In a debate in Egypt’s parliament on Sunday, MPs approved a law that puts the annual salary and rewards of President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi at $63,000 or around LE500,000 per year
Egypt’s new parliament endorsed a law that sets the annual salary and rewards of President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi at a ceiling of $63,000 or around LE500,000, after MP’s who were given the floor said his salary is among the lowest of world leaders and presidents.
The law (no.73/2014) was one of nine that were approved by parliament – the House of Representatives – during its morning session on Sunday.
Independent MP Osama Sharshar said “let us, for example, compare El-Sisi’s annual rewards to US President Barak Obama’s.”
“While El-Sisi receives a total of $63,000 per year, we see that Barack Obama is receiving $480,000,” said Sharshar, adding that “an amount of $63,000 is equal to LE500,000 per year and this is a very low salary.”
The decree was endorsed by more than 400 MPs and it is the first time for Egypt’s parliament to announce the annual salary of the president of the republic.
During the 30-year reign of former president Hosni Mubarak, the salary of his office was never discussed or disclosed.
When El-Sisi took office in June 2014, he said that he would cut his monthly salary in half, or from LE48,000 to LE24,000.
“I do not need this big monthly salary,” El-Sisi said.
The law indicates that the annual salary and other rewards would reach a total of $63,000.
During the parliament’s morning sitting, it approved nine presidential decrees – among a total of 341 – that were passed following the removal of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi from office in July 2013, in accordance with article 156 of the new constitution.
Decrees that were issued by interim president Adly Mansour and incumbent president El-Sisi in the absence of a parliament must be reviewed and discussed within 15 days – or by 25 January – of its first session.
The nine laws addressed issues such as regulating presidential elections, military justice, prisons, the Supreme Constitutional Court (SCC), as well as fighting anti-money laundering activities, and putting a ceiling on the annual salary of the president of the republic.
The parliament’s speaker Ali Abdel-Al said political laws, including ones on parliamentary elections such as regulating the exercise of political rights, the House of Representatives, and the Division of Electoral Constituencies would be debated later, as these form what are called “the constitution-complement laws.”
“These laws are of utmost importance and they should be discussed in special sittings because a significant number of MPs want to discuss them,” Abdel-Al said.
“I am not with you right now, but you are in my heart always.”
“Prayer is a tie, a relationship between man and God. Therefore, it is not just talk, it is a heart connected to a heart.
“Prayer is a feeling of being in the presence of God. It is a partnership with the Holy Spirit and unity with God.”
“Sometimes, a holy anger happens for God’s sake, but it does not have nervousness and loss of temper, it is a holy zeal.”
“If you are faithful in rejecting willful sins, God will deliver you from unwillful sins.”
“If you are faithful in not judging others by words, God will enable you not to judge by thoughts, which is more difficult.”
“Praise others and make them aware of your appreciation. Make them feel that you know their good deeds and admire them.”
“Respect others and treat everyone politely, not only the elders or those you are obliged to regard, but also the young and those who are younger and lower in grade than you. ”
“The disciples rejoiced when they saw the (risen) Lord and their joy became a way of life for them and Christians after them.”
“The first transfiguration of our nature is that God created us in his own image and likeness. ”
“Many of our brothers were lost because nobody visited them or by the time they were visited, it was too late.”
“The spiritual person questions himself before he is questioned by God: What has he done for all those people whom he knew? Is there anyone among those whom he does not know, who needs his help; he ought to know them and offer his services. ”
“He who is led by the truth will be pleased with its leadership and nourishment and lives by it.”
“In all man’s acts, it is not enough that the aim has to be holy, but also the means must be sound. Very often, man errs and fails because his means are wrong.”
“God gave you your soul to be responsible for it before Him, like a steward who was entrusted with a stewardship. Are you busy with it or with others?”
“The love which does not sacrifice is a barren love, without fruit.”
“The resurrection drew men’s attention to the glories of the other world; thus, the evanescent enjoyment of this perishable world diminished.”
“Your nature is not evil. Evil is an intruder.”
“As for the one who is self-centered, he never knows love as it should be. And if he does love, his love would not be capable of enduring as it should be.”
“Bear the faults of others as God bears your faults.”
