It does not, consequently, fall into the category of buildings more than years old and protected by law. Owing, however, to its fine architecture and its being the site of an acclaimed miracle, it has become a popular attraction for pilgrims. People from all walks of life visit the church day and night, the church fathers say, so restoration was considered appropriate and, indeed, necessary.
Israel had just prevailed in the Six-Day War the previous year. Egypt lost the Sinai Peninsula to Israel. On both sides, passions were high and people were scared.
Since the evening of Tuesday April 2, the 24th of Bramhat, A. The apparitions occurred on many different nights and are continuing in different forms. The Holy Virgin Saint Mary appeared sometimes in full form and sometimes in a bust, surrounded with a halo of shining light.
The Church is dedicated to the Holy family, which according to tradition rested in that place during their stay in Egypt. For three years Our Lady appeared on many occasions especially at night, and sometimes she was accompanied by white doves that would fly around her. The first two years she appeared about two to three times a week. These apparitions attracted large crowds by night, sometimes up topeople.
The evening of April 2, began just like any other in Zeitoun, the sprawling suburb of Cairo. The hot, dusty streets were alive with the cacophony of horns, carts, and street peddlers making their way home through the dusky haze. Farouk Atwa—a 31 year-old construction worker—had just completed his shift in a parking garage across from St.
The dominant narrative, documented by the state-run Al-Ahram and Al-Akhbar newspapers as well as press releases by the Coptic Orthodox Church, explained that workers at a Public Transport Authority garage opposite the Zeitoun Church were the first to see the light of the Virgin Mary on the church dome. A documentary on the event argued that never before had such a large group of people witnessed an apparition of the Virgin Mary. The Lebanese press was the first to extensively cover the event.
The local police, believing the apparitions to be an elaborate hoax, were unable to find any source of trickery. The government put teams of soldiers on a 15 mile radius search of the church to try to find any electrical devices or projectors which could be creating the images. Nothing was found.
The following week it happened again, and continued 2 or 3 times a week for a total of three years, ending in Many believed the apparition was the Virgin Mary, clothed with light. The phenomenon occurred on top of a church that is traditionally held to be a location where the Holy Family stayed during their sojourn in Egypt. The apparition was witnessed by people of every faith, including both Muslims and Christians.
Residents of Assiut, Egypt were awakened in the middle of the night on August 17, by an exceptionally bright light coming from Saint Mark's Coptic Orthodox Church. Those who looked toward the church saw an apparition of Mary between the church's two towers, accompanied by large, glowing white doves a traditional symbol of peace and the Holy Spirit flying around her. The figure of Mary emanated a brilliant white light, and so did the halo around Mary's head.
Jayman brings up a fascinating subject in a comment on my post about the frequency of divine intervention. Starting inand continuing over a year period, an apparition of the Virgin Mary appeared over the Coptic Church of Saint Mary in Zeitoun, Egypt. It was witnessed by millions of people of different religious beliefs, it was photographed and videotaped. Miraculous cures were also experienced.