At the church of the Holy Virgin and Anba Bishoy in Port Said on Egypt’s Mediterranean coast west of the Delta, the plastic bag placed under the famous Holy Virgin icon to collect the oil dripping from the icon has been taken away and a new one placed in its stead.
The oil has been miraculously dripping from the icon for some 34 years today; it drips from mid-February every year, and continues dripping till the end of the following January, after which it the flow of oil resumes.
Anba Tadros, Metropolitan Tadros, Metropolitan of Port-Said was joined by
Anba Antonios, Metropolitan of Jerusalem and the Near East in the by-now traditional ceremony of taking away the plastic bag full of the oil that had dripped throughout the previous year, and fitting in its place a new empty one to collect the new oil.
This February 2024 marks the 35th year in succession since miraculous oil started dripping from a large modern paper icon of St Mary, Our Lady of Zaitoun (1.5m x 0.5m), in the church of the Holy Virgin and Anba Bishoy in Port Said. The church had been originally named after Anba Bishoy till the holy oil began dripping in 1990, after which it was spontaneously given the name “church of the Holy Virgin and Anba Bishoy”. Christians from all over Egypt, and from other places in the world, flock to the church for the blessings of the oil.
The transparent, almost colourless oil has a distinctive aromatic smell reminiscent of fresh flowers. It drips from the hands of the Holy Virgin and is famous for its miraculous healing properties.
“We pray that she [the Holy Virgin] may overflow us all with her love and bless us with the drip and flow of holy oil from her icon,” Anba Antonios posted on Facebook.
For full details on the story of icon and the holy oil:
6 February 2024