What is The Monastery of the Holy Prophet Moses?

Welcome to FriendsOfMoses.org. We are the non-profit foundation set up to support the Monastery of the Holy Prophet Moses, located in Feiran Egypt.

Friends Of The Holy Monastery Of The Prophet Moses –
An IRS Registered Public Charity
IRS EIN: 47-1925057

Website : FriendsOfMoses.org


Please Pray for His Eminence Damianos Archbishop of Sinai and Raithu

On 29 January 2018, His Eminence Damianos, Archbishop of Sinai and Raithu and Abbot of St. Catherine Monastery, fell and suffered three fractures in his left arm and internal bleeding in one leg. Physicians are doing all they can to help and His Eminence has remained in good spirits throughout this ordeal. Please remember him your prayers.

His Eminence has served as Archbishop since 1973 and first came to Sinai in 1961.

The above is a synopsis sourced from several monastics.

Attack at St. Catherine's Monastery 0n 18 April 2017

On 18 April 2017 an armed assailant exchanged gunfire with police at the checkpoint immediately outside the monastery of St. Catherine. The man was obviously not familiar with local roads and was conspicuously out of place so a local resident alerted the police. The outsider ran from police but exchanged gunfire, killing one policeman and wounding four others who were transported to a hospital in Sharm El Sheikh. The assailant was killed by gunfire. Another man seen in the area is being sought by the police.

Contrary to some press reports there was no sniper fire nor any explosions.

This is a terrible blow to tourism upon which the local economy was so dependent. Flights from Russia to Sharm El Sheikh (SSH) were to resume soon but that is likely now in jeopardy.

Please make a donation and if possible make it a recurring donation from your credit or debit card through our PayPal account. We currently only have $300.00 in regular monthly donations and monthly operating expenses for the monastery and the five sisters are $2,000. The Friends Of The Holy Monastery of the Prophet Moses is a 501c3 charity. We forward all of your donations to the sisters as we have no employees and cover our own travel expenses. You may always send your prayer requests to the sisters as a note with your donation or simply to our president's email at president"at"FriendsOfMoses.org.

Why Monasteries?

Archbishop of Sinai and Abbot of St. Catherine Monastery, Damianos, was recently in an automobile collision. Thanks be to God he survived the accident but his hand was injured. Please pray for a complete and speedy recovery of His Eminence Damianos. May God grant you many more peaceful and healthy years, Master! Eis polla eti Despota!

Help! No sooner had the money been received for the well than the power junction box caught fire. It's summertime and the extreme environment is taking it's toll. If you can help please do so. Here's the email from Sister Nektaria:

Dear Mr. George
We have already the money of the first transfer and in the afternoon we shall have the new moter for the water. We also have the second transfer in Greece, and the money will arrive to us Saturday morning. You can not understand the importance of this support at this exact moment. What I mean?

Today morning, from overloading, the central electricity box of the monastery got fire, and we stayed without electricity.

This is the evil thing that happened. But God never let us down. So from yesterday evening, a technic for the electricity came from Cairo to repair some problems we have here. So after two hours he managed to connect for the moment the wires and we must very carefully use the electricity, till we repain the box. We knew from the past, that we had to increase the power of the central unit, but it costed too much money, (I think if I can well remember about 10.000 egyptian pounds), so we waited till we have this amount.

At the beginning Gerondissa Gennadia asked from the Governor to help us and give us a new box, because is so expensive for us, as he gave us for free the very thick outside wire, till the main box inside the Monastery, that also was too much expensive, but he told us, that he couldn't support us in this second requirement.
For the moment we don't know yet how much money we have to give, but with this second tranfer we shall repair the damage, and from now on, we shall be sure that we have strong force of electricity, as needed in the Monastery. As for some other expenses, no problem at all, they can wait....
send you two photos with the burned electricity box.

Some of the biggest problems faced by the sisters at The Holy Monastery of The Prophet Moses are caused by the extreme environment. Summertime temperature sometimes exceed 120 degrees Fahrenheit and average humidity is below 20%. It only rains a few times each year but each time is a flood disaster. The heat and UV destroys man-made synthetic materials so electrical and telephone outages are common. Just look at the video short to see how brittle plastics become in a short while.

