in the Resurrection of our Lord and our resurrection with Him.
It is the time to experience the new life in our Lord Jesus Christ. It is the period in which a person, who has practiced self-control over material things during the 55 days of Great Lent, rises to live joyfully in the spirit and worship God in spirit and truth.
If a person plants with effort, toil, and tears during Great Lent, then the Fifty Holy Days is the time of harvest, accompanied by joy and gladness.
Christ's Resurrection is considered everything to us. The Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ is considered our new life that we can live in. In Christ's Resurrection, we have three main aspects. In Christ's Resurrection, we have three main aspects:
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I congratulate all of you for this glorious Feast of the Nativity and the new year of 2014. I wish upon all of you the blessings that come with the birth of the One Who was born in the manger; blessings of goodness, joy, peace and love for everyone in Egypt, and in all our churches throughout the world, all who celebrate the New Year by the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The incarnation of God is an event that combined the earth with heaven. God, through His love for mankind, was incarnated and came to mankind. As we learn from the verse that is often referred to as “the little gospel", (John 3:16) states: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
This meeting of heaven and earth was a meeting from God, Who gave us His love, by coming down from above to mankind. This was also a meeting from man who showed his eagerness of going up to God. This meeting happened in the fullness of time, as stated in the Holy Bible, and, in the womb of our mother the Holy Virgin St. Mary where He was incarnate by His love.
In the creation of man, God showed His love to everyone. In His incarnation, He confirmed this love. In His crucifixion and resurrection, the Lord concluded this great love toward man. In fact, in the story of the Nativity, we have plenty of contemplations. We read about the heavenly star, and we read about the earthly manger.
We read about people who came from far countries, and we read about people who were close to the place of the event. We read about young people such as the shepherds and our mother the Virgin Mary. We also read about elder people such as St. Joseph the carpenter, St. Simon the elder and St. Anna the prophetess. We read about all kinds of people.
But the world at the time of our Lord Jesus Christ was classified into two main groups, Jews and gentiles. And there was a separation between heaven and earth. Heaven is full of angels and heavenly creatures, and the earth is full of people who were divided into Jews and gentiles. In the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ, those three groups came together.
First, the shepherds who were awake arrived. Those shepherds were very simple people, and were from the simplest sector of the Jewish society. Their work and efforts were in the wilderness with the flock that they used to shepherd, and out of those sheep, the sacrifices were selected to be offered.
The shepherds were always traveling and did not have a place to dwell. Even their witness were invalid in courts. But the Lord had chosen them for their honesty and simplicity. God wanted to honor them, so He revealed to them His birth by the angel who appeared to them saying: “I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people.”
The awakening shepherds were Jews. As if God had chosen the shepherds to represent the Jews. The reset of the world were considered pagan gentiles. As such, God had chosen the worshipping magi on behalf of the gentiles. They came from far countries in the east. They endured the long travel. The roads were not like what we have now. They were scientists in astronomy, and in predicting events that may happen.
They traveled for long periods, coming from far countries to search and worship the birth of the King of the Jews. We all know the story, but the most important points were that they reached their goal and they were considered high class in their society. They arrived to Jerusalem, to the place of the manger where the Baby Jesus Christ was, and offered their gifts.
By their gifts, they expressed their eagerness to witness the born, King of the Jews. Therefore, the earthly world came to the manger to the Lord Jesus in two groups, in addition to the third group which was from the heavenly world represented by the multitude of singing angels.
The angels were singing the famous song: “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men.” Everyone was presented in the manger and around the Lord Jesus Christ. The earthly world was presented by the two groups of the Jews and the magi, and the heavenly world presented by the angels.
What we are most interested in and what I would like to put before your eyes is the fact that the magi who came from the far countries presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Most of us know that gold is a symbol of being a King; frankincense is a symbol of His priesthood; and the myrrh is a symbol for His suffering and crucifixion.
These gifts signify those characteristics of our Lord Jesus Christ. The question here, why did they choose those gifts specifically? We all know that the gift is offered according to the taste of the giver and according to the condition and position of the receiver. So why did they choose those gifts? I would like to tell you that those gifts which were offered by the magi symbolize the life of man.
