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The Church Of St. Sergious And Bacchus

Abu Serga

Abu Serga

 

The church of St. Sergio (also known as St. Sergius or Abu Serga) was built in the center of the Ancient Roman fort of Babylon. It is one of the sites visited by the Holy Family during their escape from King Herod to the land of Egypt.

 

The church likely dates back to the 5th Century, although some historians believe that it was actually built in the 8th Century.

 

The origin of Saint Sergius is uncertain, but there are two saints with the same name. The first one was an Egyptian who died during the intense Christian persecution, along with his father and sister. People today celebrate his memory every year on the 7th of February. The second one was a servant of the Roman Emperor Maximilian, and he was martyred in Syria at the beginning of the 4th Century.

The church's shape is that of a basilica with a narthex, a nave, and 2 aisles. They are separated from the nave by 12 columns with Corinthian capitals, 10 of stone, one of marble and one of rosette granite.

 

There are 3 Sanctuaries on the east side; each Sanctuary contains an altar, with a wooden dome, supported by 4 marble columns. The dome of each altar has religious scenes of Christ, Angels, and the 4 evangelists. There is a pulpit on the northeast side of the nave, which is made of marble, though originally it was made of wood, encrusted with ebony and ivory.

abu serga

The pulpit is used once a year in the prayer of Great Friday. The central sanctuary has a wooden screen and dates back to the 13th century. It's encrusted with panels of ebony and ivory. The frieze and the icons of the church are remarkable and most date back to the 15th and 16th Centuries, but some were damaged and restored later. 

 

One of the most important locations in this church is the cave in which the Holy Family stayed during their journey into Egypt. It has a nave and 2 aisles and the ceiling is domed. At the end of the southern aisle of the Cave, is a baptistery. 

 

On the 1st of June, each year, the church of St. Sergio commemorates the arrival of the Holy Family by having prayers inside the cave of the church.

 

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