Cairo (Agenzia Fides) - The young Egyptian Ahmed Said al-Sonbati, who on Thursday 13 October killed and stabbed Coptic priest Samaan Shahata in a peripheral street in Cairo, is not a person who is mentally unstable but a criminal already known to the police due to previous acts of violence. This is what Anba Stephanos, Coptic Orthodox Bishop of Beba, al Fashn and Samasta underlines, so as to reject the versions relaunched by Egyptian media that interpret the murder of the priest as a violent act committed by a mentally ill person. Such voices were actually credited by the same official sources of the Interior Ministry, which have attributed previous criminal convictions - such as attempting to set fire to his own home or physical violence committed against his own father - which would testify the state of "mental disorder".
Coptic priest Samaan Shetata, married and father of three children, belonging to a diocese of Upper Egypt, was in Cairo to raise funds in favor of the poor of his region, when he was attacked in the street by Ahmed Said al-Sonbati. After the murder, Coptic Orthodox Bishop Raphael, Secretary of the Holy Synod of the Coptic Orthodox Church, issued a statement in which, among other things, deplored the fact that many criminals and terrorists, authors of violence against Christians, were not affected by any form of punishment, while some were released after the arrest. This anomaly - emphasized Anba Raphael - contributes to spreading the impression that crimes against Christian citizens often remain unpunished. (GV) (Agenzia Fides, 16/10/2017)


Teachings of Christ

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God." (Matthew 5:9 ESV)

Lenten Prayer of St. Ephrem

O Lord and Master of my life, drive away from me the spirit of despondency, carelessness, love of power, and idle chatter. (Prostration)

Rather grant to me, Your servant, the spirit of wholeness of being, humility, patience, and love. (Prostration)

Yes, O Lord and King, grant that I may see my own faults and not condemn my brother; for You are blessed to the ages of ages. Amen. (Prostration)

Random Proverb

"My son, be attentive to my wisdom; incline your ear to my understanding, that you may keep discretion, and your lips may guard knowledge." (Proverbs 5:1,2 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

For to despise the present age, not to love transitory things, unreservedly to stretch out the mind in humility to God and our neighbor, to preserve patience against offered insults and, with patience guarded, to repel the pain of malice from the heart, to give one's property to the poor, not to covet that of others, to esteem the friend in God, on God's account to love even those who are hostile, to mourn at the affliction of a neighbor, not to exult in the death of one who is an enemy, this is the new creature whom the Master of the nations seeks with watchful eye amid the other disciples, saying: "If, then, any be in Christ a new creature, the old things are passed away. Behold all things are made new" (2Cor. 5:17).

The Homilies of St. Gregory the Great On the Book of the Prophet Ezekiel