“The one who likes to benefit always searches for profitability. Too much talk does not profit him, but one word could change his whole life.”
“Faith is a deep inner conviction and complete confidence in God, His attributes and His work.”
“Faith is not just to be mentally convinced but is an action inside the heart, to lead one through his whole life.”
“Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God”
“Prayer is a key to Heaven, it is the language and job of Angels and it is the life of the spirituals.”
“In prayer, one is elevated above materialism to meet with God.”
“Prayer is a taste of God’s Kingdom, which starts here and finishes there.”
“God can do everything on his own, but he wants you to work with Him, not only to work, but to toil and strive.”
“Thus, suffering for the Lord becomes a measure of the glory that awaits the faithful in the eternal Kingdom.”
“Love expresses its existence by laboring for the beloved one.”
“The One they crucified at Golgotha and was counted as a sinner, enduring many reproaches and insults, has risen from the dead in glory, ascended to Heaven in glory and sat down at the right hand of the Father in glory.”
“Let your gifts be comparable to your earnings, lest God makes your earnings comparable to your gifts.”
“Love is tested through suffering, tribulation and sacrifice.”
“If one loses ones inner peace, everything will look disturbed in ones’ eyes, and what is simple will seem complicated.”
“The one who overcomes hardships and does not use them as an excuse, proves the truth of his inner intentions.”
“A practical person who has faced reality and experienced life would perfectly understand that matters do not proceed according to his plans and preferences.”
“A humble person may give up his opinion and would possibly admit that he was wrong, and rectify the error.”
“A meek person deals simply with everyone and never argues much or acts stubbornly.”
“There is a big difference between stubbornness and firmness in what is right. Stubbornness is the persistence on what is wrong.”
“He never aimed at overcoming people but winning them. He never tried to destroy them but convince them.”
“The faults of the tongue are many.”
“Repentance needs a humble heart. The one who persists in his pride and dignity would not be able to repent.”
“The Christians are strong because they are an image of God and God is powerful.”
“The one who is full of peace could flow over to others, granting them comfort.”
“God is present, everything is for good, there is an end.”
“Be firm inside, steadfast in your faith, then nothing from outside will shake you.”
“Live then in peace, you will be comforted and live in confidence and calm, in good health, both spiritually and physically.”
“Find excuses for others and try your best to defend them in a rightful way, not through hypocrisy.”
“He who deals with people according to his own mentality, without taking into consideration their own mentality and way of thinking, is not practical.”
“The practical person lives in reality with all its surroundings, obstacles and problems, without ignoring anything.”
“Success in not large number served people, but in those you were able to change their lives and brought them to God.”
“Man needs to drink from all springs of knowledge, with wisdom and care, by examining and sifting information.”
“Try and reach the heart of the one you speak with, before, you reach his mind.”
“Zeal is kindling the heart and the will, as if with fire, to do what one believes to be good.”
“Think, study and investigate everything, adhere to the good attributes.”
“Service is an expression of love overflowing from the heart, it is a desire to serve.”
“If you want your words to have their full effect, choose the appropriate time to say them.”
“Speak when the ear is ready to listen to your words, and more preferable when it is eager to listen to you.”
“The important thing to keep before you is that you say your word when it finds an ear ready to listen.”
“In silence there may be wisdom and strength, there may be nobility and dignity.”
“The world sees in our conduct, in our behaviour, the proof that we are the real children of God.”
“It is not the sun which has hidden its face from the earth, but the earth which has turned its back on the sun.”
“I have noticed a type of person who talks a lot but who says nothing.”
“Every Goliath has a David waiting to conquer him in the name of the Lord of Hosts.”
“People may fear you on account of your position or power or strength, but this does not mean that they respect you.”
“Any work done by man, without the hand of God, surely leads to vain glory.”
His Holiness also gives special attention to the service of women in the Coptic Orthodox Church. “We felt a great need of the work of women and we wanted women to have a certain order and service in the Church, not only to have girls as Sunday School teachers who give a part of their time whenever they can, but we want girls and women to give their whole life to God and serve the church.” His Holiness says.
