Since the Christianity had started to widely spread in Ethiopia. Ethiopians loved and adored the places where Jesus Christ lived in Palestine and in Qosqam of Egypt as well. They viewed the latter as a Second Jerusalem. Thus many Ethiopians left their country being attracted to these places to lead the life of reclusion, asceticism and monasticism.
And there is a clear reference to the presence of Ethiopian monks at Qosqam area (at the end of 4th century and the beginning of 5th century A.D.) reported in: The Paradise of the Holy Fathers, vol. I, chapter IX, (The Triumph of the Blessed Apollo and Ammon), p. 347.
By: Ernest A. Wallis Budge Published by Chatto and Windas, London, 1907 A.D.
The monastery in general and its ancient church in particular were of a great significance to them. They exalted, respected, sanctified and venerated the monastery. Even its sands was considered a blessing simply because the Child Jesus Christ trod it.
Words are unable to describe to what extent they venerated the monastery. Their preserved manuscripts in their monasteries attest to the numerous miracles which the Holy Virgin Mary made in the monastery of Qosqam .
C. Counti Rossini, one of the research specialist in Ethiopian manuscripts (early 20th century), states that the Ethiopian monastic community at Qosqam monastery in 14th and 15th centuries was active and vital. It consisted of about 30 person including monks, Hegomens and deacons. This Ethiopian community was so popular that the Ethiopian King Sayfa Arad (in 1350 A.D.) honored it by donating some copies of the gospels to them.
History mentions that some Ethiopian monks of the monastery were martyred. One of them called Arsanious (or Archeledes in some other manuscripts) was martyred during the time of Pope Metthaous the Great (1378-1408 A.D.).
It is said that Queen Mentowab (meaning beautiful or wonderful) the Empress of Ethiopia who gave up her reign to her son Iyasu II (meaning Jesus) (1730 – 1755 A.D.) visited Qosqam Monastery in 18th century. She carried some of monastery sands with her. She mixed it with the building materials of a great church (Qosqam Monastery Church) in the city of Qosqam (one of the main Ethiopian cities in the district of Gondar). Her son Iyasu II built the church in 1738 A.D.. Then the Ethiopian church has set a fasting known as Qosqam Fasting (forty days from 26th Tot to 5th Hator).Where 6th of Hator is the anniversary of Holy Virgin Mary’s Church consecration at Qosqam Monastery in Egypt .
When the number of the Ethiopian monks increased in the Qosqam Monastery in Egypt, they had built their own church to perform their ritual prayers in their own language. The oldest Ethiopian church known at that time was John the Baptist Church adjacent to Virgin Mary Church. On removing John the Baptist church for enlarging the ancient church and to build its outer nave, a new church was built above it for the Ethiopian monks in 19th century when their number reached forty monks. However in the thirties of the 20th century this church was removed because the monks were afraid that it may affect badly on the building of the ancient church.
The number of the Ethiopian monks has always been decreasing since the Ethiopian-Italian war (1936-1948 A.D.) and because of the turmoil and disputes in the south of the Sudan for they used to come to Qosqam Monastery on foot.
The Ethiopian clergymen still remember that most of their bishops deputized by their mother Coptic Church to Ethiopia were chosen from Qosqam Monastery’s monks. Thus the Ethiopians would never forget this Monastery because they loved it; they still hold it in the greatest of esteem till now and forever.