The Painting is by Wagdy Habashy
Today marks the beginning of the 15-day fast of the Holy Virgin in the Coptic Orthodox Church. As the mother figure that embodies tender, unconditional love, the Holy Virgin is close to the heart of Egyptians; so much so that many Muslims are known to join in her fast.
For Copts, the Holy Virgin’s Fast is a festive season where churches hold Mass every morning, and praises and celebrations every evening. The fast is famous as the fast which the congregation imposed on the Church, not the other way round. Historically, it started as a fast for young women—virgins, so to speak—but more and more of the congregation took to marking it till it became a full-fledged fast in the Church. Contrary to other fasts characterised by sentiments of repentance and atonement, the Holy Virgin’s Fast is a time of jubilant happiness.
Watani wishes its readers a happy, blessed fast.
7 August 2016