Abanoub

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Saint Abanoub
Born Unknown (4th century)
Nehisa, Egypt
Died Alexandria, Egypt
Honored in
Oriental Orthodoxy, Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria, Ethiopian Orthodox Church
Feast July 31

Saint Abanoub (or Abanoub Al-Nahisy) is 4th-century Egyptian saint and martyr. His name means gold. He was born in Nehisa in the Nile Delta to Christian parents. Abanoub was 12 when he was killed after being tortured for refusing to leave Christianity.[1] His feast day is July 31. His relics are preserved in St. Virgin Mary and St. Abanoub Churches in Samanoud in Egypt.

Legend[edit]

He was born in the city of Nehisa (District of Talkha). He was the only son of parents who reared him in the fear of God. They died when Abanoub was a young child. At age twelve, Abanoub entered the church to hear the priest asking the congregation to remain faithful during the persecutions provoked by Diocletian, the Roman emperor.[2] Abanoub received the Holy Sacraments, then he prayed to God to guide him to where he could confess his faith in Jesus.[3]

He returned to his house, and straight away he rose up, and gave all the gold, silver, and apparel his father had left him to the poor and needy, then went to Samanoud, walking along the river bank. On the way, he had a vision of the Archangel Michael, who told him that he would suffer at Samanoud.[4] He confessed the Name of the Lord Christ before Lucianus the governor. Abanoub also insulted Lucianus's idols such that the governor ruler became furious and gave orders that the child be whipped. The soldiers beat Abanoub severely, but the Archangel Michael miraculously healed him.

On the following day, the governor took Abanoub on a boat to a city called Atrib, and as a form of punishment, the young saint was hung upside down from the mast. The soldiers, along with their ruler, began to drink and dance, while hitting Abanoub on the mouth. Abanoub's nose bled, but then, unexpectedly, the soldiers became blind and the ruler paralyzed. The soldiers cried to Abanoub to pray for them and promised to become Christians. Saint Abanoub replied, "This will only happen in Atrib, so that everyone there should know that there is no other God but Christ".[4] The angel of the Lord came down from heaven, released the saint, and wiped up the blood that was running down from his nose and mouth. Strong winds brought them swiftly to Atrib. When they arrived in Atrib, the soldiers were healed, and they cast their uniforms in front of the ruler of Atrib. The governor became infuriated and ordered that they all be killed.

The governor put Abanoub in a cell with the snakes, but they did not harm Abanoub. In the morning, Abanoub came out from the cell alive. Finally, the governor ordered Abanoub beheaded.[2] St. Julius El-Akfahsi, who wrote the biography of St. Abanoub, was present. He took Abanoub's body and sent it with some of his men to Abanoub's hometown, Nehisa.

Veneration[edit]

In 960 AD, St. Abanoub’s body was transferred to St. Virgin Mary Church in Samanoud.[5] Many churches were built in his name. Many signs and miracles were manifested from his body which is now located in his church in the city of Samnanoud.

References[edit]