Movie short demonstrating the devastating effects on conduit of the environment of Sinai, Egypt

I recently asked one of the Friends, Moses Maximino Cosme, to write something about his baptismal saint, The Holy Prophet Moses. I am pleased to share the following which he wrote:

One of the most memorable parts of the Scriptures, for me, is the prayer of Moses: “I beg You, show me Your glory!” After having received the tablets of the Law and being commanded to construct the Tabernacle for worship, he prays to God to reveal to him His glory. It’s remarkable to me simply because the life of Moses is marked with multiple instances of the revelation of God’s glory: God appeared in His glory to Moses in the burning bush as the light of fire. God appeared to Moses and the people of Israel in His glory in the pillar of fire and cloud as they travelled. God appeared to Moses and the people of Israel in His glory when there was lightning, thundering, the blasts of angelic trumpets, fire and cloud, and thick darkness on Mount Sinai. God appeared to Moses, Aaron, Nadab, Abihu, and the 70 elders of Israel on the mountain with a pavement of sapphire under His feet, as clear as the heavens, where they ate and drank with God. Moses even saw that God dwells between the cherubim and that they offer up to Him a priestly service, when he saw the heavenly Tabernacle because, as we know, he fashioned the worship of Israel after the pattern that he saw on the mountain (Exodus 25:9, 40).

Yet, even after having seen God in His glory so many times, he was never satisfied but instead continually craved another vision of God’s glory: “I beg You, show me Your glory!” (Exodus 32:18)

We all know the story of the holy prophet Moses. He was born to holy parents, Amram and Jochebed, who hid him against the command of Pharaoh. When they couldn’t hide him any longer, they put him in a basket and placed the basket in the river. He floated on the water until he came across the daughter of Pharaoh, who had compassion on him and raised him. After 40 years, he came to the aid of his Hebrew brothers when he saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew man. He killed the Egyptian and fled for his life into the land of Midian, where he would find the priest Jethro (also called Reuel, “friend of God”) and marry one of his daughters.

While he stayed in Midian, he took up a “quiet and peaceful course of life” (Life of Moses II.19) where he “lived alone in the mountains away from all the turmoil of the marketplace” (Life of Moses I.19) where he cared for sheep. It was here that Moses first was illumined by the light of God in the burning bush and was commissioned to lead the Israelites out of Egyptian slavery.

Through the power of God, the prophet Moses brought 10 plagues upon the Egyptians, God waged war against the gods of Egypt, and the rite of the Passover was established. After the firstborn sons of Egypt died, the Israelites were given a miracle again when they reach the Red Sea: God parted the waters with a great wind so that they could pass through it on dry ground, and He brought the waters back together again in order to drown the Egyptians. This is what St Paul called the baptism “in Moses.”

In the wilderness, he struck the rock to give the Israelites water to drink, he interceded for Israel while they battle Amalek, he received the Law and the pattern of the Tabernacle, established the priesthood and the service of the Levites, and sent 12 spies to bring back a report of the land of Canaan that God had promised them. The spies, we know, came back with a bad report of the land and spread a faithless spirit among the Israelites. For this reason, God swore that they would not enter into His rest but that their children would enter into the land. So, after 40 years in the wilderness, he exhorted the Israelites who would enter the land to follow God, keep the commandments, and choose life. Then, at 120 years old and after seeing the promise land from a distance, he died peacefully on Mount Nebo and was buried by the hand of God.

The life of such a great prophet isn’t given to us for the sake of learning facts or collecting trivia. Moses’ life is one of the greatest given to us in the Scriptures, and one of the most detailed. This is because a lot can be learned from such a holy example: that the knowledge of God is of more value than the knowledge of the world; that a quiet and peaceful life (1 Timothy 2:2) is to be prized more than a life “anxious and troubled about many things” (Luke 10:41); that the blood of the Lamb is our only hope of salvation; that the people of God prevail only by the sign of the Cross; that man should not live by bread alone, but by the word of God; that fidelity and faithfulness to God is of more importance than comfort; that intercession is powerful; and that the commandments of God are life, and not a burden.

Most importantly, however, the God-seer Moses taught us that the spiritual life is one of constant progression into the great mystery of God. Saint Gregory of Nyssa sees this, and so writes in his work on the life of Moses, using the verse from Paul which says “forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead.” Moses truly did seem to forget of all of his spiritual progress in God: his overcoming of the passions, his blamelessness before the people of Israel, and his multiple visions of God. And he certainly strained forward to what lies ahead, crying from the heart: “I beg You, show me Your glory!”

And God, his friend, gave him the wishes of his heart by sheltering him in the cleft of a rock and covering him with His hand, and made His glory pass by his servant Moses:

And the LORD descended in the cloud and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the LORD. The LORD passed before him, and proclaimed, “The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in mercy and faithfulness, keeping merciful love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children’s children, to the third and the fourth generation.” –Exodus 34:5-7

This is why God is not ashamed to say that He speaks to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend. Moses always sought God and followed Him wholly from the heart. This is an example and a promise for us. We should seek to follow God as Moses followed God, and we will see God, if through constant struggle we cleanse our hearts to prepare a way for Him. This is what St. Paul tells us when he says that we need to be holy, for without holiness we will not see the Lord. This was what Christ our God promised us when He said “Blessed are the clean of heart, for they shall see God.”

