by Father Matta El-Meskeen
Abba Matta of Egyp

Appreciated by numerous Christians of all denominations around the world, Abuna Matta El-Meskeen's theology is established in a rigorous way on Holy Scriptures and on writings of the Church Fathers.

His teachings have also an essential characteristic for the followers, it is that they lead from the theoretical theology to the practical spiritual theology and that they constitute, according to our situation, either precious guides in the lineage of the Deserts Fathers, or enriching elements of reflexion.

They are aimed at all believers: laypersons, monks and nuns in monasteries or recluses.

Biography, books published, teachings  and pages with hyperlinks to articles online


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Biography of Fr. Matta El Meskeen: Father Matta el-Meskeen, born in 1919 into a middle class family, studied pharmacy and earned a bachelors degree in 1944. Two years later, in 1948, as he felt God's call to leave everything and take up the monastic life, he sold the pharmacy he owned, gave its money to the poor, and joined the Monastery of St. Samuel the Confessor, at that time the poorest monastery in the Western Desert of Upper Egypt. He was the first Egyptian university graduate to become a monk in the Coptic Orthodox Church. Transferred to the Monastery of the Virgin Mary Al-Seryian in Wadi El-Natroun (the ancient Desert of Scete) in 1950, he was entrusted by the Bishop of the Monastery to lead the community of monks as their spiritual father. In 1954, he was chosen as Vicar of the Coptic Patriarch in Alexandria. However, he resigned after 18 months only to return to his seclusion.

He went back in 1956 to his original monastery in Upper Egypt, followed by his disciples the monks (12 monks). Later, they preferred to live as hermits deep in the open wilderness of the Western Desert, 60 kilometers beyond the Fayoum, known as Wadi El-Rayyan. There they dug caves in the rocks to live in, imitating the ancient anchorites of the early centuries of monasticism. There they lived for ten years, during which time Fr. Matta wrote prolifically. Many inspiring spiritual books were written by him during this period.

After the lapse of ten years, the Coptic Pope asked Father Matta in 1969 to join the Monastery of St. Macarius in Wadi el-Natroun, which was falling into ruins. St. Macarius Monastery is one of the most ancient monasteries of Egypt. Its founder, St. Macarius the Great (or the Egyptian) was the first monk to inhabit the wilderness of Scete. He founded the monastery in A.D. 360.

That twelve monks should together join the monastery was certainly a historical event in the life of the monastery, inhabited by only six elderly monks. Thereupon began a spiritual and architectural revival in the monastery. Today the number of monks exceeds 120, most of whom are university graduates.

To date Fr. Matta has published more than 100 books dealing with all aspects of religious life. They include more than 15 volumes (some 800 pages each) of Biblical commentaries on the books of the New Testament. There are his earlier books on Orthodox prayer life, Coptic Monasticism, the Eucharist and liturgy, St. Athanasius of Alexandria — Biography and teachings (800 pages), Church seasons and feasts, the Holy Spirit, the History of Israel, the New Creation of Man (2 volumes) and the Life and Works of Christ, and more. His writings also include works dealing with social issues such as Birth Control, Women's Rights and Obligations, Church and Politics, as well as hundreds of articles and taped sermons. (Excerpt from the presentation of: The Titles of Christ Orthodox Research Institute)


For more: The Monastery of St. Macarius  at Scetis (Wadi Natrun)

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Articles online

You will find articles by Father Matta El Meskeen online in these sections:


Books by Fr. Matta El-Meskine Translated into English and published by The monastery of Saint Macarius the Great

Link to the page on Saint Macarius Website.

Coptic Calendar PDF available here - © Saint Macarius the Great


His books translated into English and published in the United States

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