english.ahram.org.eg - As they look forward to Roman Catholic Pope Francis’s visit to Egypt this week, Egypt’s Catholics might also be pleased by the public attention now being given to their history

It was sometime around the mid-1940s that Christine used to frequent the offices of her father Louis in downtown Cairo. There she would run from one room to the other and even step out of the offices to find her way into a nearby pharmaceutical business where the later famous singer Dalida was then working as a typist.

“I loved Dalida. She was very beautiful, and she would smile at me and get me to sit on her knees and to type a little on her typewriter. Those were such different times,” Christine said. She was speaking after having attended mass at the St Joseph’s Church of the Franciscan Order of Egypt.

Situated off Mohamed Farid Street in downtown Cairo, the beautiful church was built in the early 20th century after the land was offered to the Franciscan monks by the state and money was made available by a rich family belonging to the Roman Catholic Church. It was also in this very church that Christine and her two sisters were baptised six or seven decades ago.

For over 100 years, according to Father Boutros Daniel, now the priest in charge at the church, St Joseph’s had had its days of glory. “They might have dwindled a bit now, as the community has got smaller, but we are still celebrating, especially since our choir will be joining Pope Francis in the mass he will hold during his visit to Egypt that starts on Friday,” he said.

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Teachings of Christ

“The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:45 ESV)

Theophany

When You were baptized in the Jordan, O Lord, * worship of the Trinity was revealed, * for the Father's voice bore witness to You, calling You His “beloved Son”, * and the Spirit in the form of a dove confirmed the certainty of these words. * O Christ God, * Who appeared and enlightened the world, glory to You! (Troparion, Tone 1)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and to the ages of ages. Amen.

You have appeared to the whole world today, * and Your light, O Lord, is signed upon us, * who with knowledge sing praise to You: * "You have come, and You have appeared, O Unapproachable Light." (Kontakion, Tone 4)

Random Proverb

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction. (Proverbs 1:7 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

"'And [Naaman] dipped himself . . . seven times in the Jordan' [2 Kgs. 5:14]. It was not for nothing that Naaman of old, when suffering from leprosy, was purified upon his being baptized, but [this served] as an indication to us. For as we are lepers in sin, we are made clean, by means of the sacred water and the invocation of the Lord, from our old transgressions, being spiritually regenerated as new-born babes, even as the Lord has declared: `Except a man be born again through water and the Spirit, he shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.'"

St. Irenaeus of Lyons (190 AD), Fragment 34