Deisis (Novogorod)

Dozens killed in bombings at Coptic churches; Islamic State claims responsibility

CWN - At least 44 Coptic Christians were killed on Palm Sunday, April 9, in two separate bombings.

More than 30 people were killed, and 75 others injured, when a suicide bomber approached the altar of a historic Coptic church in Tanta, north of Cairo, and set up off device at the front of the church. Soon thereafter, another suicide bomber struck at St. Mark’s cathedral in Alexandria, where the Coptic Pope Tawadros was presiding at Palm Sunday services. At least a dozen people were killed, and another 65 injured, in the latter attack.

The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the bombings. Egyptian authorities say that the Muslim Brotherhood was also involved.

The two Coptic churches appear to have been chosen for their symbolic value. The Mar Girgis Church in Tanta is one of the oldes Christian churches in Egypt, dating back to the year 316. The cathedral in Alexandria was likely targeted because of the presence of Pope Tawadros.

Security at the cathedral was tight, and the suicide bomber was stopped at a screening point when he detonated his explosive belt. Pope Tawadros was not hurt, and was escorted from the damaged building under heavy security.

Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi telephoned his condolences to Pope Tawadros after the bombings, and declared three days of national mourning. He also declared a national state of emergency, and ordered troops to protect Christian churches.

A Vatican spokesman said that the bombings would not affect plans for a visit to Egypt by Pope Francis later this month. “There is no doubt that the Holy Father will maintain his resolution to go,” Archbishop Angelo Becciu, the deputy secretary of state, tol Corriere della Sera. “What happened caused dismay and great suffering, but it cannot stop the Pope’s mission of peace.”

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July 9, 2017

Fifth Sunday: After Pentecost
- Matins: Luke 24:12-35 (Gospel 5)
- Liturgy: Romans 10:1-10, Matthew 8:28-9:1

Sixth Week After Pentecost
- Monday: Romans 16:17-24, Matthew 13:10-23
- Tuesday: 1 Corinthians 1:1-9, Matthew 13:24-30
- Wednesday: 1 Corinthians 2:9-3:8, Matthew 13:31-36
- Thursday: 1 Corinthians 3:18-23, Matthew 13:36-43
- Friday: 1 Corinthians 4:5-8, Matthew 13:44-54
- Saturday: Romans 9:1-5, Matthew 9:18-26

July 16, 2017
Sixth Sunday: After Pentecost
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Fathers of the First Six Ecumenical Councils
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Seventh Week After Pentecost
- Monday: 1 Corinthians 5:9-6:11, Matthew 13:54-58
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July 20, 2017
Holy Prophet Elias
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- Liturgy: James 5:10-20, Luke 4:22-30
 
- Thursday: 1 Corinthians 7:24-35, Matthew 15:12-21
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- Saturday: Romans 12:1-3, Matthew 10:37-11:1
 
July 23, 2017
Seventh Sunday After Pentecost
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Eighth Week After Pentecost
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- Tuesday: 1 Corinthians 10:5-12, Matthew 16:6-12
- Wednesday: 1 Corinthians 10:12-22, Matthew 16:20-24
- Thursday: 1 Corinthians 10:28-11:7, Matthew 16:24-28
- Friday: 1 Corinthians 11:8-22, Matthew 17:10-18
- Saturday: Romans 13:1-10, Matthew 12:30-37
 
July 30, 2017
Eighth Sunday After Pentecost
- Matins: John 20:11-18 (Gospel 8)
- Liturgy: 1 Corinthians 1:10-18, Matthew 14:14-22

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Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

Abbot Macarius was asked: "How should I pray?" The staretz answered: "There is no need to waste time with words; it is enough to hold out your hands and say: 'Lord, have mercy.'  If you are hard pressed in the struggle, say: 'Lord, save me!' He knows what is best for you, and he will have mercy on you."

Abbot Macarius, quoted in St. Gregory Palamas and Orthodox Spirituality, Meyendorff, 1974, SVS Press