St. Mary’s Virginity

ST. MARY’S VIRGINITY Aaron’s rod, in fact, is Mary. It is a type of her virginity. She conceived and bore the Son of the Most High, the Word, without human seed. Theotokia[1] of Sunday. Biblical Reality The virginity of St. Mary is not a matter of her own private life, but rather a ‘biblical reality’, […]

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Theotokos Or The Mother Of God

THEOTOKOS OR THE MOTHER OF GOD St. Mary’s Maternity in the Bible The Holy Scripture witnesses to St. Mary’s motherhood of the Son of God, for it calls her Son “God” (). At the annunciation, angel Gabriel speaks of the Child St. Mary is to conceive as “the Son of the Most High”, “the Holy […]

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Full Of Grace

FULL OF GRACE Mystery of Rejoice: On the Annunciation the angel Gabriel greeted St. Mary with the words: “Hail full of grace, the Lord is within you, blessed are you among women”. It was not an ordinary greeting, i.e., “Good Day”, nor did it mean “peace” or “shalom”, but had the full meaning of “rejoice”. […]

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St. Mary In The Coptic Rite

ST. MARY IN THE COPTIC[1] RITE It is too difficult to give an account of the prominent place of St. Mary in the Coptic Church in this short treatise. For St. Mary is commemorated and invoked in every daily hymn and liturgy, and even in every canonical hour, day and night. Various Marian feasts are […]

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The History of Christianity in Egypt

The History of Christianity in Egypt THE TERM COPT COMES DIRECTLY FROM THE ARABIC QBT, which appears to derive from the Greek aigyptos (Egypt) / aigyptioi (Egyptians), a phonetic corruption of the ancient Egyptian word Hikaptah, one of the names of Memphis. Initially the word described a non-Arabic-speaking non-Muslim. By implication, a Copt was also […]

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The east wall of the central altar room. In the niche, Christ enthroned and the Virgin with Child and archangels. To the left, the lower part of Abraham's Sacrifice; to the right the Meeting of Abraham and Melchizedek. Six apostles are painted below.

The Monastery of al-Baramus (WADI AL-NATRUN)

The Monastery of al-Baramus (WADI AL-NATRUN) The name Baramus contains the Coptic romaios, the one of the Roman(s).’ According to Coptic tradition, these Romans are the fourth-century princes Maximus and Domitius, sons of the Emperor Valentinian I. They lived in Wadi al-Natrun under the spiritual guidance of St. Macarius the Great who, after their death, […]

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Cross-In-Square

CROSS-IN-SQUARE Also called quincunx, the most important type of church building of the middle and late Byzantine periods of the Byzantine empire. It characteristically consists of an approximately square room, the naos, from which is cut out an internal cross-shaped unit by erecting four columns at the center and joining them by means of arches […]

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Communicatio Idiomatum (Interchange Of Properties)

COMMUNICATIO IDIOMATUM (interchange of properties) A term applied to the person of Christ by those in the early church who believed that although the human and divine natures remained separate, the attributes of the one could be applied to the other. Thus the divine Word could be described as dying on the cross and the […]

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Christian Subjects In Coptic Art

CHRISTIAN SUBJECTS IN COPTIC ART Whatever its materials and techniques—stone or wood relief sculpture, painted walls or manuscripts, textiles, metalwork, ceramics, or glass—Coptic Christian iconography retained a few rare elements of pharaonic origin and many Greco-Roman elements from Alexandrian tradition. From the fifth century on, these pagan subjects mingled with Christian motifs. The Christian subjects […]

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Church Art

CHURCH ART In Coptic churches, the apse rounds the haykal (sanctuary) off at the east, the direction the Christian faces to pray. For this reason the apse was one of the first parts of the church building to be decorated, and its iconography had specific requirements, partly inspired by the liturgy itself. Although a complete […]

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