Despite his many responsibilities, His Holiness usually manages to spend three days a week in the monastery. His love of monasticism has led to a monastic revival in the Coptic Church. He has ordained hundreds of monks and nuns and renovated and reestablished many monasteries and convents. He is the first Pope to establish Coptic monasteries outside of Egypt, which presently number eight.
As a Bishop for Christian Education, His Grace has overseen the education of Sunday School Curriculum, and during his papacy, has continued to hold meetings for Sunday School teachers to establish a Sunday School curriculum for the churches abroad.
The road to monasticism was a natural consequence of the desire from his early years to consecrate his life to Christ. “…I found in monasticism,” Pope Shenouda once said, “a life of complete freedom and clarification.” he joined the Souryan Monastery in Wadi El-Natroun and, a year later, he was ordained a priest, taking the name Fr. Antonyos (Anthony) El-Souryani. In 1959, His Holiness Pope Kyrillos VI appointed Fr. Antonyos as his personal secretary.
On September 30, 1962, Pope Kyrillos VI ordained Fr. Antonyos as Bishop Shenouda, the first bishop for Christian Education. He became the President and Dean of the Theological Seminary, and by late 1969 the enrollment of full-time students doubled and the enrollment of part-time students increased 10 times its original number. Under his presidency, women were admitted to the College and several were appointed lecturers. His Grace’s efforts were recognized in 1969 when he was elected President of the Association of Middle East Theological Colleges.
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.
Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. So the evening and the morning were the first day.
Then God said, “Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.” Thus God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament; and it was so. And God called the firmament Heaven. So the evening and the morning were the second day.
Then God said, “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear”; and it was so. And God called the dry land Earth, and the gathering together of the waters He called Seas. And God saw that it was good. Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb that yields seed, and the fruit tree that yields fruit according to its kind, whose seed is in itself, on the earth”; and it was so. And the earth brought forth grass, the herb that yields seed according to its kind, and the tree that yields fruit, whose seed is in itself according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. So the evening and the morning were the third day.
Then God said, “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years; and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth”; and it was so. Then God made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night. He made the stars also. God set them in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth, and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. So the evening and the morning were the fourth day.
Then God said, “Let the waters abound with an abundance of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the face of the firmament of the heavens.” So God created great sea creatures and every living thing that moves, with which the waters abounded, according to their kind, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” So the evening and the morning were the fifth day.
Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth the living creature according to its kind: cattle and creeping thing and beast of the earth, each according to its kind”; and it was so. And God made the beast of the earth according to its kind, cattle according to its kind, and everything that creeps on the earth according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.
Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
And God said, “See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food. Also, to every beast of the earth, to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, in which there is life, I have given every green herb for food”; and it was so.
Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day.
From the land of the great ancient Egyptian civilization, the land visited by Our Lord and the Holy Family, and from the line of renowned predecessors such as St. Mark the Apostle, St. Athanasius the Apostolic, and St. Cyril the Great, comes the author of the renaissance of the Coptic Orthodox Church: H. H. Pope Shenouda III.
A distinguished and prominent religious leader, a profound theologian, a gifted preacher, a talented author, a spiritual father, a man of God his entire life.
His Holiness was born Nazeer Gayed on August 3, 1923, to a pious Christian family in Egypt. By the age of 16, H. H. was active in the Sunday School movement, which wrought to enrich Christian Education in the Coptic Orthodox Church.
When H. H. graduated from Cairo University, he joined the Coptic Orthodox Seminary, and upon graduation, joined the faculty of the seminary.
On July 18, 1954, H. H. chose the solitude of the Egyptian desert and the angelic life of monasticism over everything else, taking the example of St. Anthony the Great. As a monk, and later a monk priest, H. H. carried the name of the Christian monk and was know as Fr. Antonious El-Syriani.
Wishing to live in complete solitude and devotion to our Lord, he became a hermit and lived in a cave that he had carved out himself for a period of six years. On September 30, 1962, he was called by the late Pope Cyril VI to be consecrated Bishop of Christian Education and President of the Coptic Orthodox Theological Seminary. He was known as His Grace Bishop Shenouda. Through his leadership of the seminary, the number of students tripled.
On November 14, 1971, His Grace Bishop Shenouda was consecrated as His Holiness Pope Shenouda III, the 117th Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of St. Mark.
