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Abba Sehma

Coptic Orthodox Cross
Note: This article or section represents an Oriental Orthodox (Non-Chalcedonian) perspective, which may differ from an Eastern Orthodox (Chalcedonian) understanding.

Abba Sehma is sometimes listed as one of the Nine Saints credited in Ethiopia with enculturating and spreading the Orthodox Faith in the country following its official conversion by St. Frumentius of Axum, but it is possible that he was also one of the Righteous Ones. Abba Sehma is commemorated on 16 T'er (January 24).


It is written that the Nine Saints arrived in Axum, the first great capital city of Ethiopia, in 480. They came from various parts of the East Roman Empire, having fled the persecutions of the Orthodox who remained faithful to the teaching of St. Cyril of Alexandria after the Council at Chalcedon. Abba Sehma himself is said to have come from the great city of Antioch in Syria.

After coming to Ethiopia, Abba Sehma settled in Sedegna. A monastery dedicated to him was later built on Debre Dimbela near modern Adwa.

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