Oh holy prophet and God-seer Moses, pray for us!

Help! The Monastery Needs Water! $1,000 needed for new pump. .... Dear friends, our sisters at the Holy Monastery of the Prophet Moses have reached out to us for help. An electrical surge recently burnt out their well pump, and they need $1,000 for a new well pump system. The new system will be monitored by a tablet computer programmed to disconnect power in the event of a power surge (unfortunately increasingly common in the area). No water in Egypt means game over... for the sisters and for the trees and plants. This is an ancient oasis area in desperate need of rehabilitation. It's an opportunity for your life and your story to intersect with this place of spiritual and biblical significance. Please help in any way you are able. If you only have $10, please give that. You cannot under-estimate the great significance of any size donation to this poverty stricken area. Every dollar we receive goes directly to the monastery and US dollars go a long way in the region towards supporting the work of the monastery and the spiritual heritage that it represents for us as Christians. If you can help make a video, or tell your friends, or invite us to speak at your Church or allow us to post a video link on your parish, organization, or personal website, please reach out to us. Difficult times are upon Egypt, let us help while we are able that we may be helped by their love and prayers. (You can copy the link below to get to our Paypal donate button, or message myself (Dawn Hipsh) or George Livsey if you would like to donate via credit card (for Square swipes), cash, or check.) Thank you for your swift response to this most desperate need! https://www.FriendsOfMoses.org/donate-now

Facebook Ad Campaign Demographics - I put together some demographic stats on our last ad campaign. Sadly it only raised $80 but it only cost $20. The big problem is that we continue to fall short and that makes life that much more difficult in a very difficult place. Please reach out on our behalf. I'll do my part to share everything that I can. - george

Please help if you can. https://www.FriendsOfMoses.org/donate-now

Why is the Holy Monastery of the Prophet Moses at Feiran?
Typology, Moses, Joshua, Jesus, Amalek, The Cross and Monastic Prayer

The icon below is in the Church at the Metochion of The Rock. This is a small convent at the site mentioned in Number 20:11 where Moses struck a rock twice to bring forth water and was subsequently punished. However, The event depicted occurs in Rephidim (now called Wadi Feiran) and is recorded in Exodus 17.

When an early event in scripture foreshadows later events the Greek speaking Church Fathers refer to the earlier event as a "typos". They had good precedent as Christ himself said, "As Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so shall the Son of Man be lifted up. And if I am lifted up, I shall draw all men to myself." Amen.

Exodus 17 recounts that after crossing the Red Sea and coming to Rephidim, the Israelites were thirsty and complained to Moses. However, the tribe led by Amalek would not permit them to drink.

God told Moses to go up and stand praying, holding his staff aloft with his hands. As Moses held his staff high the Israelites, led by Jesus of Navi, whom Moses called Joshua, also called Joshua, the son of Nun. As Moses tired and his staff began to drop, the Israelites faltered and Amalek prevailed. So the Aaron and Hur (Orr in Greek) then had Moses sit upon a rock while each of them each held up an arm of Moses. The photo of the monastery on our FaceBook page header is taken from the site of the rock upon which Moses sat.

This scene is replete with typology. Moses holds aloft a staff and he and the staff are a "typos" of the cross. Aaron and Orr are on his left and right, their names starting with Alpha and Omega respectively and Jesus leads the people in battle against Amalek who wants to deprive the Israelites of water and kill them by thirst. The "typos" of the Living Water is present. St. Andrew of Crete in his great canon calls wayward thought, "The Amalek of the passions". Moses intercedes throughout the battle providing the typos of the first monastic prayer.

Early Christians came to Pharan (Rephidim or Feiran) first to escape persecution, and then those fleeing the corruption which followed the end of the persecutions. This place provided water and shelter. Married people lived on the plateau of the wadi and five churches were built. The surrounding hills are pock marked with caves so small they only provided shade from the sun and afforded only room to sit or stand.

While other monasteries, such as St. Anthony's have greater fame, Pharan is much older, starting while the persecutions still raged. Following the legalization of Christianity, Pharan was the episcopal seat of Sinai. It's bishops present at even the earliest ecumenical councils. The rock and mud mortar cathedral wall are still visible. Here is the very birthplace of monasticism.

