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A Saint who was not ashamed to be called “Manure”!


Abba Kopris was born on a dunghill outside of the monastery of Saint Theodosius Coenobiarchos near Bethlehem while his mother was trying to escape from a raid of pirates. Saint Theodosius raised the baby who finally became a monk and practiced the ascetic life.

Kopris’ name must have been another but the Saint adopted the name Kopris, which means “manure or dunghill”, due to his great virtue of humility.

Having attained to an high degree of virtue and the gift of wonderworking, Abba Kopris died peacefully at the age of ninety.

Feast Day: September 24

From The Ancient Fathers of the Desert:

The Fathers of the skete once gathered to speak among themselves about spiritual things, and forgot to invite Abba Kopris. They began to discuss the person of Melchizidek and did not come to agreement in their opinions. Then they remembered Abba Kopris and sent summons to him so that they could get his opinion. When he heard of the cause of their disagreement and the subject about which they had idled away so many hours arguing, he struck himself three times on the mouth and said: “Woe to you, monk. You have set aside that which God has asked of you and you have sought to find those things which He will never ask of you.”

Hearing his wise words, the other elders left their gathering and returned to their cells, pensive.


“Thrice-blessed is the monk who endures labors and trials, being thankful to God,” Abba Kopris used to say.

Once Abba Kopris himself became gravely ill and astounded the brothers with his admirable patience. Not one time did he ask that his slightest request be fulfilled, and prayer was not for a moment absent from his lips.”


The Monastery of Saint Theodosius Coenobiarchos near Bethlehem