Cairo (Agenzia Fides) - The young Egyptian Ahmed Said al-Sonbati, who on Thursday 13 October killed and stabbed Coptic priest Samaan Shahata in a peripheral street in Cairo, is not a person who is mentally unstable but a criminal already known to the police due to previous acts of violence. This is what Anba Stephanos, Coptic Orthodox Bishop of Beba, al Fashn and Samasta underlines, so as to reject the versions relaunched by Egyptian media that interpret the murder of the priest as a violent act committed by a mentally ill person. Such voices were actually credited by the same official sources of the Interior Ministry, which have attributed previous criminal convictions - such as attempting to set fire to his own home or physical violence committed against his own father - which would testify the state of "mental disorder".
Coptic priest Samaan Shetata, married and father of three children, belonging to a diocese of Upper Egypt, was in Cairo to raise funds in favor of the poor of his region, when he was attacked in the street by Ahmed Said al-Sonbati. After the murder, Coptic Orthodox Bishop Raphael, Secretary of the Holy Synod of the Coptic Orthodox Church, issued a statement in which, among other things, deplored the fact that many criminals and terrorists, authors of violence against Christians, were not affected by any form of punishment, while some were released after the arrest. This anomaly - emphasized Anba Raphael - contributes to spreading the impression that crimes against Christian citizens often remain unpunished. (GV) (Agenzia Fides, 16/10/2017)


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)

Entrance of the Mother of God into the Temple

Today is the prelude of the goodwill of God * and the heralding of the salvation of mankind; * the Virgin appears clearly in the temple of God * and foretells Christ to all. * Let us also with a mighty voice cry out to her: * “Rejoice, O Fulfillment of the Creator’s divine plan.” (Troparion - Tone 4)

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

The most pure Temple of the Savior, * the most precious Bridal-Chamber and Virgin, the sacred Treasury of the glory of God, * is brought today into the house of the Lord, * bringing with her the grace that is in the Divine Spirit. * The angels of God praise her in song: * “She is the heavenly tabernacle.” (Kontakion - Tone 4)

(November 21st)

Random Proverb

"Let your heart hold fast my words; keep my commandments, and live." (Proverbs 4:4 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

The Holy Eucharist is the first, most important, and greatest miracle of Christ. All the other Gospel miracles are secondary. How could we not call the greatest miracle the fact that simple bread and wine were once transformed by the Lord into His very Body and His very Blood, and then have continued to be transformed for nearly two thousand years by the prayers of priests, who are but simple human beings? And what is more, this mystery has continued to effect a miraculous change in those people who communicate of the Divine Mysteries with faith and humility. 

St. Ambrose of Optina