Father Agabious El-Soriani

edited December 1969 in Coptic Orthodox Church
He was born in Upper Egypt in mid thirties of last century. At a young age he was filled with desires to be a monk. He asked the Lord Christ by day and night to facilitate for him the parting from this world to go to the desert but he didn’t know where to go.

This Saint became a monk in his early years, devoted himself to the ascetic life, and learned the church books. While he was sitting at the roof of his house, he heard a voice calling him by his name, giving him specific direction to St. Mina Church in El Zahra in old Egypt “Masr El Kadema” and asked him to go there by taking bus # 93. This voice took place three times in three consecutive days. When he arrived at St. Mina Church, he stood and prayed for a few minutes then to his surprise he heard the same voice calling him by his name “ did I need to visit you three times for you to believe and come here” he went down to his knees and kissed his hand. This person was Abouna Mina which was later ordained as Pope Kyrillos.

Very similar story we know about St. Ephraem El-Soriani: One day, it happened that while St. Ephraem El-Soriani was praying, he saw a pillar of light which extended from earth to heaven. When he marveled at what he saw, he heard a voice saying to him, "That what you saw is St. Basil, Bishop of Caesaria." St. Ephraem longed to see St. Basil and he went to Caesaria. He entered the church and stood in a corner of it. He saw St. Basil in his priestly vestments embroidered with gold. St. Ephraim doubted the holiness of St. Basil. The Lord showed him a white dove that alighted over St. Basil's head. God then inspired St. Basil of the presence of St. Ephraem. St. Basil called him by his name, and St. Ephraem marveled at how he knew him. They greeted each other, and St. Basil ordained him a deacon.

He spent few months serving with Abouna Mina in Masr El Kadema then he went to El Sourian Monastery and was ordained a monk by the late Bishop Anba Theophilus who named him abouna Agabious El-Soriani. He was assigned numerous responsibilities but later he was responsible for the electrical generator in the Monastery. He didn’t care about his appearance and if you visit his cell, the very first thing you noticed was the amount of dust that covers everything. He was very simple, always smiling and was loved by all monks. 

Despite the many virtues he had, Father Agabious was constantly hidding them confusing everyone who deals with him and he refused any position assigned to him outside the monastery. Early in his monastic life, HH Pope Kyrillos offered him to be a Bishop but he refused and escaped to the desert for few days. It was normal to hear him talking to himself and when you ask him “who are you talking to?”  He pretend to be asleep when infact he was talking to Saints or seeing an apperance.

As with many Saints, the Lord informed him that his departure drew near and 1986 he departed our world to join the victorious land in heaven.
His prayers guard us against all our enemies, and Glory be to our God, forever. Amen.


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