Head of Coptic Church Investigating Marian Apparitions

By Susan Brinkmann, OCDS
Staff Journalist

The head of the Coptic Orthodox Church, Shenouda III, is expected to conduct an immediate investigation into alleged apparitions of the Virgin Mary in a Cairo slum that have been drawing thousands nightly.

ANSA is reporting that the Virgin Mary has allegedly appeared in two of the city’s poorest neighborhoods at least since Dec. 9. The latest apparition occurred on the roof of St. Michael’s church in the El Warraq neighborhood of Cairo and was witnessed by dozens of people.

According to local media, Our Lady appeared inside a bright light with her arms opened toward the crowd. Witnesses said the smell of incense flooded the area while a flock of doves hovered throughout. This event allegedly occurred at least twice and was captured on cell phone video and posted on YouTube.

As Michael Brown of Spirit Daily is reporting, the apparitions look very similar to those that were seen by millions in Zeitun, Egypt in the late 1960’s and early 1970s which were broadcast live on Egyptian TV. These apparitions, which took place over the course of a two year period, were eventually approved by the local Catholic bishop, Cardinal Stephanos I.

As Brown explains, the videos of the most recent apparitions “seem to show a bright light in the form of Mary moving amid the domes or over an entrance near an illuminated Cross as a frenzied crowd and beeping tax horns form an audio backdrop.”

The phenomena is attracting thousands of Muslims as well as Christians, along with a variety of street vendors who are selling food and drinks.

The commotion has prompted Coptic Pope Shenouda to form a committee which is currently investigating the apparitions.

Two videos of the apparitions are available on YouTube at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mpgZdFM9mH8 and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UXvNzDj5tAA

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