"Anba" Wanas

I'm very curious to the tradition as to why we call St. Wanas "Anba".


  • I do not think the title Anba is reserved only for bishops. I think it could be used in an honorific manner.

    For example, St Anthony is commonly referred to as Anba and it is unlikely he was ever ordained to any rank of priesthood.

    I think the same applies to St Rewes, the patron saint of the Papal residence in Cairo. He was not a bishop.

    Or St Simon the Tenner. He most definitely was never a priest.

    What is strange about St Wanas is his age of martyrdom, reported at 12 years. Being a full Deacon at this age is uncommon, I think.
  • edited September 2015
    Well, yes, exactly, the age.  I do not see a tradition where we say "Anba Abanoub" for the other child martyr.

    I understand that we can see certain saints as "spiritual fathers", even if they were not of the clergy.  We do this practice today.  Monks who are not ordained as priests are still called "Abouna".  In other Orthodox Churches, a deacon is titled "Father Deacon".  So I understand this full well, but for the longest time, when someone said "Anba Wanas", I was thinking of an older, ascetic individual.  When I found out he was 12, I got confused.

    PS I never heard of a tradition where we say "Anba" Simeon the Tanner
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