Since that blessed day, the Coptic Orthodox Church has witnessed a remarkable revival through the guidance of the Holy Spirit and the pastoral care of H. H. Pope Shenouda III. H. H. conducts a weekly meeting, which is attended by over seven thousand of the faithful at the Cathedral of St. Mark in Cairo.
H. H has been the editor-in-chief of El-Keraza Magazine, the official publication of the Coptic Orthodox Church, since 1962. He became the first patriarch of Alexandria since the Fifth Century to have been Dean of the Theological Seminary and continues to lecture at the branches of the Seminary in Cairo, Alexandria, and abroad and the Higher Institute of Coptic Studies. He also established other branches of the Seminary in Egypt as well as in America, Australia, and the United Kingdom.
His Holiness is the author of 101 books on a variety of subjects, over half of which have been translated into English, French, German, Italian, and other languages.
He has ordained more than eighty Metropolitans and Bishops and over 600 priests since 1971. He gives special attention to the youth of the church. H. H. has said many times, �A church without youth is a church without a future.� And one of our youth once replied to H. H., �And youth without the church are youth without a future.�
H. H. also gives special attention to the service of women in the Coptic Orthodox Church. H. H. said, and I quote, �We felt a great need of the work of women and we wanted women to have a certain order and service in the church, not only to have girls as Sunday School teacher who give a part of their time whenever they can, but we want girls and women to give their whole life to God and serve the Church.�
Despite his many responsibilities, H. H. usually manages to spend three days a week in the monastery. His love of monasticism has led a monastic revival in the Coptic Orthodox Church. He has ordained hundreds of monks and nuns and reestablished many monasteries and convents. He is the first pope to establish Coptic monasteries outside of Egypt, which presently number nine.
One of the most remarkable things about the growth of the Coptic Orthodox Church is her expansion worldwide. When H. H. became pope in 1971, there were only four churches in North America. Today, there are over 100.
The year 1996 witnessed the installation of the fist two Diocesan bishops for the United States, one for Los Angeles and the other for the Southern United States. There are plans to further group the churches into regional dioceses in the near future.
H. H. has established mission churches in the U. S. Virgin Islands in St. Thomas, Bermuda, and St. Kitts. Moreover, he founded the first Coptic Orthodox Church in South America in Sao Paolo, Brazil, and the second in Bolivia.
Under his leadership, the Coptic Orthodox Church has also witnessed a growth in Australia and New Zealand, where there are currently twenty-eight churches. In 1999, we witnessed the enthronement of the first bishop over Melbourne, Australia and New Zealand. In Europe, there are currently over fifty church and ten bishops. Africa currently has two bishops serving in missions in nine African countries.
His Holiness Pope Shenouda III is well known for his deep commitment to Christian Unity. In an address he gave at an ecumenical forum during the International Week of Prayer in 1974, he declared, �The whole Christian world is anxious to see the church unite. Christian people, being fed up with divisions, are pushing their church leaders to do something about church unity and I am sure that the Holy Spirit is inspiring us.�
H. H. has emphasized that Christian Unity must be found upon a unity of faith and not a unity of jurisdiction. As a result, H. H. has paid many visits to the various sister Orthodox churches and their patriarchs, such as those of Constantinople, Moscow, Romania, and Antioch. A full communion of these churches with the Oriental Orthodox Churches is very close.
In 1973, H. H. was the first Coptic Orthodox pope to visit the Vatican in over 1500 years. In this visit, both H. H. Pope Shenouda III and H. H. Pope Paul VI signed a common declaration on the issue of Christology and agreed to establish joint commissions for dialogue on unity. There have also been dialogues with various Protestant churches worldwide.
Under the leadership of H. H., the Coptic Orthodox Church is a full member of the World Council of Churches, the Middle East Council of Church, the All-African Council of Churches, the National Council of the Churches in Christ in the U.S.A., the Canadian Council of Churches, and the Australian Council of Churches. In May 2000, he established the first ecumenical office, in the Archdiocese of North America.
His Holiness passed away on March 17th of 2012 after more than forty years as the Pope and Patriarch of the Coptic Orthodox Church. Under his guidance, the Coptic Church flourished and saw an age of spiritual revival.
The purpose of this page is to clear up a few questions that some might have regarding the calendar system that the Coptic Orthodox Church follows.
