DAYR SHAHRAN, monastery south of Cairo that was restored and dedicated under the Patriarch ZACHARIAS (1004-1032) by the monk Poemen, who had embraced Islam and then returned to the Christian faith and became its abbot.
In this monastery BARSUM THE NAKED lived for seventeen years (1300-1317), and here he was buried. Toward 1320 Abu al- Barakat IBN KABAR described the procession of the Palms (referring to Palm Sunday) to the monastery in his encyclopedia, Misbah al-Zulmah (Villecourt, 1925, p. 271).
Two Coptic patriarchs were buried in the monastery of Shahran, JOHN VIII (1300-1320) and BENJAMIN II (1327-1339).
Al-MAQRIZI (d. 1441) described the monastery, which he says was well populated in the fourteenth century. According to him, Shahran was an educated Christian or a king. In the seventeenth century J. Vansleb mentioned the monastery under the name of Barsum the Naked (1677, p. 294; English ed., p. 178).
Several manuscripts were written at or for the monastery (Simaykah, 1942, Vol. 2, pt. 1, nos. 5, 149, 10, 709, 81, 865; Troupeau, 1972, Vol. 1, nos. 113, 278). The four most ancient manuscripts mention the monastery under the name of Mercurius at Shahran; the two latest from the eighteenth century under that of Barsum the Naked.
The patriarch CYRIL V (1854-1861) built a tower and later opened the church for parochial service.
[See also: Barsum the Naked.]
MAURICE MARTIN, S.J.
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