Al Zaytun

In Al Zaytun, a quarter in Cairo, we will visit the famous Church of the Holy Virgin where she appeared for many weeks in 1968, and performed a large number of miracles. Since that time, many people believe that the Holy Family must have visited this location.

At the end of a tiring day, simple workers close to the Saint Virgin Mary’s Church in al-Zaytun were about to leave their work when they saw a woman turning her back on them and walking. The tired men shouted and tried to warn the lady that she could fall. When she turned her face and looked at them, they shouted in astonishment at the realization that she was Mary, the Holy Virgin. It was April 2, 1986.

The transfiguration of the Virgin Mary was recurred in the following evenings, so Muslims and Christians started to come and see the transfiguration (the Virgin Mary is honored by the Qur’ān, and consequently by all Muslims.) It was not only common people who came, but also prominent figures; It is alleged that President Jamāl ‘Abd al-Nāsir was driven to the spot, however Coptologist Otto Meinardus argued years ago that the story of the president coming to the church in Al Zaytun only developed posthumously. Once the story was told, the others repeated it over and over again without verifying whether this indeed has happened.

The transfiguration was acknowledged by both religious and official authorities. The first statement was given by Pope Kyrillos VI while the second one came in the form of an official Patriarchal announcement issued on May 4, 1968. The papal bull stated that the transfiguration took place on different nights in different shapes. It also further detailed that the transfiguration lasted for about two hours and fifteen minutes, for example, on the dawn of April 20, 1968.

Moreover, the miracle was not limited to merely transfiguration, but was also linked to sensational phenomena; for it called a quantity of people to rejoin the right path in their lives after living in grave danger.

The other phenomenon was that many people were miraculously healed during the period of the transfiguration. Special committees of Coptic Orthodox clergymen documented the miraculous incidents supported by evidence and eyewitnesses’ testimonies. The reports were presented to Pope Kyrillos VI who approbated them all.

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