Pope Tawadros II paid a visit on Saturday 22 May 2021 to the the Western Desert monastery of St Macarius in Wadi al-Natroun, some 100km northwest Cairo.
The Pope started his visit with a Prayer of Thanksgiving. The monks chanted the Resurrection Chant which is usually regularly sung during the period between the Feast of the Resurrection and the Pentecost, and later took a group photograph with the Pope.
In a prayer meeting with the monks, Pope Tawadros spoke of the Resurrection and Heavenly Life. This was followed by the Pope replying to the monks’ questions their monastery’s affairs. In conclusion, the Pope
handed all monks souvenir gifts.
Before leaving, the Pope met the monks in charge of the administration of the monastery to discuss relevant monastic affairs.
Pope Tawadros has been in charge of St Macarius Monastery since July 2018 when its Abbot, Anba Epiphanius, was murdered. In an interview with the Pope last March, Watani asked why St Macarius’s did not as yet get a new abbot. The Pope said: “St Macarius’s underwent a very difficult experience in 2018 and, even now following two-and-a-half years, the wound is still open. When the Lord allows us to sense full recovery of that wound, we will surely appoint an abbot. For now, the monastery is under the care of a spiritual supervisor and an administrative one. I am in regular contact with the monastery, and used to visit every month or two till COVID-19 restrictions curtailed these visits.”
23 May 2021