Thursday, January 7, 2010

Our Lady of Egypt


Saint Matthew:

When they had departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, "Rise, take the child and his mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I tell you. Herod is going to search for the child to destroy him." Joseph rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed for Egypt. He stayed there until the death of Herod, that what the Lord had said through the prophet might be fulfilled, "Out of Egypt I called my son." (Mt 2:13-15)

Pope John Paul II:
1. With the blessing of Saint Paul, which leads us directly to the heart of the mystery of Trinitarian communion, I greet all of you with deep affection and in the bonds of love which unite us in the Lord.

It is for me a great joy to be a pilgrim in the country which gave hospitality and protection to our Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Family; as it is written in the Gospel of Saint Matthew: "Joseph rose and took the child and his mother by night, and departed to Egypt, and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet, 'Out of Egypt have I called my son'" (Mt 2:14-15).

Egypt has been home to the Church from the beginning. Founded upon the apostolic preaching and authority of Saint Mark, the Church of Alexandria soon became one of the leading communities in the early Christian world. Venerable bishops like Saint Athanasius and Saint Cyril bore witness to faith in the Triune God and in Jesus Christ, true God and true man, as defined by the first Ecumenical Councils. It was in the desert of Egypt that monastic life originated, in both its solitary and communal forms, under the spiritual fatherhood of Saint Anthony and Saint Pachomius. Thanks to them and to the great impact of their spiritual writings, monastic life became part of our common heritage. During recent decades that same monastic charism has flourished anew, and it irradiates a vital spiritual message far beyond the borders of Egypt.

Ecumenical Meeting at the new Cathedral of Our Lady of Egypt
SPEECH OF THE HOLY FATHER JOHN PAUL II
Cairo, 25 February 2000

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