Here is the text of Exodus 17. Citation is from "A New English Translation of the Septuagint", © Oxford University Press, 2007

1 And the entire congregation of the sons of Israel set out from the wilderness of Sin according to their encampments by the word of the Lord, and they camped at Raphidin. But there was not water for the people to drink.
2 And the people were railing against Moyses, saying, "Give us water so that we may drink!" And Moyses said to them, "Why are you railing at me, and why are you testing the Lord?"
3 But the people thirsted there for water, and the people kept complaining against Moyses, saying, "Why is it that you brought us up from Egypt to kill us and our children and animals with thirst?"
4 Then Moyses cried out to the Lord, saying, "What shall I do with this people? A little while yet and they will stone me!"
5 And the Lord said to Moyses, "Go on ahead of this people, but take with you some of the elders of the people and the rod with which you struck the river take in your hand, and go.
6 I here have taken my stand, before you came, on the rock at Choreb. And you shall strike the rock, and water will come out of it, and the people will drink." And Moyses did so before the sons of Israel.
7 And he called the name of that place Testing and Raillery because of the railing of the sons of Israel and because they tested the Lord, saying, "Is the Lord among us or not?"
8 Then Amalek came and was fighting Israel at Raphidin.
9 And Moyses said to Iesous, "Choose for yourself capable men, and go forth, and set up in battle array with Amalek tomorrow. And look, I stand on top of the hill, and the rod of God is in my hand."
10 And Iesous did as Moyses said to him and set up in battle array with Amalek, and Moyses and Aaron and Hor went up onto the top of the hill.
ll And it happened whenever Moyses held up his hands, Israel was prevailing, and whenever he lowered his hands, Amalek was prevailing.
12 But Moyses' hands were heavy. And they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it. And Aaron -and Hor kept supporting his hands, here one and there one. And the hands of Moyses were supported until the setting of the sun.
13 And Iesous routed Amalek and all his people by slaughter of dagger.
14 Then the Lord said to Moyses, "Write this down for a memorial in a book, and put into the ears of Iesous that with a wipe out I will wipe out the memorial of Amalek from beneath heaven.
15 And Moyses built an altar to the Lord and called its name "The Lord is my refuge,"
16 because by a secret hand the Lord fights against Amalek from generations to generations.

Mother Gennadia

Mother Gennadia is the gerontissa (Mother Superior) of the Holy Monastery of the Prophet Moses. She is loved and respected not only by the sisters but by the people of the surrounding community. Mother Gennadia was one of the original sisters and is responsible for all of the building visible today.

Sisters of The Holy Monastery of the Prophet Moses

There are now 5 Sisters of The Holy Monastery of the Prophet Moses. At it's foundation 30+ years ago there were 7 nuns and even today road signs in the area refer to it as The Monastery of the Seven Girls. The smallest of the nuns pictured is Sister Katrina, one of the original 7 girls. For the last 7 years there were only 3 sisters but last year two sisters from Romania joined the monastery. Mother Gennadia was not present for this photo.

May-June Emergency Appeal

As most of you are unaware I've been out this month and part of last month as my right ankle lost blood supply and had to be removed. That stopped all of my fundraising efforts as I have been incapable of even performing most computer work.

Last month we fell short of our usual monthly support of $2,000 by $500. Right now there is only $300 in the bank and the monastery transfer should have already been performed.
Please consider a tax-deductible donation of any amount. Were it not for our automatic monthly domors we would have nothing.

We have almost no overhead and all effort is volunteer so aside from advertising supplies and fees we have no expenses. Your donation goes straight to the monastery or to the community projects. Please donate debit, credit or e-check at:


Thank You.


Movie Short of the 4th Century Ruins of Pharan with cameo appearance by Dmitri our faithful monastery groundskeeper.

The children in Wadi Feiran were happy and excited to receive the school bag and shoes. They were still very well behaved and polite despite the excitement. Thanks to the people at The Shoe That Grows for developing this shoe. Now we need to return with a larger size as we only had shoes that for the smallest children.

It's an icy morning at St. Catherines Monastery on the day before the feast of The 40 Martyrs of Mt. Sinai and Raithou.

Our Friends of Moses president heads back to Sinai on Thursday morning. If you have prayer lists you may send those to president@friendsofmoses.org . He will give a copy to Father Justin and a copy to Sister Nektaria so you will get a prayer bonus! You may also securely make a donation at https://www.friendsofmoses.org/donate-now and add your prayer list as a note to your donation. Please get these in by Tuesday evening as we need to print them all out.

We are taking two 50 lb suitcases full of the Shoe That Grows and two carry-ons plus the returned contents of the package pilfered by DHL so we can't carry much more. He's already carrying a medical device for one of the fathers so there's just not much more space this trip.

On a happier note we hope to have arranged a shipment means both ways but that won't be ready until next month. So don't despair. Please remember us in your prayers as we travel.