[St. Pachomius Library]

Abba Aragawi Za-Mikae'el of the Nine

IV/V/VI Centuries?
One of the "Nine Saints" who revived the Ethiopian Church, Aragawi is supposed to have been a Pachomian monk, in fact a personal disciple of St. Pachomius, and helped spread Pachomian monasticism into East Africa. He reportedly came to Ethiopia in the reign of Ella-Ameda II, Emperor of Axum. (This chronology however is difficult to reconcile with the usual claim that the Nine were "refugees" persecuted for opposing Chalcedon, as it puts them in Ethiopia long before the Council took place.)

Abba Aragawi is best known for a story connected with the founding of Dabra Damo monastery: a boa constrictor is supposed to have offered to tow the saint to the top of the cliff where the hermitage was to be located. Aragawi was initially afraid to accept this proposal but finally agreed, and the snake -- having become a vegetarian -- dwelt peacefully with him for the remainder of its life.

Norman Hugh Redington

Under construction --- far from complete! Read with caution.


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