have mercy on her

through the prayers of this great martyr. So I asked HG to pray

for her. He answered and said, ‘God will cast it out.’ Half an

hour later, I excused myself to go to my appointment with the

cover of the relics. The family greeted me with great joy and

astonishment, telling me that she had been completely healed

at exactly 9 PM. She became normal and the unclean spirit left

her. This happened at the same second that Saint Abba

Makarios had said ‘God will cast it out.’”

Another time, they brought a demon possessed lady to Father

Mata Marko at midnight. The spirit caused her to convulse

greatly, so she cried out loudly and bitterly. “I told them to take

her to HG, who was traveling to Qus in the morning,” Father

Mata told us. When they met HG, he told them to take her to

the church and lay her before the altar. It was only seconds

before she walked out of the church, happy and delighted. She

told HG, “I saw a dove descend from above the altar curtain,

and it came to me and touched me, and I was healed…” After

they left, Father Mata asked HG if this dove was St. Mary, but

he answered and said, “No, it was the Holy Spirit.”

Two years prior to the departure of HG Bishop Makarios from

this earth, during his visit to the Village of El-Rahmania, he was

unable to ascend stairs due to his health situation; so he used to

go in to the ground floor of each house, where everybody could

gather and take his blessings. One person stopped him and

asked him to go pray for a paralyzed woman who lived on the

second floor of one of the houses, but HG said to him, “My son,

my legs are hurting. Just bring me a cup of water and I will pray

on it.” But the man insisted that Abba Makarios go back with

him and go upstairs to pray for the sick woman. HG told him, “I

cannot go up the stairs…I am physically unable. Go with a few

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people and bring her down to me.” So two men went up and

brought the paralyzed woman to HG; he noticed that her legs

were immobile and that they kept rubbing against the rail

because she was unable to lift them. HG told them to leave her,

but as soon as they did, she fell to the ground, unable to keep

herself up; so he ordered them to carry her again. He asked for

a cup of water and put the cross on her head and prayed, and

then sprinkled her with the water. She immediately stood up on

her feet, and she kissed his hand and the hands of Father David

and Father Gabriel who were with HG. She went up the stairs

full of joy. Then Father David, overwhelmed with what he had

just encountered, unconsciously clapped his hands and cried

out, “Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the Lord.”

After his departure, HG appeared to a child deacon in the altar

during the Divine Liturgy and had the following conversation

with him:

“Where is daddy?” HG asked.

“Daddy is praying,” answered the child.

“And where is mom?”

“She is at work.”

“And where are your brothers?”

“At school.”

“So, did you come with your dad?”

“Yes…”

The child told this story with great simplicity and innocence. He

said HG was wearing a white tunic and that he prayed the entire

Liturgy with the priest. He also said that HG was not using his

mouth to talk, but rather he was talking to him mentally, and

the child answered him in the same manner.

One of the priests told us another story which shows HG’s great

transparency: “HG, thankfully, had promoted me to be a

Hegomen along with three other fathers. During the Liturgy,

while we were in the side altar, one of us whispered saying, ‘We

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should write an official Thank You to HG in the newspaper of El-

Ahram.’ It was just an idea that nobody communicated about

any further. After the Liturgy, I went to thank HG; he looked at

me as one who had read my mind, and told me with an

innocent smile on his lips, ‘Oh brother, no El-Ahram….’ I was

completely shocked and said, ‘How did Your Grace know?’ So

HG answered with great meekness and said ‘I know

everything…and I know what I am saying.’”

Mrs. Y. also told us the following story, which took place at her

sister’s house. HG was invited to her house for lunch during his

visit to Naqada. They had all been working with great joy and a

lot of energy since early in the morning to prepare food and

clean the house. Then a lady came from outside and said, “What

is all of this? You look like you are having a wedding here. All of

this for a Metropolitan?” She was standing a great distance

from the stove, but her clothing suddenly caught fire from the

back. However, she did not feel it; another woman behind her

screamed, “Fire…there is fire all over you.” The lady ripped her

tunic away frantically and threw it away from her. Feeling that

what happened was because she belittled HG, she stayed and

joined us in preparing for HG’s visit.

During HG’s visit to the Village of El-Khatarah, while he was

walking in the street, an unbeliever started to mock and curse

him. The man described what happened afterwards, saying, “He

looked at me in a way that filled me with fear; I went back home

blind. My neighbor begged me to go to El Mullah1 (he meant HG

Bishop Makarios) so he could ask God to heal my eyes; so I went

to the bishopric and met HG and said, ‘Do you remember me,

1 The word Mullah is primarily understood in the Muslim world as a term of

respect for a religiously educated man.

