The child Paul (Boulos) Gabriel was born in 1829 A.D. (1545 [[Coptic Calendar|A.M.]]) in Calad, a village in Upper Egypt. His parents were righteous and loved God. They sent him to the church school. His teacher Raphael took care of him, taught him reading, writing, arithmetic, the [[Holy Scripture]]s and [[psalms]], ecclesiastical hymns, and psalmody. He was very intelligent and eager to learn everything.
[[Image:AnbaAbraam.jpg|left|thumb|Rare photo of Anba Abraam (1829-1914 A.D.)]]When he was eight years old, his mother became very ill, and a few weeks later died, leaving behind her child. As he loved prayers and psalms, he discovered in them how God can bless his life and fill all his heart. When he was 15 years old, he got famous among his mates; the priests recommended him to Anba (Abba) Youssab, the [[bishop]] of the [[diocese]], who [[
ordain]] ed him as a [[deacon]] during his visit to the village's church.
As he loved the life of contemplation of God, so he joined Virgin Mary's Coptic Orthodox [[Monastery]] "El-Meharrak" in Assiut, Upper Egypt, at the time when Rev. Father Abdel-Malek was in charge of the monastery. He was a very decent, active person, who loved all the [[monk]]s. They recommended him and he was [[tonsure]]d a monk when he was 19 years old, in 1848. His new name was Rev. Paul El-Meharraki.