John

Mika’el III (D. C. 1450s)

MIKA’EL III (d. c. 1450s) Contrary to the tradition which held that there could be only one metropolitan in Ethiopia, Mika’el (Michael) held this post simultaneously with Abuna Gabr’el. Succeeding Abuna Bartalomewos, these two metropolitans arrived in Ethiopia together. With the coadjutor bishop Yohannes, they formed a small group of Coptic prelates who, according to …

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Marqos II (D. C. 1588)

MARQOS II (d. c. 1588) There is little information about this successor to Abuna Petros II in the Ethiopian documents, but the date of his arrival in the country is known. The chronicle of Sarsa Dengel reports that after the death of Abuna Yosab I, which occurred in the eighth year of Sarsa Dengel’s reign …

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Sem‘On (D. 1617)

SEM‘ON (d. 1617) The exact date of the arrival in Ethiopia of the successor to Abuna Petros III is not recorded in Ethiopian documents, but from the information available, it appears that Susenyos (Seltan Sagad; 1607-1632) had him sent from Cairo, no doubt to fill the vacancy left by the death of Petros III. Sem‘on …

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Ascension

Ascension This day commemorates the ascension of Christ to heaven from the Mount of Olives. Luke 24:50-53 seems to imply that the Ascension occurred during the evening of the day of the Resurrection, but it is stated in Acts 1:3 and Mark 16:19 that this event took place in presence of the apostles forty days …

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Easter

Easter Easter is the greatest and earliest festival of the church, at which Christians celebrate the anniversary of the resurrection of Jesus Christ and His victory over death. The observance of Easter started as early as the apostolic age. Writing to the Corinthians, probably at or near the Passover season, Saint Paul declares, “Christ, our …

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Annunciation

Annunciation The Annunciation is one of the seven major feasts of the Coptic church; it commemorates the announcement of the angel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary that she should conceive and give birth to Jesus Christ, the promised Messiah. According to the Coptic SYNAXARION, this festival, which has been observed since the early centuries of …

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Feasts, Major

FEASTS, MAJOR There are seven major feasts celebrated by the Coptic church. Annunciation The Annunciation is one of the seven major feasts of the Coptic church; it commemorates the announcement of the angel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary that she should conceive and give birth to Jesus Christ, the promised Messiah. According to the Coptic …

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Feasts, Minor

FEASTS, MINOR There are seven minor feasts celebrated by the Coptic church. Feast of Circumcision This feast occurs on 6 Tubah. The practice of circumcision started with Abraham, in fulfillment of God’s covenant (Gn. 17:9-14), by which every male child should be circumcised on the eighth day after his birth. According to the New Testament, …

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Filioque

FILIOQUE A Latin word meaning “and from the Son” added to the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed by the Latin church after the words “the Holy Spirit . . . Who proceeds from the Father.” It was the subject of dissension between Eastern and Western churches. History of the Filioque Controversy Ideas akin to those expressed by the …

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