The life of man throughout its entirety is characterized by gold, frankincense, and myrrh. I mean every one of us through life has days of gold, days of frankincense and days of myrrh. The days of gold are the days of success, good health, victory, wealth, and days of comfort, as well as all days of joy either at work, business, various successes, or study. Each are considered the gift of gold.
The gift of frankincense presents the days of work, study, labor, hard effort and services, and other days that take large space in the life of man. The days of myrrh, as the life of man should have time of myrrh according to this philosophy of the gifts, presented by the days of grief tribulations, need, suffering, illness, and all the days in which man aches from negative emotions and anxiety.
All those are represented by the gift of myrrh. But all those gifts represent the mix of man’s life. Each of our lives fall into the gold, frankincense and myrrh. That is why if there are days of myrrh, there will be days of frankincense and gold. In the life of man, as the Bible says, all things work together for good to those who love God. All the days with all their kinds work together for good to those who love God.
The birth of our Lord Jesus Christ gives us hope, courage and new life in a new vision for our daily life. I congratulate all of you, all clergy, congregations, and families. I would like to especially congratulate our youth and children. I congratulate every church with her board, servants and deacons. I ask the Lord to give you grace and to fill your life with the joy of Nativity every day. May our life be for the glory of His name, and glory be to God, forever, and ever. Amen.
His Holiness Pope Tawadros II
Pope of Alexandria and
Patriarch of the See of St. Mark
September 11th, marks the beginning of the Coptic year. The Coptic calendar began during the reign of the Roman emperor Diocletian in 284 A.D. During his time, Christians in Egypt were tortured, massacred, and martyred in countless numbers. As a result, the Copts based their calendar on this event, which is why the Coptic year ends with "A.M.," which is short for "Anno Martyrii" or "Year of the Martyrs."
On celebrating the feast of Nayrouz::-
Through the prayers and intersession of St Mary and all the Martyrs,
We ask the Lord to protect us and guide us to do His will.
the Virgin Saint Mary
7th - 22nd August 2013
(1st -- 16th Mesori 1729)
This fast is 15 days long and precedes the feast of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary. During this holy fasting period, we ask for the intercessions of the Virgin Mary.
May her prayers be with us all Amen.
Departure of St Anthony
(30th January 2013 - 22nd Tobi 1729)
On this day, of the year 356 AD, St Anthony the Great, the star of the wilderness, and the father of all monks, departed. This righteous man was born in the year 251 AD in the city of Qimn El-Arouse, to rich parents who loved the church and the poor. They raised him up in fear of the Lord. When he was twenty years old, his parents departed, and he had to take care of his sister.
Once he entered the church and heard the words of the Lord Christ in the Gospel, "If you want to be perfect, go sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasures in heaven; and come, follow Me." (Matthew 19:21). He returned to his house, decided to fulfill this commandment and considered it directed to him personally.
He gave his wealth to the poor and needy, and he took his sister and placed her with some virgins. At that time, monasticism had not yet been established. All those who wanted to live a solitary life went and lived on the outskirts of the city. This was what St Anthony did as he dwelt alone, worshiping and living an ascetic life.
The devil fought him there by afflicting him with boredom, laziness, and the phantoms of women. He overcame the devil's snares by the power of the Lord Christ. After that, he went to one of the tombs, and he resided therein and closed the door on himself. Some of his friends used to bring him food. When the devil perceived his ascetic life and his intense worship, he was envious of him, and he beat him mercilessly, then left him unconscious. When his friends came to visit him and found him in this condition, they carried him to the church. After he somewhat recovered, he went back to the same place.