To learn about the historic origins of the Coptic Calendar please read the article below tracing the Coptic Calendar to the ancient Egyptians.
We have put up a program that calculates the date of all major Coptic holidays including the Orthodox Easter for any year after 1902 A.D. and also calculates a few other Church Holidays. Also on this page you will find some very useful links regarding the controversy of the use of different calendar systems.
The Coptic Orthodox Church uses the Old Calendarist approach in determining the dates of Easter and the other Church Occasions that are dependent on the date of Easter. If you are interested in studying more about the Coptic Calendar and the difference between this Calendar and the Western or New Calendars, follow this link to other relevant resources.
The Coptic calendar has 13 months, 12 of 30 days each and an intercalary month at the end of the year of 5 or 6 days depending whether the year is a leap year or not. The year starts on 11 September in the Gregorian Calendar or on the 12th in the year before (Gregorian) Leap Years. The Coptic Leap Year follows the same rules as the Gregorian so that the extra month always has 6 days in the year before a Gregorian Leap Year. The names of the months and their starting dates are as follows:
Some Historic Aspects on its Origin:
The Feast of Neyrouz marks the first day of the Coptic Calendar known as the Year of the Martyrs “ANO MARTYRUM, A.M.” Its celebration falls on the 1st day of the month named Tut, the first month of the Coptic year, which usually coincides with the 11th day of September.
The Coptic calendar, the oldest in history, originated three millennia before Christ. The exact date of its origin is unknown. It is believed that Imhotep, the supreme official of King Djoser C.2670 BC. had a great impact on the construction of the calendar.
Historically, ancient Egyptians initially used a civil calendar based on a solar year that consisted of 365 days only, without making any adjustment for the additional quarter of a day each year. However, in the mean time, they knew an astronomical calendar which is based on an astronomical concept namely the heliacal rising of a bright star called Sirius “Canis Major, the Dog Star” at the dawn of the eastern horizon. The day on which the heliacal rising of Sirius occurs marks the first day of the year. Sirius or Spdt in ancient Egyptian is characterized by high luminosity and is a member of the constellation Canis Major. It lies about 8.6 light years from earth. The first day coincides with the arrival of the highest point of river Nile flood at Memphis, south west of Cairo, the capital of Egypt during the early dynastic period of the old kingdom.
Discrepancies in year length underwent complex calculations considering stellar, solar and lunar cycles. Ancient Egyptians realized that the helical rising of the star Sirius, or Sothis, coincides with the new year’s day of the civil calendar precisely every 1460 years. A cycle that is known as the Sothic cycle. A record exists by the 3rd century A.D. grammarian Censorinus that in A.D. 139 the first day of the Egyptian Civil Year coincided with the helical rising of Sirius, marking the end of a Sothic cycle. This phenomenon was celebrated by issuing coins on the back of which appears the Greek inscription A ION, indicating an end of an Era. Egypt then was under the Roman Rule of Emperor Antoninus Pius. The notion of eternal time was personified and deified. A relief of the deity Aion was found in Oxyrhnichus , present day el-Bahnasa in middle Egypt. This notion, found its way into Persian Mithraism and into Gnosticism.
Similar sightings were recorded in the 7th year of the reign of King Senuse’rt the third (1878-1841 B.C.) of the third Dynasty. The dating of the event was the 16th day of the 4th month of the 2nd season. Discrepancies between the yearly Stellar cycle and Solar cycle were realized along the course of centuries or millennia. The difference is very slight, however, along the course of time it became visible and chaotic. The following ancient Egyptian interesting stories i illustrate the resulting effect of the widening gap. A record from an inscription from the reign of King Amenemhet the 3rd (1842-1797 B.C.) describes a visit of his treasurer Harurre to Serabit elKhadem, in Sinai, to extract turquoise ore in the third month of what was, according to the civil calendar, winter. The fact was, according to the inscription, the weather was that of high summer. Harurre describes how he and his men suffered badly from the mountains that brand the skin with the intense heat. The civil calendar, then, was out of phase with Solar cycles by about seven months. A papyrus of the Ramesside period describes in the 13th century B.C. “Winter is come in Summer, the months are reversed, the hours in confusion”.
