Why was it called Ezbawia?
The Abbots of El Sourian Monastery lived in the town of Altarana, in the governorate of Behira until the early 19thcentury. However, FatherYouhana El Fayoumi (who was the Sourian Monastery’s Abbot at the time) moved to the village of AtresinImbaba- Giza, due to the existence of the monastery’s endowments there.
When the headquarters of the Patriarchate ofSt. Mark’s Cathedral moved to Al-Azbakia, the Patriarch preferred to gather the Abbots of the monasteries around the Patriarchate. Fr. Youhana El Fayoumi the monastery’s abbot at that time was chosen to be based at El-Darb Al-Ibrahami at Al-Azbakia, and he remained there until he departed in peace.
His successor, Fr. Abdul Quddus replaced the place with another larger house at Darb El Geneina Street, off Clot Bek Street, next to the Patriarchate. The house consisted of only one floor and aside to it was a water well that was named the Ezba, this was the same name that was given to the Abbot’s house when he was staying in Atreus. Since then it became known to the people by this name, to the point where even the mayor of Cairoused the name and called the street where the Monastery’s headquarter was located (Atfet Al-Ezba).
Later, Fr. Abdul Quddus purchased the surrounding houses and attached them to the “Ezba” and then devoted a special room for prayer and named it after the “Virgin Mary”. He then transferred St. Mary’s ancient icon from the monastery to this new location, and he placed it in a beautiful compartment. An oil burning lamp was illuminated in front of this icon of wonders, so that all people from all nations and religions could take its blessings.
The icon attracted people from everywhere, the sick, those in need and in trouble and the students, asking for help through the intercessions of the Virgin Mary. In most cases, and according to God’s will, He was glorified, and He answered their requests - according to His will. In return, people would bring their vows and they glorified God.