Monday, March 12, 2012

Pray for Pope Shenouda

Please pray for His Holiness Pope Shenouda III who is seriously ill. A modern day hero of the Church, he became Patriarch of Alexandria in 1971, and under his leadership the Coptic Orthodox Church has experienced a period of rapid expansion at home and around the world. 

This has been due, not only to migration, but also to a passion for evangelisation, as Pope Shenouda has managed to impart to his people a renewed love of Scripture and the proclamation of the Gospel. Indeed, for many years, as Patriarch he personally taught Bible studies every second Sunday evening in St Mark's Cathedral, Alexandria, regularly attended by 2,000 people, and also every Wednesday evening at St Mark's Cathedral in Cairo, attended by 7,000 people. His approach to the Bible is simultaneously evangelical and orthodox; and he always applies the text to the day to day Christian lives of ordinary people. 

The Coptic Orthodox Church is the Church of the ancient Desert Fathers, and  embodies an orthodox spirituality marked by celibate monasticism and asceticism, blended with a simple evangelical faith and earthy piety, with regular hours of prayer. History shows that Coptic monasticism and spirituality influenced Celtic Christianity in the British Isles well before St Augustine's 597 AD mission to the Anglo Saxons. 

It has been observed by a number of commentators that Pope Shenouda III has "opened the Church of the Desert Fathers up to the world." 

(Go HERE to Pope Shenoudda's website.)

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According to The Middle East Monitor 9th March, 2012 Dr. Mohamed Badie, leader of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, visited Pope Shenouda on 8th March, wishing the Pope a speedy recovery and lasting good health:

"Dr. Badie and the Pope had a cordial discussion," said a spokesman, "with joint expressions of hope that the atmosphere of love and affection manifested during the January 25 revolution, which showed the real mettle of ordinary, decent people, would last among all Egyptians, Muslims and Copts alike."

The statement added that Pope Shenouda expressed his appreciation of this very first visit by the General Guide of the Muslim Brotherhood to the Holy See, and wished the movement success in the prominent role it now plays in the country’s affairs.

The visit gave the Cathedral staff an opportunity to extent traditional hospitality, which was much appreciated.


Anonymous said...

May God rest his soul and strengthen the church.

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