english.ahram.org.eg - As they look forward to Roman Catholic Pope Francis’s visit to Egypt this week, Egypt’s Catholics might also be pleased by the public attention now being given to their history

It was sometime around the mid-1940s that Christine used to frequent the offices of her father Louis in downtown Cairo. There she would run from one room to the other and even step out of the offices to find her way into a nearby pharmaceutical business where the later famous singer Dalida was then working as a typist.

“I loved Dalida. She was very beautiful, and she would smile at me and get me to sit on her knees and to type a little on her typewriter. Those were such different times,” Christine said. She was speaking after having attended mass at the St Joseph’s Church of the Franciscan Order of Egypt.

Situated off Mohamed Farid Street in downtown Cairo, the beautiful church was built in the early 20th century after the land was offered to the Franciscan monks by the state and money was made available by a rich family belonging to the Roman Catholic Church. It was also in this very church that Christine and her two sisters were baptised six or seven decades ago.

For over 100 years, according to Father Boutros Daniel, now the priest in charge at the church, St Joseph’s had had its days of glory. “They might have dwindled a bit now, as the community has got smaller, but we are still celebrating, especially since our choir will be joining Pope Francis in the mass he will hold during his visit to Egypt that starts on Friday,” he said.

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Teachings of Christ

“I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26 ESV)

Protection of the Mother of God

Protected by your coming, O Mother of God, * the faithful people celebrate today with splendor, * and, gazing at your most pure image, * we say with compunction: * "Shield us with your precious veil * and deliver us from all evil * imploring your Son, Christ our God, to save our souls.” (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 stands forth in the Church, * and with the choirs of saints she invisibly prays to God for us. * The Angels worship with the hierarchs, * and the apostles exult with the prophets, * because, in our behalf, the Mother of God entreats the pre-eternal God. (Kontakion - Tone 3)

The Church celebrates the Feast of the Protection of the Mother of God on October 1st.

Exaltation of the Cross

Save Your people, O Lord, and bless Your inheritance; * grant victory to Your Church over her enemies * and protect Your commonwealth by Your Cross. (Troparion - Tone 1)

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

Willingly lifted up on the Cross, O Christ God, * bestow Your compassions upon the new commonwealth that bears Your name. * By your power grant joy to Your Church, * granting her victory over her enemies. * May she have your Cross as the weapon of peace * and the invincible ensign of victory. (Kontakion - Tone 4)

The Church celebrates the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross on September 14th.

Random Proverb

"Do not say to your neighbor, “Go, and come again, tomorrow I will give it”—when you have it with you." (Proverbs 3:28 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

God is nearer to us than any man at every time. He is nearer to me than my raiment, nearer than the air or light, nearer than my wife, father, mother, daughter, son or friend. I live in Him, soul and body. I breathe in Him, think in Him, feel, consider, intend, speak, undertake, work in Him. `For in Him we live, and move, and have our being' (Acts 17:28).

St. John of Kronstadt, My Life in Christ