It should be noted that ancient Egyptian Civil Calendar relates to regal years of each king and their Dynasties. By counting forwards and backwards the chronological order was then related to three helical risings of the star Sirus mentioned above. By the year 664 B.C., the beginning of the 26th Dynasty (Saite Period) Egyptian chronology became more accurate. However, in spite of the stories mentioned above, the subdivision of the year into three seasons based on the regular River Nile flood and agricultural activities namely, inundation of the river Nile “Acht”, sowing “Bert” and harvesting “Shemmo”, remained accurately observed along the millennia. This subdivision possibly occurred during the Ramesside period of the 19th Dynasty.
The Coptic Year is the extension of the ancient Egyptian civil year retaining its subdivision into the three seasons, four months each. This subdivision is maintained in the Coptic Calendar. The three seasons are commemorated by special prayers in the Coptic Divine Liturgy.
Abanoub was only twelve years old when he was martyred by the Roman ruler. On July 31 our Church celebrates his death, as the day of his birth into eternal life.
Abanoub’s relics, as well as the relics of many Christians who died with him, are still preserved in St. Virgin Mary and St. Abanoub church in Samanoud. It is also said that the Holy Family visited that place during their Flight into Egypt. The church still contains the well from which The Lord Jesus, St. Mary, and St. Joseph drank. Numerous apparitions and miracles do occur in that church until this very day. Abanoub was born in a town called Nehisa in the Nile Delta. He was the only son of good Christian parents who died when he was a young child. At age twelve Abanoub entered the church to hear the priest asking the congregation to remain faithful during the persecutions provoked by Diocletian, the Roman emperor.
Abanoub received the Holy Sacraments, then he prayed to God to guide him to where he can confess his faith in Jesus our Lord. After that Abanoub went out, and gave all his possessions to the needy. Then he set off to a city called Samanoud, on foot. While he was walking, he saw the Archangel Michael in celestial glory. The sight was so extraordinary that Abanoub fell to the ground, but the Archangel raised him up, and told him that he must suffer for three days in Samanoud and he would witness to Jesus Christ in other places also.
Once in Samanoud, Abanoub went to the Roman ruler and declared his faith openly. He also insulted the ruler’s idols. The ruler was mad and gave orders to whip him on his belly. The soldiers beat Abanoub severely until his intestines poured out of his tummy. But the Archangel Michael miraculously healed him. Then the ruler put him in jail with other Christians who were encouraged by his presence among them, and later were martyred for the name of Jesus.
The following day, the ruler took Abanoub on a boat to a city called Atrib, and as punishment, he hung Abanoub upside down from the sail of the boat. The soldiers, along with their ruler, started drinking and dancing and hitting Abanoub on the mouth. Abanoub’s nose bled, but then unexpectedly, the soldiers became blind and the ruler became paralyzed. In their agony they cried to him and said, “Please Abanoub, pray to your God to heal us. For if we are cured, we will become Christians.”
St. Abanoub replied, “This will only happen in Atrib, so that everyone there should know that there is no other God but Christ.” When they arrived in Atrib, they were all healed, and they cried with joy, “We are Christiansl We believe in the God of Abanoub” Then they took off their uniforms and threw them on the ground in front of the ruler of Atrib. The governor got very mad, and ordered them to be killed.
In Atrib, Abanoub was tortured severely, sometimes by whipping and sometimes by tying him to a steel bed and igniting fire under him. But in all these tribulations, the Lord showed his power and Abanoub was saved. As a result of these miracles, many onlookers became Christians, and received the crown of martyrdom. The ruler then gave orders to cut Abanoub’s hands and feet. Suddenly the Angel of the Lord came down from heaven, put the hands and feet in place, and healed him. Then Abanoub got up and walked in front of everybody. Hundreds of people became Christians as a result of that miracle.
