Last Tuesday, the Coptic Church commemorated the luminous apparition of the Holy Virgin in 1968 on the roof of the church consecrated in her name in the east Cairo suburb of Zeitoun. St Mary appeared in full length between the domes of the church and near the cross.
Her form was first spotted on the evening of 2 April by a few workers in a nearby garage for public buses while on their night shift. They began shouting and bidding her to take care, since they thought it was a woman attempting suicide. It took them some time to realise this was not the case, and that it was an apparition of the Holy Virgin.
Crowds flocked to the spot to see the Virgin and be blessed by her. The apparitions continued for more than a year.
In honour of the event, Egypt’s then president Gamal Abdel-Nasser donated the land on which the garage was erected to the Church, and a great basilica now stands in its place.
Today, Copts celebrate the Annunciation of the angel Gabriel to the Holy Virgin that she would conceive and bring a Son whom she would call Jesus. The Gospel of St Luke says: “He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of David his father; and he shall reign in the house of Jacob forever. And of his kingdom there shall be no end.”
7 April 2013