THE CHURCH OF THE HOLY APOSTLES 

The 15th century Church of the Holy Apostles located east of the ancient Church of St Antony, was constructed in 1470 and is crowned with 12 domes. The church was renovated some 200 years later in 1772 by Mr Lutfullah Shakir who endowed it with a beautiful wooden iconostasis inlaid with ivory crosses. The church walls are adorned with some beautiful antique icons, some dating back to the 18th century. 

Within this blessed church rests in a glass feretory the body of the saint Bishop Yusab (1735-1826), known as ‘al abahh’ which is Arabic for ‘of the hoarse voice’, due to the fact that he gave many sermons and speeches on Orthodoxy to the point that his voice became hoarse. Prior to his episcopacy, he was a monk at St Antony’s Monastery and one of the most outstanding theologians of his time. He was a prolific author and wrote more than 31 expositions on the doctrines of the Coptic Church. To this day, his body is complete and has not decayed, and numerous votive offerings are placed in his casket. Many miracles are attributed to him. 

During the restoration work in 2004 within the Monastery’s Church of the Holy Apostles (dating back to the 15th century), what could be perhaps the oldest monastic cells in the world were discovered beneath the church floor. Dating back to some time between the 4th – 6th centuries, the ancient cells reveal where monks would once live and work.

Due to the presence of the 15th century church above this amazing discovery, restoration experts constructed a glass flooring (in 2009) and interior lighting was fitted to create a display space over the excavated site in order to allow the ancient cells to be viewed by those standing in the 15th century church above.