It is said that Wadamon is a young man from the city of Armant, Qena governorate. He was in his house with visitors who were idol-worshippers, and they said to each other: “Behold, we have heard that a woman arrived in the land of the Ashmounin with a small child who looked like the children of kings.” Others said: “Did this child come to the Egyptian Lands?” Then, each of them started talking about the boy, and when the guests left, Wadamon got up and rode his donkey until he reached the city of Ashmounin.
When Wadamon arrived, he saw the Child Jesus with Mary, his mother, and prostrated himself to Him. When the Child saw him, He smiled to him and said: “Peace be upon you, Wadamon. You tired yourself and came here to verify what you have heard from your guests about me, so I will stay with you and your house will be a dwelling place for me forever.” Saint Wadamon was surprised and he said: “O my Lord, I desire that you come to me and dwell in my house, and that I become your servant forever.” Jesus answered: “Your house will be a dwelling place for me and my mother forever, because when you return from here and the idolaters hear that you were with me, they will hate this and they will shed your blood in your house. Do not be afraid because I accept you with me in the kingdom of heaven, the place of eternal joy that has no end, and you will be the first martyr in Upper Egypt.” So the man rose and prostrated to Jesus, and after Jesus blessing him, he went back to his house. When Wadamon returned to Armant, the news spread in the city that Wadamon had visited Jesus. The priests of the idols knew of his arrival and so they came to him in a hurry and asked him: “Are what they say about you true?” He answered them: “Yes, I met Jesus and He blessed me.” Then, they became angry with him and stabbed him with their swords several times, so he died as a martyr in the name of the Lord Christ. Thus, Wadamon is considered the first martyr in the world (before the martyr Stephen). The commemoration of his martyrdom is on the 18th of Mesra.
Anba Demetrius, Bishop of Mallawi, Ansna, and Ashmounin says: The Holy Family stayed in Ashmounin for about three months, which is the travel time that the martyr Wadamon spent from Armant to Al-Ashmounin and back to Armant. Knowing that Armant is about 500 kilometers from Ashmounin, and that the means of transportation available during these days were the donkey, so the travel distance between Armant and Ashmounin can be covered in one and a half months, and thus the duration of the round trip is approximately three months.
When the worship of idols was abolished in Egypt and Christianity spread in the country, the Christians transformed the house of Wadamon to a church after the name of the Virgin Mary and her son. This church is what is called El-Gishna, which means (the neighborhood church), and it exists until now. Another church was built in Wadamon’s name during the third century on the outskirts of Armant, and there is still an altar in his name in the church of the Virgin, in the monastery of Nuns, in Armant Al-Hait.