The devil again resumed his war against St Anthony, only this time the phantoms were in the form of wild beasts, wolves, lions, snakes and scorpions. They appeared as if they were about to attack him or cut him into pieces. But the saint would laugh at them scornfully and say "If any of you have any authority over me, only one would have been sufficient to fight me." At his saying this, they disappeared as though in smoke, for God gave him the victory over the devils. He was always singing this psalm, "Let God arise, let His enemies be scattered; let those also who hate Him flee before Him." (Psalm 68:1)
St Anthony used to prepare a quantity of bread that would sustain him for six months. He did not allow anyone to enter his cell, and whoever came to him, stood outside and listened to his advice. He continued in this condition of solitary worship for 20 years. Then by God's command, he went to El-Fayyoum and confirmed the brethren there in the faith, then returned to his monastery. During the time of persecution, he longed to become a martyr. He left his monastery and went to Alexandria. He visited those who were imprisoned for the sake of Christ and comforted them. When the Governor saw that he was confessing the Lord Christ publicly, not caring what might happen to him, he ordered him not to show up in the city. However, the saint did not heed his threats. He faced him and argued with him in order that he might arouse his anger so that he might be tortured and martyred. But God preserved him all along, according to His will, for the benefit of many, and so the Governor left him alone. Then the saint went back to his monastery according to God's will, and many came to visit him and to hear his teachings. He saw that these visits kept him away from his worship. As a result, he went far away to the eastern desert. He traveled with some Bedouins to the inner wilderness for three days, until he found a spring of water and some palm trees, and then he chose to settle there.
On this spot now stands the monastery of St Anthony the Great. The Bedouins came to him with bread, and the Lord drove away all the wild beasts from this place, for his sake.
On occasions, he would go to the monastery on the outskirts of the desert by the Nile to visit the brethren, then return to his inner monastery. His fame spread abroad and it reached Emperor Constantine. The Emperor wrote to him offering him praise and asked him to pray for him. The brethren were pleased with the Emperor's letter, but St Anthony did not pay an attention to it, and he said to them, "The Books of God, the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords, commands us everyday, but we do not heed what they tell us, and we turn our backs on them." Under the persistence of the brethren who told him, 'Emperor Constantine loves the church', he accepted to write him a letter blessing him, and praying for the peace and safety of the empire and the church.
One day, he was bored and he heard a voice telling him, "Go out and see." He went out and saw an angel who wore a girdle with a cross, one resembling the holy Eskiem, and on his head was a head cover (Kolansowa). He was sitting while braiding palm leaves, then he stood up to pray, and again he sat to weave. A voice came to him saying, "Anthony, do this and you will rest." Henceforth, he started to wear this tunic that he saw, and began to weave palm leaves, and never got bored again.
St Anthony prophesied about the persecution that was about to happen to the church and the control of the heretics over it, the church victory and its return to its formal glory, and the end of the age.
When St Macarius visited St Anthony, St Anthony clothed him with the monk's garb, and St Anthony foretold him what would be of him. When the day of the departure of St Paul, the first hermit in the desert, drew near, St Anthony went to him. St Anthony buried St Paul the hermit after he had clothed him a tunic, which was a present from St Athanasius the Apostolic, 20th Pope of Alexandria.
When St Anthony felt that the day of his departure had approached, he commanded his disciple to hide his body and to give his staff to St Macarius, and to give one sheepskin cloak to St Athanasius and the other sheepskin cloak to Anba Serapion, his disciple. He stretched himself on the ground and gave up his spirit. The angels and the saints took his spirit and carried it to the place of perpetual rest.
This saint lived for 105 years, struggling in the way of holiness and purity.
May his prayers be with us.
(18th January 2013 - 10th Tobi 1729)
Feast of Epiphany is the celebration of baptism of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is also known as the Feast of the “Divine Appearance”.
The Son is baptized, the Holy Trinity appears like a dove and the Father speaks from heaven saying: “You are My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” (Mark 1:11)
The baptism of our Lord Jesus Christ shows the Creed of the Holy Trinity.
Jesus said to Nicodemus “Unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.” (John 3:5)
I congratulate you my dear beloved children on this blessed Christmas, wishing you the blessings of joy, richness and peace in your life, work, and families from the Holy Born Baby in the manger blessings. May all Christmas celebrations find you filled with peace in spirit and good health.
The Precious Event
The incarnation and birth of our Lord Jesus Christ is one of the most precious events in the history of mankind. In this event we meet various aspects of God’s creation. For example:
It is indeed a very precious event, but we will choose three elements only:
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