Tradition asserts that the arrival of the nine monks was during the reign of Ala-Amida IV in the fifth Century. The monks fled to Ethiopia for refuge from the decision of the two natures of Christ imposed by Pope Leo I at the Council of Chalcedon in 451 A.D. According to Ethiopian sources, they did not come as refugees but through invitation by King Ala-Amida to help organize monastic orders and schools. They made a large contribution to the church in translating books from Greek, Hebrew, Syrian, and other languages into Geez and in propagating the Gospel as well as setting up monastic orders and schools. They came from different regions of the Middle East, mostly from Constantinople (Second Rome). Some writers call them Romans for the simple reason that the Middle East was under the influence of the Roman Empire at that time. (Yesehaq, 19) All these monasteries are very active up to this date and are performing their monastic duties with the exception of the monastery of Abba Gubba, which was burned to the ground by the Muslim Ahmed Gran in the sixteenth century A.D. These nine monks have been canonized as saints.
Nine Saints Name Of Saint Country Of Origin Monastery or Church Abba Pantelewon Of Constantinople Founded church on the high mountains near Axum Abba Likanos Of Constantinople Founded Debra Quanasel Monastery, near Axum Abba Gerima Of Constantinople Founded Madara Adua Monastery Abba Gubba Of Chelsea or Cilicia Founded Endabaguba Monastery, near Adua Abba Aragawi Of Constantinople Founded Debre Damo Monastery, between Adua and Addi Grate Abba Afese Of Asia Minor Founded Yeha Monastery, near Adua Abba Tsehma Of Antioch Founded Sedenya Monastery, near Adua Abba Alef Of Caesarea Founded Behnsa Monastery Abba Yemata Of Cosia or Cooz Founded Geralta Monastery
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