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Mullah?’ He said ‘No my son, I do not.’ I replied, ‘I am the one

that cursed at you in El-Khatarah; and look, I got what I

deserved and became blind.’ So he said to me with great love,

‘Dear son…I will pray for you and anoint your eyes.’ He did this

and I was able to see instantly.” He left with great joy in his

heart, believing in the holiness of this Mullah, HG Bishop

Makarios.

A woman named Mrs. Botros told us another story: “In 1988, I

suffered a great ordeal while building my house. Problems were

arising everywhere, so I went to HG and asked for his prayers,

that God might solve the problems. He looked at me deeply and

was silent for a while; then he said, ‘Go ahead and build, and

God will be with you each step of the way.’ So I started the work

but I encountered a big problem. After praying the nighttime

prayers, I looked at HG’s picture, which hung on the wall in my

room, and I said, ‘I did as you told me. Where are you now?

Everything is complicated; you have to do something.’ To my

astonishment, HG came out of the picture and came close to

me, holding his cross in his hand; he made the sign of the cross

on me and said in his usual tone, ‘Don’t be worried; everything

will work out in peace.’ I had a certain feeling within me that I

cannot describe. It was a mixture of amazement, joy, fear and

shock, and I could not stop my tears from falling. On the very

next day, some people intervened to solve the problem and

everything went well, through the prayers of this Saint.”

Mr. Sameh told us the following story: “I went with my sister to

visit HG Abba Makarios. He was not there, so we waited until he

came. As he led us up the stairs, he stopped and looked back at

my sister in anger. Then he continued to ascend the stairs. My

sister whispered in my ear, ‘Why did HG look at me angrily?’

‘Then what were you thinking about before he looked at you?’ I

asked. ‘I was singing a worldly song in my mind,’ she answered.”

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Doctor A. also told us a story which further supports how

transparent people were in HG’s eyes. “I used to visit HG to

check his blood pressure and blood sugar. One day I was on my

way to see him with my brother. I told my brother that I really

wanted to partake of the Eucharist, but that I was hesitant to do

so. As soon as we went in to see HG, he said to me, ‘You have to

take communion, Doctor.’ It was as if he had heard what I had

said to my brother when we were still a long distance away, and

was responding.”

One of the fathers of the city of Naqada told us this story about

HG: “During the Saint Abba Makarios’ visit to Naqada, he used

to pray the Divine Liturgy every day. I used to go meet him,

where he lived, before the Liturgy and I always found him

waiting for me on the stairs. One day I went to meet him as

usual, but he was not there. I knocked on the door of the

apartment across the hall from HG, where one of the priests

lived. The priest’s wife answered the door and I went in to wait

for HG to open his door. While I was there, the priest’s wife told

me the following story: ‘Father, last night I dreamt that I was

attending a Liturgy that HG was praying, and I partook of the

Eucharist. In the morning, when I woke up, I knocked on HG’s

door and he opened for me in his home clothing. I asked him if

he would go to pray the Liturgy today, but he said that he had a

stomachache and that you should go and pray the Liturgy.’ The

priest’s wife then asked if I could wait for her so she could come

attend the Liturgy with me. Then, much to our dismay, HG came

out and told her, ‘May God have mercy on you; but did you not

just take communion?’” Indeed, what this woman thought was

a dream had not been. She had actually taken communion, and

therefore could not take communion again in the same day.

Our beloved father Bishop Makarios has revealed to us many

secrets, whether about the world of the spirits, the life of the

anchorites (the Spirit Born), or life in Heaven. In the Bible and

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throughout the history of the church, we hear about similar

people, saints and prophets who lived a holy life and reached

very high levels of spirituality; but they were nothing but

mysteries to us. And here we are now, living with one of them.

HG has showed us what we could not fathom; he told us about

the secrets of this mysterious life, secrets which amazingly have

turned out to be so simple and obvious.

The miracles of HG Bishop Makarios are ongoing, and can be

seen everyday with all who ask for him and seek his help. We

also ask those who have encountered the work of God in their

lives, through the prayers of His Grace Abba Makarios, to

contact us and send us their miracles in complete honesty,

supported with documentation, reports, and any applicable xrays

or medical records.

Contact information is as follows:

Email: هذا البريد محمى من المتطفلين. تحتاج إلى تشغيل الجافا سكريبت لمشاهدته.

Tel: 0112 010 114 2600 (Egypt) OR 732 952 3799 (USA)

Fax: 0112 096 533 8003 (Egypt)

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تاريخ آخر تحديث: الأربعاء, 02 تشرين2/نوفمبر 2016 12:22