Life and Miracles of Saint Gabra Manfas Qeddus together with a Homily and Miracles of Saint Michael (Primary Title)

Unknown (Artist)

late 17th Century
Illuminated manuscript on parchment, 87 leaves including 6 full-page paintings bound between wooden boards
Overall (closed): 9 1/8 × 9 1/16 × 2 in. (23.18 × 23.02 × 5.08 cm)

This 17th century book contains texts regarding Saint Gäbrä Mänfäs Qeddus and Archangel Michael, who are depicted left and right respectively on the pages seen here. The book includes an invocation asking for blessings for Fequrâ Iyäsus, his wife Wälättä Krestos, and their son Mika’él, and noting that the son “had this (book) written and illustrated.”

Saint Gäbrä Mänfäs Qeddus (trans. “Servant of the Holy Spirit”) was born in Egypt and lived in the wilderness for many years, for a while in the company of lions and leopards. To protect his body from the elements, God caused a coat of white hair to cover his body. Later, in Ethiopia, he founded a monastery and performed miracles that are recounted in this book. The book also honours Archangel Michael with three texts, including a preface titled “The book of praise concerning the greatness of Michael, the chief of the watchers of heaven,” a homily, and accounts of twelve miracles he performed. The painting of the archangel bears a heading that reads “Saint Michael on the occasion of his investiture” and shows the archangel in sumptuous attire and seated on a throne at the time God appointed him to be chief of all the angels.


Inscribed to Fequrâ Iyäsus and his wife Wälättä Krestos and their son Mika’él, the latter who commissioned the manuscript.
Funds provided by The Reverend Dr. Vienna Cobb Anderson
Image released via Creative Commons CC-BY-NC

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