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The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity

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

Coptic funerary inscription from Wadi Sarga (Upper Egypt), with an invocation of *Michael (S00181), *Gabriel (S00192), *Mary (S00033), the *Apostles (S00084), Apa *Anoup (S00774 or S02068), Apa *Thomas (S01695), and Apa *Paese (S02067); datable to the 7th/8th century.

Evidence ID


Type of Evidence

Inscriptions - Funerary inscriptions

I.Sarga 29

+ ⲡⲓⲱⲧ ⲙⲛ ⲡϣⲏⲣⲉ ⲙⲛ ⲡⲛⲁ ⲉⲧⲟⲩⲁⲃ ⲡⲉⲛⲓⲱⲧ ⲙⲓⲭⲁⲏⲗ ⲡⲉⲛⲓⲱⲧ ⲅⲁⲃⲣⲓⲏⲗ ⲧⲉⲙⲁⲩ ⲙⲁⲣⲓⲁ ⲛⲉⲛⲓⲟⲧⲉ ⲛϯⲕⲉⲟⲥ ⲛⲉⲛⲓⲟⲧⲉ
ⲛⲁⲡⲟⲥⲧⲁⲗⲟⲥ · ⲛⲉⲛⲓⲱⲧⲉ ⲛⲟϭ ⲣⲱⲙⲉ ⲁⲡⲁ ⲁⲛⲟⲩⲡ ⲛⲟϭ · ⲡⲉⲛⲓⲱⲧ ⲁⲡⲁ ⲑⲱⲙⲁⲥ · ⲙⲛ ⲛⲉϥⲥⲛⲏⲩ · ⲫⲁⲅⲓⲟⲥ ⲁⲡⲁ ⲡⲁⲏⲥⲉ
ⲁⲣⲓ ⲡⲙⲉⲩⲉ

‘Father, Son and Holy Spirit! Our father Michael, our father Gabriel, Mother Mary! Our righteous fathers, our fathers, Apostles! Our fathers, great men! Apa Anoup, great one, our father Apa Thomas with his brothers! Saint Apa Paese, remember …
(details of deceased individual to be protected follow).

(Text and trans. W. E. Crum, modified)

Cult Places

Cult building - unspecified
Cult building - monastic

Non Liturgical Activity



The inscription was found at Wadi Sarga and is now housed in the British Museum in London.


Text and translation:
Bell, H.I. and Crum, W.E., Wadi Sarga: Coptic and Greek Texts from the Excavations Undertaken by the Byzantine Research Account (Copenhagen: Gyldendalske Boghandel-Nordisk Forlag, 1922), 59–60.

Record Created By

Gesa Schenke

Date Last Modified


Related Saint Records
IDNameName in SourceIdentity
S00033Mary, Mother of Christⲙⲁⲣⲓⲁ Certain
S00084Apostles, unnamed or name lostⲁⲡⲟⲥⲧⲁⲗⲟⲥ Certain
S00181Michael, the ArchangelⲙⲓⲭⲁⲏⲗCertain
S00192Gabriel, the ArchangelⲅⲁⲃⲣⲓⲏⲗCertain
S00774Apollo, Phib, and Anoup, monks and monastic foundersⲁⲡⲁ ⲁⲛⲟⲩⲡUncertain
S01695Thomas, Apa Thomas, patron saint at Wadi Sargaⲁⲡⲁ ⲑⲱⲙⲁⲥCertain
S02067Paese, Apa Paese, saint with cult at Wadi Sargaⲁⲡⲁ ⲡⲁⲏⲥⲉCertain
S02068Petre, Apa Petre, Joseph, Apa Joseph, and Anoup, Apa Anoup, saints with cult at Wadi Sargaⲁⲡⲁ ⲁⲛⲟⲩⲡUncertain

Please quote this record referring to its author, database name, number, and, if possible, stable URL:
Gesa Schenke, Cult of Saints, E05442 -