The Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States is composed of 44 priests serving the 38 churches and 28 Coptic communities. More
The Season of the Church
St. Mary Fast
August 7-21, 2014
Mesore 1-15, 1730
August 20, 2014
Mesore 14, 1730
The Holy Theotokos alone in her body glorified by God, now enjoys the celestial realm together with her Son. For earth and grave and death did not hold forever her life-originating and God-receiving body – the dwelling more favored than heaven…how can we not proclaim her pre-eminence as regards all creatures.
St. Gregory Palamas
Titles for St. Mary
The Blessed Virgin Mary and the Love of Honor
Whenever one tries to approach the Blessed Virgin Mary to understand the secrets behind her life, one's mind gets boggled and baffled by them. While many women and leaders of women's movements fight to obtain rights and honor, this simple poor girl appeared on the scene of events to become not only higher than those on earth, but also those in heaven. Concerning honor, St. Isaac the Syrian said, "whoever runs after honor, it runs away from him and whoever runs away from honor willfully, honor chases him and leads people to him." That is why God had honored and chosen this girl to become His Mother.
The Blessed Virgin Mary ran away from all fame and honor. Although she had many stories, news, and words about her dear Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, that any human being yearns to know, yet, she chose to keep all these things to herself and pondered them in her heart. Had she uttered a word, all humanity would have surrounded her to record those things she knew about the Master Jesus Christ. However, she escaped all this glory and chose the life of silence and quietude.
St. Mary, Mother of God: "Humble Hands"
Two thousand years have passed since the time of our Lord Jesus Christ on earth leaving behind much room for intellectualization as well as speculations. Above all, her time casts a perpetual illumination on the type of life our dear Mother of God had led and the duties carried out by those "humble hands".
The Holy Scripture does not provide detailed accounts of the day-to-day incidents during our Lord's growing periods from infancy to manhood; but through simple deduction, we discover that St. Mary played a vital role in our Lord's life. This article will consider the various stations at which St. Mary stood and proved herself to be of humble, yet, miraculously achieving hands.
St. Mary: Service Without Stipulation - Part I
In the city of Nazareth where her parents lived, St. Mary was born to St. Joachim and St. Anna both righteous and prayerful parents who loved God. Our Coptic Orthodox church celebrates the nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary on the first day of the blessed Coptic month of Pashons.
On the seventh day of the blessed Coptic month of Mesore we celebrate the Annunciation to St. Joachim concerning the conception with the Virgin St. Mary. On this seventh day, while St. Joachim was on a mountain praying, Archangel Gabriel appeared to him and announced to him that his wife Anna would conceive and bear a child who would please not just them but the whole world would also be glad rejoicing in their heartfelt thankfulness to God. When he came unto his house after descending the mountain and told his wife of the annunciation by the Archangel Gabriel, St. Anna believed what the angel foretold without question.
St. Mary: Service Without Stipulation - Part II
It is here, in Biblical history, that St. Joseph becomes popularly known as "St. Joseph the Righteous". In his abundant righteousness and exceeding mercy, St. Joseph is unwilling to expose the already implied breach in their betrothal commitment. His righteousness transcends the law of the land, the societal norms of his day, and further propels to action the idea that he would put St. Mary away secretly.
St. Joseph was an honorable man before God; and did as the angel had commanded him serving the Lord accordingly. In his nobility of heart, he consented to take as his wife a pregnant girl not by him; (but of his genealogy to be sure) and remained faithful to the Holy Family from its inception throughout his life. St. Mary remained chaste her entire life with him. A man of less faithfulness and goodness would have found this the most trialing hardship. St. Joseph would have needed not only his strength of faith; but more than an angel's word in one dream to convince him of such a miraculous conception. But for St. Joseph, a dream and the words of a single angel were indeed convincing. St. Mary's reputation, while invaluable for her life of engagement, must have preceded her in order for St. Joseph to faithfully, willingly and graciously without questioning her integrity accepts the word of an angel.
St. Mary: Service Without Stipulation - Part III
While quietly and uprightly serving the Lord during this period in her life, St. Mary flowered into adulthood when she became a mother. The law of God given to Moses ordained that a woman would be in a state of "uncleanness" for forty days after the birth of a son and eighty days after the birth of a daughter. In compliance with the same tradition, the Coptic Church baptizes a new-born boy forty days and a new-born girl eighty days after birth to allow the mother to attend the sacrament.
Following her pre-set time of uncleanness, a mother was to bring to the door of the tabernacle a lamb and a young pigeon or turtle dove, the former for the burnt offering in acknowledgement of God's sovereignty and in thanksgiving for her healthy delivery; and the latter for a sin offering. It was only after offering those sacrifices, at the end of the time of uncleanness, that a woman was considered cleansed of the legal impurity.
St. Mary: Service Without Stipulation - Part IV
After the death of her only Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, and according to His command, St. Mary lived under the care of St. John the Beloved. During that time she served the disciples and apostles with her love and prayers.
Around the age of sixty, while keeping vigil, praying in the Holy Sepulcher, an angel announced to her her departure from this earthly vain world three days later. The disciples and many of the faithful such as the virgins of the Mount of Olives-Zeitoun gathered around her. Lying on her bed, St. Mary stretched forth her hand and blessed each of the believers; and the room where she had reposed shone with heavenly glory. It is said that the Lord Jesus Christ Himself surrounded by a vast array of angels came to receive and ascend His mother's blessed and pure soul to Heaven.
The Offensive and Defensive Types of Warfare
In earthly wars between countries and kingdoms, there exist two types of warfare with their own individual strategies. These are offensive and defensive types of warfare. In the spiritual fight there are the same types of warfare and both require from us personal initiative and active participation. Since Satan does not take rest, we should be involved in both wars if we want to be true soldiers in the army of Jesus Christ.
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St. Moses Bookstore
Asaph Hymns Institute
(AHI) is the first ever online hymnological seminary.
Family Ministry Program
A program for learning Christian leadership principles.
Theological Seminary Program
Program Registration deadline: March 15, 2015
Theological Seminary Program - Nashville
An Arabic theological program located in Nashville.
Theological Seminary Boarding Program - Abbey
A 2 year live-in program located at St. Mary and St. Moses Abbey.
Archangel Raphael Ministry (A.R.M.)
A program designed specifically for individuals with special needs.
H.O.P.E. Social Services
A social services program designed to help those in need.
St. Clement Christian Academy
This is a learning community dedicated to meeting the needs of each learner within its walls.
St. Mark Festival Program
This is a spiritual competition among the Coptic Churches doing the same activity world wide.
St. Verena Resource Ministry
(SVRM) Professionals networking together to make a difference and provide resources to our Coptic community. To make a request or to volunteer as a consultant.
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