Declaring the power of salvific suffering, the Apostle Paul says: ‘In my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the Church’.

So begins Salvifici Doloris, the apostolic letter on suffering by Saint John Paul II. Christians in Egypt are living out Saint Paul’s words in their daily lives. They are one of the earliest Christian communities of all, yet time and time again they are the targets of murderous attacks against them. Their churches are bombed and burned, their young girls abducted and raped by Islamists.

Christians on the Nile are walking a Way of the Cross leading them through unknown terrain. Yet they are determined to stay on in their native homeland, despite everything. Many of them even have the courage to profess their faith openly by having a cross tattooed on their forearm. For they know that the Gospel message also embraces the Passion.

The Coptic Catholic patriarchate wants to teach the true meaning of this suffering and thereby help the faithful to bear it. Christ is their example to follow, His Passion is the doorway to redemption.

The patriarchate has asked our help to print 5,000 copies of a Way of the Cross booklet. It will be given to the faithful in all the churches. Everyone wants to join in this prayer. They are praying for the survival of the Church of the Nile, of the Body of Christ in Egypt. Let us not forget them in our prayers.

This article can be found in Mirror 0617.