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Rules for the Ascetic Life

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  • Born Youssef Iskandar in Banha Qalyubia Governorate in September 20th, 1919
  • He graduated in Pharmacy from the University of Cairo in 1944
  • He entered the monastery of Saint Samuel the Confessor in 1948
  • In 1951, he was ordained a priest against his will.
  • Move out into Wadi El Rayan in the late 1950s.  By 1960, seven other monks had joined him. The community expanded to twelve by 1964.
  • He was twice nominated to become Coptic Pope, but was not chosen in either case.
  • He was also a theologian, and author of 181 books and hundreds of journal articles on Biblical exegesis, Ecclesiastical rites, spiritual and theological matters, and much more.
  • Pope Kyrillos VI sent them to Wadi El Natrun in 1969 to develop the monastery of St. Macarius the Great.
  • By 1981 Fr. Matta had over eighty monks in the monastery.
  • Fr. Matta El Meskeen (Fr. Matthew the Poor) departed to the LORD in June 8th, 2006.
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