abba heryacos ?

edited December 1969 in Coptic Orthodox Church
besime sillassie

In the Tewahdo church in the holy liturgy during the anaphora of st mary the priest says "here is the anaphora of the virgin mary  composed by abba heryacos bishop of the province of behnesa " or something simililar .Can anyone tell me where I can anything written  about him .



  • After some searching I think the name was Anba Keriakos abbot of Gernos/Erg-nos/Ebay Essos (the oldest name that means House of Jesus) early monastery near Bahnasa at Beni Mazar, Minia governorate.

    I resumed this part for you, pls refer to the original link below: in an authentic Coptic document (a maymar written about the 10th century) the apparitions of the Holy Family to Anba Keriakos and a priest named Father Antonios who also experienced another related vision before him, and who went to report it to him. The apparitions, first of an Angel then Saint Mary carrying young Jesus, were about the hill in the area, it was a shepherd's shelter in which the Holy Family were invited to stay for four days, and their command during the apparitions to build a permanent Church and an Altar for the Lord in this holy place.

    This site has text in Arabic on the "Flight of the Holy Family to Egypt" (w full details of the above):

    Is besime sillassie = in the Name of the Holy Trinity?

  • besime silassie

    Thankyou john for the info you wrote but the links are all in arabic .I can't read arabic.

    And yes besime silasse means In the name of trinity.What is a maymar?

    Wo sibhat le Egziabher .
  • You are welcome axum.

    A maymar is of Coptic language origin and means an authentic document of Christian topics preserved for centuries in an Orthodox monastery, usually written by knowledgeable monks or saints and approved then archived under a Bishop or the Pope's supervision at or after the time of its writing.

    I will try to translate the whole text part into English soon.

    And if I may ask, what Wo sibhat le Egziabher means? thanks

  • Egziabher means God. i learnt that here on!  :)
    it's in amharic or tigrinya or possibly both.
    i don't know the rest.
  • mabsoota is right .Wo sibhat leegziabher means Thanks to God !
    It is in GEEZ ,amharic and tigrigna as well.

    On Abba heryacos
    he was a bishop who was sad because people use to mock him about his voice and then he had a revelation or something of that sort .I  will find out more from my abba and let you know guys .In the tewahdo we have some hymns about him and his revelation in addition to remembering him in every holy liturgy .I remembered hearing something about him becuase someone here in tasbeha was complaining about the quality of their voice.

    Wo sibhat leegziabher.
  • Hope you find this following text useful.I also think the same Abba Heryacos/Cyriacus wrote a homily on the martyrdom of Pilate. '

    Sibhat' s accurate translation should be 'Glory' rather than "thanks". So "sibhat leegziabher" or the other term I hear often ' Sibhat le Ab, le Wold ,le menfes Kudus" should translate into -Glory  be to the Father,the Son, and the Holy Spirit. I could be mistaken,though!

    6th century
    Coptic Church

    Cyriacus was bishop of al-Bahnasā (Oxyrhynchus), assumed author of eight homilies. We have no historical evidence of either the existence of this person or the period in which he lived. On the latter, opinions greatly diverge: G. Graf (1944-1953, Vol. 1, p. 475) thinks that if one accepts what is said by the Ethiopian Book of Aksum (Conti-Rossini, 1909-1910, CSCO 54, p. 5 [text], and 58, p. 5 [trans.]), Cyriacus would have had to have lived in the first half of the sixth century or the works that are attributed to him would be of the Islamic period. But Graf thought that the dating of these works to the eleventh century was without foundation.

    E. Galtier, who published the Martyrdom of Pilate (1912, p. 41), believed, while admitting his ignorance, that Cyriacus dated to the fourteenth century at the latest. G. Giamberardini (1974-1978, Vol. 2, p. 53) placed him in the eighth century, but did not support his own conclusion and remained hesitant about being too definite. P. Sbath (1938, no. 444, p. 57) indicated in laconic fashion the fifteenth century.

    No serious study of Cyriacus' vocabulary and syntax permits one to say if the Arabic text (there is no extant Coptic text) is a simple translation from the Coptic or an original composition in Arabic. Nothing in these works reveals the period in which he wrote. It is possible that anyone of these works is in fact a redaction of an earlier document. Thus, of his two homilies on the flight of the Holy Family into Egypt, the first gives the impression of taking up the one attributed to the patriarch Theophilus or that of Zacharias of Sakhā, while the second appears to be a plagiarizing of the first, the legend of the flight of the Holy Family into Egypt having crystallized at first around al-Ashmūnayn (there is evidence of it from the fifth century) and then later having extended to al-Qusiyyah (Qusqām).