Frustrated, the ruler called some of the best magicians in the country, and asked them to help him defeat Abanoub. They suggested that he should be thrown to the poisonous snakes. “Those snakes have enough poison to kill two or three hundred men.” they said. So they put Abanoub in a cell with the snakes, but God, who shut the mouths of the lions at the time of Daniel, tamed the snakes and they did not harm Abanoub. In the morning, and to everybody’s astonishment, St. Abanoub came out from the cell alive. Then suddenly one of the snakes crawled out of the cell and coiled itself around the ruler’s neck. The man started shaking and he cried, “In the name of Jesus your God, be merciful on me and don’t let the snake harm me.” The saint who loved everyone – friend or enemy – just as the Gospel commands, prayed from the heart, and then ordered the snake to come down and not to hurt the ruler. On that day, many people who were present including the three magicians believed in Jesus.
Finally one of the ruler’s advisers told him to behead the saint and put an end to that episode. So the ruler ordered the soldiers to kill St. Abanoub by the sword. A faithful man called St. Julius wrapped Abanoub’s body in fine linen and sent him to his hometown Nehisa where he was buried.
In 960 A.D., his body was transferred to St. Virgin Mary’s church in Samanoud where it still lies until today. Throughout the years, Abanoub made lots of apparitions in that church. He used to appear as a twelve-year old child and play with children of his age. Once he interfered in a fight between some Christian and Moslem children. This incident aggravated one of the prominent Moslems who lived beside the church. The priest of the church, who was an old man, got mad when he learned about what happened. In his fury he forbade the Child Saint from appearing. Amazingly, the Saint obeyed the priest’s decision and the apparitions stopped for many years.
It was only in 1974, when Father Abanoub Louis was ordained priest at that church, that he summoned two bishops who came to the church and after praying fervently, they gave permission to the saint to appear if he wished. In about two weeks time the first apparition was witnessed followed by numerous miracles and appearances.
A well-known bishop visited Montreal recently and spoke about the miracles that he witnessed himself. He said, “One day, I was visiting Samanoud, and I participated in celebrating mass in St. Virgin Mary and St. Abanoub Church. The mass was in the middle of the week, and was attended by few people. After we finished, I remarked about how beautiful a Church it is, and that I really enjoyed praying mass in it, except for one little thing.” I added that throughout the prayers a young boy kept coming in and out of the front door. The priest told me that he did not see any young children, and that the mass was attended by few grown-ups. Then he concluded that that young boy was St. Abanoub.
Another man said that after he attended mass, he went on his way carrying a brief-case.’It was raining, and I slipped, and fell into a puddle. Then a young boy came running at me, and helped me get on my feet. He handed me my brief case, and told me to cross to the other side of the street. I was surprised to find out that my clothes and my brief-case were completely dry. Then I looked for the little boy, but he had disappeared.”
May the prayers and supplications of this great Martyr, the Child Saint Abanoub be with us. Amen.
His Holiness Pope Tawadros II was born Wagih Sobhy Baky Soliman on November 4th, 1952 in Mansoura. His father was an irrigation engineer and his family moved around during his childhood from Mansoura to Sohag and then to Damanhour.
He received his bachelor’s degree in pharmacy in 1975 from Alexandria University and earned a fellowship for the World Health Organization from the British International Health Institute in England in 1985. He attended the Coptic Seminary and graduated in 1983. He then worked as a manager in a pharmaceutical company in Damanhour that was owned by the Ministry of Health.
His Holiness’s life has always revolved around church since his youth; he wished to live the life of monasticism. He entered the Monastery of St. Pishoy in Wadi Elnatroun on August 20th, 1986 and remained a brother for two years. He was ordained a monk on July 31, 1988 and after a year he was ordained a priest on December 23, 1989. Two months after, H.H. Pope Tawadros started serving with H.E. Metropolitan Pakhomius of Beheira on February 15th, 1990. He was ordained a bishop on June 15th, 1997 by H.H. the Late Pope Shenouda III as a General Bishop assisting H.E. Metropolitan Pakhomius. His Holiness focused on childhood whether it was in the country-wide children’s festival as well when he was in charge of the children’s committee in the Holy Synod. Before assuming the papacy, H.H. wrote twelve books.
His Holiness was enthroned as the 118th Pope of Alexandria and Pope of the See of St. Mark on November 19th, 2012 at the Cathedral of St. Reweiss in Abbassiya, Cairo. The enthronement was presided by H.E. Metropolitan Pakhomius of Beheira, other metropolitans and bishops of the Coptic church and was attended by many delegates of Christian Churches.