CWN - The Palm Sunday bombings of Coptic Orthodox churches were “a test for the faith of Egypt’s Christians,” the head of the country’s Catholic Copts told the Fides news service.

Patriarch Ibrahim Isaac Sidrak, the Coptic Catholic leader, reported that he was celebrating Mass in the Catholic cathedral in Alexandria at the time when a suicide bomber struck at the Coptic Orthodox cathedral nearby. “We clearly heard the loud explosion,” he said.

The Catholic patriarch said that his Orthodox counterpart, Coptic Pope Tawadros II was “deeply saddened” by the bombings, to the point that “it is not easy to speak with him.” Pope Tawadros was apparently the target of the bomber in Alexandria, but escaped unharmed.

The Catholic patriarch said that he was happy to hear that Pope Francis will not alter his plan to visit Egypt later this month. He remarked that “cancellation of the program could have given the impression that bloodshed and terror can prevail.”

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Teachings of Christ

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” (Matthew 5:43-44 ESV)

Christ is Born!

Your Nativity, O Christ our God, * has dawned upon the world the light of knowledge. * for through it, those who served the stars * were taught by a star to worship You, the Sun of Righteousness * and to know You, the Dawn from on high. * Glory to You, O Lord! (Troparion, Tone 4)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Today the Virgin gives birth to the Transcendent One, * and the earth offers a cave to the Unapproachable One. * Angels and shepherds sing His glory; * Wise Men journey with a star * for there is born for us an infant Child, the God Who is before all ages. (Kontakion, Tone 3)

Random Proverb

"My son, do not lose sight of these — keep sound wisdom and discretion, and they will be life for your soul." (Proverbs 3:21,22a ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

Therefore let us leave untouched the senseless speculations of the masses and the false doctrines, and turn to the teaching delivered to us in the beginning, let us be temperate and ready for our prayers, persevere in fasting, and fervently implore the All-seeing God not to expose us to temptations, since the Lord has said: 'The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.'

St. Polycarp, Epistle to the Philippians