Coptic Orthodox Liturgical Chant & Hymnody
The Ragheb Moftah Collection at the Library of Congress
Map Detail: Les Deserts d’Egypte (1693)
This is a seventeenth-century map of Christian Egypt, which is located at the center left. Above it is Libya and to the right of the Red Sea is the Arabian Peninsula. Throughout Egypt are written hundreds of names of saints and holy men and women who lived in caves, hermitages or monasteries in the desert. From a geographical standpoint this map is hardly accurate according to Meinardus but, artistically, it is quite beautiful.
Note the name of “S. Macaire” just above the letters “EGY” in “EGYPTE” at the center left. This refers to Saint Macarius of Egypt (ca. 300-391) and the monastery he founded in the fourth century has been inhabited continuously by monks since that time. Included in this Web presentation is a 1995 photograph of Ragheb Moftah with Father Kyrillos, an elderly monk at the Anba Macarius Monastery in Wadi al-Natrun.