Declaration of the Coptic Priests in Assiut Concerning the Marian Apparitions at St. Mark Church
El-Keraza Official Magazine of the Coptic Orthodox Church
Following is a translation of the original Arabic article that appeared in the last Keraza which is a declaration issued by the Priests' Council in Assiut (Zeitun-eg.org received this translation on Friday 13 October 2000). The Keraza also includes pictures.
"We have received the following delaration signed by the Coptic priests members of Assiut City Priests Council with photographs that we publish herewith.
"This declaration was issued by the Assiut City Priests Council concerning the crowds witnessing the revelations of Virgin Mary between the two church towers and domes of St Mark Church which was recently opened for prayer and was rebuilt with the Diocese building.
"It was found that starting two months ago, the local residents adjacent to the church saw at night spiritual phenomena in the sky which they first thought were something natural and ignored before they were repeated for several times with groups of big and extremely bright doves. This was also accompanied by apparitions of Virgin Mary at different times from the night of 17 August 2000. Crowds gathered on adjacent buildings' roofs and in streets and passages surrounding the church. The news spread and bigger crowds came from different countries seeking the blessing of Virgin Mary.
"Some visitors who wanted to visit the site inquired about the time of apparitions of Virgin Mary and we answered mentioning that the appartions and spiritual phenomena are not subject to human desires or time measures. So that some people seeking to see Her, go and don't see while other crossing people coming afterwards might see Her by coincidence.
"The Church received many questions from overseas concerning the apparitions and we hope this declaration has clarified matters.
"Priests Committee: Fr Youssef Kamel, Fr Tadros Ekladios, Fr Banub Thabet, Fr Yacoub Soliman, Fr Mina Hanna (Prior of the diocese)."