Middle East news

Pope leads mass at St Macarious monastery

CAIRO – 19 February 2018: Head of the Coptic Orthodox Church Pope Tawadros II led a mass on Monday at St Macarious of Alexandria Monastery in Beheira.
The pope will consecrate the altar of the ancient church as well as the altars of the three Macarius Saints Church and lay the foundation stone of a guest house for worshipers.
The monastery, dating back to 390 AD, was recognized by the Holy Synod in June 2014. It is the first visit by a pope to the Kelili mountains in Beheira, where the first monasteries were born.
The pope, accompanied by a host of bishops, will also tour the monastery's various services.
Pope Tawadros, in his sermon during the mass at the St Macarious monastery, thanked Bishop Bakhomious of Beheira and Matrouh for his genuine efforts to revive the ancient forgotten area, home to so many monasteries.
The restoration of the St Macarious monastery was made possible despite many difficulties, he said.
Egypt now has 50 monasteries after the Holy Synod's recognition of this fourth century St Macarious monastery, he said.
Monks at monasteries always pray for Egypt and for its people, he said, adding that prayers have to be a major part of everyone's life.
Bishop Bakhomious, on his part, said today's consecration prayers at the monastery represent the revival of monastic life in an area forgotten over 1,200 years.