    One difficulty remains. What is the true spelling of his name? Were there perhaps two persons with this name? The name is often spelled H(e)ryāq(u)s, which is read Cyriaqus; but one may ask if the name was not Heraklios, which through a copyist's error could have become H(e)ryākaios. The confusion of a with l in writing is easy, while that of k with h is not attested. One can see how the Arabic spelling H(i)ryākus was arrived at. This corruption of the name Heraklios is not inconceivable, for it is found in the episcopal lists (Munier, 1943, p. 16,1. 25; d. p. 17,1. 35).

    If this hypothesis is correct, it would indicate that there was a celebrated bishop named Heraklios before, or at the beginning of, the Islamic epoch to whom certain late homilies were attributed. Given the paucity of the documentation on Cyriacus, the simplest course is to enumerate here, one after another, the homilies attributed to him in the manuscript tradition:

    1. Homily on the miracles wrought by the Holy Family at Pi-Jesus (Le., at Dayr al-Jarnūs): Graf, 1944-1953, Vol. 1, p. 232; Giamberardini, 19741978, Vol. 2, pp. 56-63, an analysis of the homily; an edition without translation in Al-La'āli', al-Saniyyah fī al-Mayāmir wa-al-'Ajā'ib al-maryamiyyah ("Precious pearls in the Marian sermons and miracles"), Cairo, 1966, pp. 79-91.

    2. Homily on the coming of the Holy Family to al-Qūsiyyah: Graf, 1944-1953, Vol. 1, p. 233; Giamberardini, 1974-1978, Vol. 2, pp. 63-72, an analysis of the homily; edition without translation in Al-La'āli', pp. 71-78.

    3. Homily on the Compassion of Mary at Golgotha and at the tomb: Graf, 1944-1953, Vol. 1, p. 247; Giamberardini, 1974-1978, Vol. 2, pp. 72-85, an analysis of the homily; edition without translation in Al-La'ali', pp. 92-110). E. Galtier calls attention to two Garshuni manuscripts in Paris (BN Syr. 232, 233). These manuscripts appear to be of Syro-Jacobite origin.

    4. Homily on the Assumption of Mary: Vat. Arab. 170; analysis by A. van Lantschoot, 1946, pp. 509-511.

    5. Homily on the Resurrection and on the martyrdom of Pilate: Graf, 1944-1953, Vol. 1, p. 239; edition and translation by Galtier, 1912, pp. 42-103. See also the edition and translation of the Ethiopic text by M. A. van den Oudenrijn, 1959. In fact, the Sanhedrin member Gamaliel speaks in the first person (Acts 5:34-39; 22:3); the text attributed to Cyriacus of al-Bahnasā is perhaps only a reworking.

    6. Homily on Saint Victor, son of Romanos: unpublished; Graf, 1944-1953, Vol. 1, p. 476. In his Inventaire des manuscrits de Dayr Abū Maqār (1986, p. 55, no. 380; compare p. 64; no. 414), Zanetti seems to say that the same panegyric on Saint Victor is sometimes put under the name of Demetrius of Antioch, an author still not identified.

    7. On the martyrs of Isnā: Sbath, 1938, no. 444, p. 57. (Perhaps this was the same sermon as that attributed to John, bishop of Asyūt, edited and translated by A. Khater, 1981.) The whereabouts of the manuscript are not known.

    8. Homily on Saint Justus: contained in a manuscript of the Monastery of Saint Antony (Dayr Anbā Antūniyūs near the Red Sea): Hist. 112, fols. 41'-108ro
    Mention should be made of the Ethiopic version of several of these texts. The two Marian homilies (1 and 2) seem to exist in an Ethiopic version: British Library Ethiop. 209, 211, 216, 217, 263, 341; Vatican Ethiop. 151. The homily on the Compassion of Mary (3) also exists in an Ethiopic version: National Library, Paris, Ethiop. 104. The Ethiopic version of homily 5 has already been mentioned. The homily on Saint Victor is also extant in an Ethiopic version: British Library Ethiop. 247, 254, and 306.

    There is an Ethiopic anaphora of Mary that is attributed to Cyriacus of al-Bahnasā: S. Euringer, "Die äthiopische Anaphora unserer Herrin Maria," Oriens Christianus 34 (1937):63-102, 248-62.
Sign In or Register to comment.