Litanies of the Virgin Mary


This Arabic manuscript contains two works pertaining to the Virgin Mary, who is recognized as the mother of Jesus Christ in both Christian and Muslim scriptures. The first manuscript is a personal prayer to the Virgin, to be recited daily for spiritual benefit. It includes a review of Mary’s place in the life of Jesus as recounted in the New Testament, beginning with the Archangel Gabriel’s announcement of the birth of Jesus and ending with Mary’s presence at the crucifixion. The second manuscript is a litany, or list, of Mary’s holy attributes in the form of an extended prayer. The works are ascribed, probably incorrectly, to the Coptic lay leader and intellectual Iryan Moftah (1826–86). The manuscript is written in the clear Naskh script commonly observed in Coptic religious works of the period. Neither work is complete. The volume is not bound. It is preserved with Moftah’s manuscripts on religious, historical, and linguistic subjects in the Iryan Moftah Collection of the American University in Cairo.

Last updated: July 21, 2014