Virgin Mary Said To Appear
Again At Monastery In Egypt
"Curiosity and devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary have brought Christians and Muslims together in the city of Aslut, where she regularly appears at the Coptic Church of St. Mark."
Since August 1, thousands of pilgrims, Christians and Muslims alike, have gone to the monastry, located 12 kilometers (7 miles) south of Aslut, to see the nightly apparitions of the former Miriam bat-Joachim. Aslut is about 600 kilometers (360 miles) south of Cairo.
(Editor's Note: Miriam is also venerated by Muslims as a prophetess and is mentioned often in al-Quran or the Koran.)
"'The apparition constitutes a message of peace and hope following the upheavals throughout the region in recent years. The Virgin has managed to bring everyone together in a single heart,' said Father Jacob Suleiman of the Aslut bishopric in Upper Egypt."
"With an approximate population of 64 million, Egypt is 20 percent Christian, largely belonging to the Coptic Church while the number of (Roman) Catholics is estimated at 300,000."
Father Suleiman, said "We have had no trouble of any kind" with "the thousands of Christians and Muslims who have come to seek a blessing, some in the hope of being cured of serious illnesses."
The apparitions began on August 1, the start of an annual festival in Upper Egypt honoring the Holy Family. The monastery is located on a hilltop some 12 kilometers from the city of Aslut. "From this date onward, many people have reported seeing spiritual beings resembling white pigeons (doves?--J.Y.) flying around the church belfry and around the dome, along with (anomalous) lights and flashes," added Father Suleiman.
"'The (Coptic_ bishopric did not confirm the apparition until August 17 (2000) when an official delegation went to the church and saw the apparition." "'It is a light which forms the image of the Virgin Mary and which hovers between the church's twin spires, giving a blessing with her hands,'" he added.
"Apparitions of the Virgin Mary have been regularly reported in Egypt since 1968 when she was seen at a church in Zeitoun near Cairo. Then-president Gamal Abdel Basser visited the church to see it." (See the EFE Spanish news agency report for September 9, 1000.
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