By: GEORGE YOUSSEF
The Great Lent is undoubtedly the holiest fast observed by the Coptic Orthodox Church. During the Great Lent, we fast for a total of fifty five days; seven days from the preparation week, forty days to fast as Our Lord fasted in the wilderness for forty days and forty nights (Matthew 4:2), one day for Lazarus Saturday, and the seven last days for Holy Week . It is important to constantly remember the value of fasting during this period. On the surface, we abstain from food, drink, delicacies, and other pleasures; however, this is done to express the love, commitment, and sacrifice we offer up to God who sent His Only-Begotten Son to die for us. In addition to fasting and sacrificing to express our devotion and commitment to God, we take this blessed opportunity to grow spiritually and avoid the sinful distractions that may pull us away from our holy state. This is done by increasing the times we pray and contemplate. To help us do this, the church provides an organized set of
On the 11th day of Tout, St. Basilides (Wasilides) who was a minister and counsellor for the Roman Empire, was martyred. He had many slaves and servants. Emperor Numerianus was the ruler, who was married to Basilides' sister, Patricia, and had a son called Yustus. Patricia was also the mother of Theodore El-Mishreke. Basilides had two sons: Awsabyos (Eusebyus) and Macarius.
When the Persians waged war against Rome, Emperor Numerianus sent to them his son Yustus and Awsabyos, Basilides' son. Then he went to fight another enemy and was killed in that war. His kingdom was thus left vacant without a ruler.
The people chose from among the soldiers a man called Agrippita, who was a shepherd, and they set him over the royal horses, stable. He was a mighty man in action, bold in his dealings. One of the emperor's daughters looked at him and took him as her husband. She made him emperor and called him, "Diocletian." Shortly after, he forsook the Lord God of Heaven and worshipped idols. When Wasilides heard this, he was sorrowful, and he did not return to the service of the new Emperor.
His Holiness Pope Tawadros II announced the inclusion of the 21 Coptic New Martyrs of Libya in the Synaxarium of the Coptic Orthodox Church today. Every year, they will be commemorated on 8 Amshir in the Coptic calendar, which corresponds to 15 February in the Gregorian calendar, the same day as the Feast of the Presentation of our Lord in the Temple.
Axios, Axios, Axios!
This beautiful icon, which is also featured on the front page, was drawn by Tony Rezk. May the Lord reward his talents.
[Article link: http://lacopts.org/story/the-new-martyrs-of-libya-added-to-the-coptic-synaxarium/]
I congratulate you, my beloved, for the Glorious Nativity feast and beginning the New Year of 2015. I hope you to have a new year full of blessings, goodness, love, joy and peace. In fact, I am so happy to communicate with you through this message—to all the beloved at every Coptic Orthodox Church all over the world, every family, all youth, all servants, the board of the church, all children, and all brethren.
When God created humanity, He intended them to be in continuous communication. He wanted them to be the crown of creation. After creating all things first, He created the King of all creation on earth. Man, having the breath of God, was the great creation of God. But sin came and humiliated him and cast him away from what God planned for him. Since the sin of Adam and Eve, our first parents, humanity came into struggle with all aspects of sin in their lives. There are three main weaknesses that dwelled in humanity as a result of original sin.
The first is Dominance by the Ego. The ego of the human being became his own god or idol. Man began to worship his ego along with power, desires, and all that resulted therefrom. When we look to the world, we find that the dominance by the ego