First Watani Reports: Spiritual Phenomena in Omrania Gharbia
On Sunday 21 July 2002 and the following Sunday 28 July 2002, Watani, a weekly Christian Egyptian newspaper close to Church circles, wrote:
Watani was informed about spiritual phenomena happening in a building belonging to the Diocese of Giza for the last two weeks. Watani's correspondents (Victor Salama and Sanaa El-Assiuty) went there and met many people who confirmed seeing figures of light and white doves of light flying in the sky over the building by night (cf. Assiut). They also met the Diocese representative who said there is a committee that is closely following these phenomena on a daily basis to inform His Grace Metropolitan Domadeos when he returns back from abroad. Watanai is awaiting the official declaration and approval of these phenomena before publishing other details about them.
Michel Mikhael, an "eyewitness", writes from Egypt (17 July 2002):
(Edited for clarity; original message posted to Zeitun-eg.org group)
There is strong evidence about spiritual phenomena occurring these days at St. Mary and St.Maurice church, Omrania, Giza, Egypt.
On Friday 12 July 2002 after midnight, while a group of people were gathering at the church for a trip to monasteries in Upper Egypt, they saw three figures of light...recognised as St.Mary accompanied by a priest and a soldier ...who have been identified as the late Coptic Orthodox Pope Kyrillos VI (the priest) and St. Maurice, a Coptic Egyptian Saint martyred in Switzerland (the soldier--see below).
On the following night, the same spiritual phenomena happened, with people crowded around the the church.
On Monday 15 July 2002, a Moslem veiled lady entered the church asking to meet Fr. Mikhail, and told him that St. Mary appeared to her telling her to go to him, give him her veil (the scarf that the Moslem lady is covering her hair with), and tell him not to be afraid.
It is noteworthy that the church where these phenomena took place is without Presidential permit yet (required for building churches in Egypt); it looks like a villa from out side and belongs to the Coptic Orthodox Diocese of Giza.
On the same night, after many people knew about that lady's story, very large crowd gathered around the church and many eyewitness stories confirmed the vision of St. Mary at the same time, in the same manner... they saw Her standing spreading Her hands for blessing, carrying the Child Jesus, crying and sometimes kneeling.
The neighbourhood called the police complaining of the crowd around the church after midnight and Central Security Forces came to break it up.
On Tuesday, officials from the Ministry of Interior and police commanders of the region accompanied by large numbers of police forces surrounded the church area very tightly, closing all street leading to the church. They searched the whole area for the source of the light which was there from 8 pm till 12 midnight, but they couldn't figure it out. It was clear to them that it couldn't be man-made.
The police force also directed very strong spotlights toward the church trying to outshine or disperse the light but it was still there. Neighbours threw water and stones from their building to prevent people from standing there, and store and building guards tried pushing people away.
On the same night at 4 am, a very strong light in form of St. Mary spreading Her hands came out. It has been confirmed by the police who have been there. It lit all the church street and surrounding area to the extent that people could see it from a far distance.
On Wednesday, I (Michel) went there with a camera. I stood on the roof of a nearby building. I could see the large crowd, the church lightened by police spotlights, the uncooperative neighbours, and the security force blocking all ways to the church. I waited for two hours but I didn't see anything at all.
Only a very weird thing happened. When I tried to take some pictures, the flash didn't light. I tried many times, but it didn't work though I had tried it just before leaving home and took a couple of pictures. When I returned home, again I tried the camera and this time it worked perfectly.. I don't have any explanation for that and don't know what it is supposed to mean.
There are some questions I want to share you:
If this light is man made who is doing so? how they are doing that? and why?
If it is not a man made Who is that? is it from God? what is the message?
We are waiting for the official declaration and explanation of the Church. I thought many of you might be interested to know about these phenomena. The church address is Palestine St., crossing El Thalatheni St., Omrania Gharbia, Haram (Pyramids), Giza, Egypt.
On 23 July 2002, Michel Mikhael wrote:
(Edited for clarity; original message posted to Zeitun-eg.org group)
We are awaiting the safe return from abroad of His Grace Metropolitan Domadeos of the Coptic Orthodox Diocese of Giza to officially declare the Church's position regarding these phenomena and whether they are from God.
And till that time I would like to remind you of
Acts 5:38, 39 for if this plan or this work is of men, it will come to nothing; but if it is of God, you cannot overthrow it--lest you even be found to fight against God.
So if it is from God, I hope we all have its blessings, but if it is from the Devil or man, I am praying it vanishes now and that God won't let His people be misled. The church declared three days of fasting and prayer, so that if it is the Devil, we all hope it will vanish.
Matthew 17:21 However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.
Love in christ
Related Zeitun-eg.org group message:
Conversation with a Protestant friend on these phenomena
About St. Maurice
See also: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/10068c.htm
The small town of Saint Maurice in Switzerland is the very location of St Maurice's martyrdom, in the year 302 AD. St Maurice (=Mauritius=Moorish) was a Roman legionary, head of the Theban Legion (coming from the city of Thebes (=Karnak/Luxor), Upper Egypt), under the rule of the Roman emperor Maximian.
Sent by the Roman authority to Switzerland (to the other end of the Roman world), and stationed in Agaune (the today's town of Saint-Maurice), the Theban Legion were given the order to reduce the local insubordination to worship Roman gods. The local resistants were Christians.
Then Maurice replied that he and his Theban legionaries were Christians also, thus they could not persecute other Christians.
This conscientious objection was understood by the Roman authority as a mutiny and was immediately treated as such. There were no joking with Romans over matters of authority. The emperor Maximian rushed other troops to Agaune. Maurice and all six hundred and sixty Theban soldiers of his troop were massacred.
St Maurice and his companions, first Swiss martyrs, were Egyptians, i.e., Copts! ('Copt' means 'Egypt', since both names have the same radical Gypt=Copt.) All statues of St Maurice show him as a black-faced African, wearing a Roman legionary battle dress.
So, it is through the martyrdom of the Egyptian St Maurice and his companions that the Christian faith was strengthened in Switzerland. This sacrifice reinforced Christianity, which spread in Switzerland, in the heart of Europe, on the beginning of 4th century AD. St Maurice is venerated by the Coptic Orthodox Church (and also the Roman Catholic Church). There is a Coptic Orthodox Monastery in Germany named after the Blessed Virgin Mary and Saint Maurice, and at least two Coptic Orthodox churches named after St. Maurice, one in Southern California, US and the other is being built in Guelph, Ontario, Canada.
St Maurice, pray for us!