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The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity

from its origins to circa AD 700, across the entire Christian world

Coptic joint funerary inscription on marble most likely from the necropolis of the monastery of Apa Jeremias at Saqqara (Lower Egypt) with an invocation to the typical group of saints celebrated at Saqqara: Apa *Jeremias, Apa *Enoch, and Ama *Sibylla (S00773), the Archangels *Michael (S00181) and *Gabriel (S00192),*Mary (Mother of Christ, S00033), *Adam and *Zoe/Eve (S00772), Apa *Apollo (founder of the monastery at Bawit, 4th century, S00160), Apa *Phib, and Apa *Anoup (S00774), and other holy men, possibly of the 8th/9th century.

Evidence ID


Type of Evidence

Inscriptions - Funerary inscriptions

KSB 1 790

+ ⲡⲓⲱⲧ ⲡϣⲏⲣⲉ ⲡⲉ-
ⲡⲛⲁ ⲉⲧⲟⲩⲁⲁⲃ ⲁⲡⲁ
ⲓⲉⲣⲏⲙⲓⲁⲥ ⲁⲡⲁ ⲉⲛ-
ⲱⲭ ⲟ ⲁⲅⲓⲟⲥ ⲙⲓⲭⲁⲏ-
ⲗ ⲟ ⲁⲅⲓⲟⲥ ⲅⲁⲃⲣⲓⲏⲗ
ⲑⲁⲅⲓⲁ ⲙⲁⲣⲓⲁ ⲁⲙⲁ
ⲥⲓⲃⲩⲗⲗⲁ ⲡⲉⲛⲓⲱ-
ⲧ ⲁⲇⲁⲙ ⲇⲉⲙⲙⲁⲩ
ⲍⲱⲏ ⲁⲡⲁ ⲁⲡⲱ-
ⲗⲱ ⲁⲡⲁ ⲫⲓⲃ ⲁⲡ-
ⲁ ⲁⲛⲟⲩⲡ ⲁⲡⲁ ⲙ-
ⲁⲕⲁⲣⲉ ⲁⲡⲁ ⲡⲁⲩ-
ⲗⲉ ⲡⲣⲉⲙⲇⲁⲙⲙⲁ-
ϩ ⲁⲡⲁ ⲡϣⲟⲓ ⲛⲓⲉ-
ⲣⲏⲙⲓⲁⲥ ⲁⲡⲁ ⲥⲟⲩ-
ⲣⲟⲩⲥ ⲁⲡⲁ ⲙⲱⲓⲥⲏ-
ⲥ ⲙⲛ ⲛⲉϥⲥⲛⲏⲩ ⲛ-
ⲉⲧⲟⲩⲁⲁⲃ ⲧⲏⲣⲟⲩ ⲁⲣ-
 ⲟⲩⲛⲁ ⲙⲉⲛ ⲧⲉⲯⲩⲭⲏ
ⲙⲡⲁⲡⲁ ⲓⲉⲣⲏⲙⲓⲁⲥ
ⲛⲧⲁϥⲙⲧⲟⲛ ⲙⲙⲟϥ ⲛⲥⲟⲩ
ⲙⲉⲛⲥⲟⲟⲩ ⲛⲧⲱⲃⲉ ⲡⲁⲥ-
ⲟⲛ ⲁⲛⲧⲣⲉⲁⲥ ⲡⲉϥⲥⲟⲛ ⲥϥ

'Father, Son, (and) Holy Spirit. Apa Jeremias, Apa Enoch, saint Michael, saint Gabriel, saint Mary, Ama Sibylla, our father Adam, our mother Zoe, Apa Apollo, Apa Phib, Apa Anoup, Apa Makare, Apa Paule, the man of Tamma, Apa Pshoi of Jeremias, Apa Sourous, Apa Moses and all his holy brethren! Have mercy on the soul of Papa Jeremias who has gone to rest on day 16 of the month Tybi. Brother Andrew, his brother ….'

Translation: G. Schenke.

Non Liturgical Activity



The limestone stele belongs to the Museum Boulaq in Cairo.


Apa Jeremias, Apa Enoch, and Ama Sibylla are frequently referred to as the Saqqara triad of saints. For the typical features and similarities in the invocation with other burial inscriptions from Saqqara see E01247. For similarities in the invocation to burial inscription from Bawit see E01250E01251 and E01302. The invocation in lines 1–18 takes far more room than the details concerning the deceased, lines 19–23.


Hasitzka, M.R.M., Koptisches Sammelbuch I (KSB I) (Vienna, 1993), 265–266.

Record Created By

Gesa Schenke

Date Last Modified


Related Saint Records
IDNameName in SourceIdentity
S00033Mary, Mother of Christⲑⲁⲅⲓⲁ ⲙⲁⲣⲓⲁCertain
S00160Apollo, founder of the monastery at Bawit, 4th c.ⲁⲡⲁ ⲁⲡⲱⲗⲱCertain
S00181Michael, the Archangelⲟ ⲁⲅⲓⲟⲥ ⲙⲓⲭⲁⲏⲗCertain
S00192Gabriel, the Archangelⲟ ⲁⲅⲓⲟⲥ ⲅⲁⲃⲣⲓⲏⲗCertain
S00772Adam and Zoe/Eveⲡⲉⲛⲓⲱⲧ ⲁⲇⲁⲙ, ⲇⲉⲙⲙⲁⲩ ⲍⲱⲏ (ⲧⲉⲛⲙⲁⲁⲩ ⲍⲱⲏ)Certain
S00773Jeremias, Enoch, and Sibyllaⲁⲡⲁ ⲓⲉⲣⲏⲙⲓⲁⲥ, ⲁⲡⲁ ⲉⲛⲱⲭ, ⲁⲙⲁ ⲥⲓⲃⲩⲗⲗⲁCertain
S00774Apollo, Phib, and Anoup, monks and monastic foundersⲁⲡⲁ ⲁⲡⲱⲗⲱ, ⲁⲡⲁ ⲫⲓⲃ, ⲁⲡⲁ ⲁⲛⲟⲩⲡCertain
S01584Sourous, Apa Sourous, superior and holy man at the monastery of Apa Phoibammon on the mountain of Jemeⲁⲡⲁ ⲥⲟⲩⲣⲟⲩⲥCertain

Please quote this record referring to its author, database name, number, and, if possible, stable URL:
Gesa Schenke, Cult of Saints, E01249 -