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The Monastery of St. Mary El Sourian would like to extend its sincere heartfelt congratulations on the occasion of the Glorious feast of the Cross. The Cross has two faces: - a face that expresses joy and a face that expresses the pain. What is meant by joy is the powerful resurrection of Jesus Christ and His victory. The pain symbolizes the afflictions and hardships which man faces - and we should experience both faces of the cross in our lives. This is what St. Paul the Apostle meant in his letter to the Hebrews, saying “Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls. (Hebrews 12:2-3)

May the Lord grant us to direct our eyes towards Him, who carried the cross on our behalf, and may we participate with St. Simon of Cyrene to carry the cross with joy, patience and tolerance. This way we may have a share and inheritance with the martyrs, the saints and churchmen. With the prayers of H.H. Pope Tawadros II and his partner in the apostolic service Bishop Metaous- the Abbott of our monastery- May you always be in good health, happiness, and fruitful – excelling in spiritual growth.

Holy Mass & Praises Time

Holy Mass & Praises Time


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Quiet Time Schedule

Essential conditions to spend a spiritual retreat in the monastery

To carry a legal proof of personality.

To be not less than 16 years of age.

To carry a letter from the recognition father directed to the Abbot or the father responsible for the retreat house.

To be punctual to the timings of the prayers, work and retreats in the retreat house.

The retreat period does not exceed three days.

Between a retreat and another, there should be a minimum period of 2 months.

Not to visit the Abbot or the monks fathers except with a permission from the father responsible for the retreat house.

To be calm in order to maintain and respect the sanctity of the place.


Virtual Tour




Newly Released

explain monastery

CDS – DVD about the Monastery of the Syrians with a simplified explanation of the history of the Monastery of the Virgin Mary (the Syrians). Beheira (AL Asakeet Desert) in the Wadi Natrun area of Egypt’s Western Desert.

I: Video and photos of the history of the Monastery of the Syrians, past and present.

II: Sections of the Monastery such as the entrance, the walls, the fort and the churches including the wall frescos from the archaeological museum and the rest of the Monastery.

III: Midnight Prayers on Sunday with the Holy Fathers of the Monastery.

IIII: Video of the Gregorian Mass for the Fathers in the Monastery.

We hope that watching and listening to these CDs will bring spiritual benefit and be a blessing to all.

We also hope that you will learn more about the liturgically and historical legacy of Coptic monasteries through the intercession of Saint Mary


The way to Egypt

A Documentary Film about

The flight of the Holy Family to Egypt

This film has been translated into twenty languages and is available for purchase at the monastery’s bookstore

Presented by

Bishop Mettaous

Abbot of the prosperous Syrian Monastery

Production by

St.Mary’s Monastery EL Sourian

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The Great and Precious Promises, and the Inheritance of the Eternal Life

During the first two Sundays the soil and its various forms were discussed. The discussion throughout the third Sunday was about the essential spiritual work and how to prepare the soil for welcoming God’s word. In addition, it speaks to preparing the soul for welcoming Christ through the mystery of the incarnation. As for the readings of the fourth Sunday, they are about the word of God and the inheritance of the eternal life.

We are walking on the path to Bethlehem. The discussion is about the fruitfulness of the knowledge of our Lord Jesus in regards to the great and precious promises, which St. Peter the Apostle mentions in the catholic Epistle, “Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (2 Peter 1:3-8)

The great and precious promises were fulfilled in the mystery of the incarnation, so that we may become partakers in the Divine nature, as the Lord Christ took our human nature and became the Son of man so that man could become a son for God. Christ has made us aware of His gifts, so what is our role in acknowledging those gifts? The question is presented by the matins psalm, “Cause me to hear Your lovingkindness in the morning, For in You do I trust; Cause me to know the way in which I should walk, For I lift up my soul to You.” (Psalm 142:8) The liturgy’s gospel echoes the same question, “Now as He was going out on the road, one came running, knelt before Him, and asked Him, "Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?" (Mark 10:17) The answer to the question is, “You know the commandments: Do not commit adultery, Do not murder, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and your mother." And he answered and said to Him, "Teacher, all these things I have kept from my youth." (Mark 10:19-20) The commandment represents the seed in the parable of the sower. St. Peter the Apostle clarifies in the Catholic epistle, “For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

We notice that in His answer, the Lord Christ presented the last commandments out of the Ten Commandments (the commandments of the second tablet), which are related to human relations, yet he did not present the commandments that pertain to God’s love, which are the more important ones. Many people fulfill the commandments, not out of their love for God, but rather out of the aim for inheriting the eternal life just like the earthly inheritance, similar to gathering money in the world for themselves, without thinking about God’s love. The final aim of the commandment is the great and precious promise, that is, the fellowship, “…that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ.” (1 John 1:3)

Christ reveals Himself to us through the commandments, so that we can have fellowship with Him, “Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, "One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me." …but he was sad at this word, and went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.” Thus, Christ inflicted him with pain at the source of his weakness, not to hinder him, but to alert him to the first few commandments that he did not learn, for he worshiped the idol of money, thus breaking the second commandment. The fulfilment of the commandment without reaching the goal, yields a defect. Christ clarified that one of the reasons for this, was the love for money, or the love of anything that dominates over a person, thus hindering the fellowship and Christ’s love. And to confirm the readings of the past three Sundays, the love of money represents the thorns that choke the seed, so that it does not bear fruit in righteousness,

Even the disciples, when they heard Christ’s words, they marvelled, “And they were greatly astonished, saying among themselves, “Who then can be saved?” (Mark 10:26) However, when Peter tried to apply those words to himself, “Then Peter began to say to Him, “See, we have left all and followed You.” (Mark 10:28) He discovered that he and the disciples had left everything and followed Christ, not out of compulsion or under pressure, nor out of greed for the eternal life, but rather because of their captivation by God’s love, therefore, Christ answered, “Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My sake and the gospels, who shall not receive a hundredfold now in this time houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecution sand in the age to come, eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last first."