Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Michael Terheyden

2/18/2011 (3 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Eyewitness accounts speak of a silent lady bathed in light

It began on the eve of Tuesday, April of 1968. Everything was normal. Then all of a sudden there she was walking among the domes on a Coptic Church. Eyewitness accounts speak of a silent lady bathed in light. Although we do not know for certain what the full significance of her appearance is, it should inspire Christians to pray for Mary's intercession for unity between Christians and Muslims, for the conversion of Muslims and for peace throughout the world.

For more information go to zeitun-eg.org/stmaridx.htm and youtube.com/watch?v=6W9T-XQpb6Q.
Photo found at Mother of God Free Forums.org.

For more information go to zeitun-eg.org/stmaridx.htm and youtube.com/watch?v=6W9T-XQpb6Q. Photo found at Mother of God Free Forums.org.

Highlights

By Michael Terheyden

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

2/18/2011 (3 years ago)

Published in Middle East

Keywords: Mary, apparition, Zeitoun, Islam, Muslim, Egypt, Copts, Christians, Michael Terheyden


KNOXVILLE, TN (Catholic Online) - It began on the eve of Tuesday, April of 1968. Everything was normal. Then all of a sudden there she was walking among the domes on a Coptic Church. The church is located on the main street in Zeitoun, Egypt. This made the apparitions highly visible, and they continued for over a year. Consequently, an estimated million people from different faiths and walks of life are reported to have witnessed them. Then the apparitions stopped as abruptly as they began. At the time of the apparitions, Zeitoun was a suburb of Cairo. Zeitoun has since been swallowed up by the Egyptian capital city. However, the memory of the apparitions will never disappear from the minds of those who witnessed them. And while the world has changed over the past forty-two years, the significance of the apparitions remains to this day. Perhaps if we examine these apparitions, we can see their relevance to the current events in Egypt and the surrounding region. Eyewitness accounts speak of a lady bathed in light. They call her by many names: Our Lady of Light, Our Lady of Zeitoun or El-Zeitoun. She never spoke or uttered a sound. During the apparitions, she moved about the domes. She bowed and knelt down before the cross. She would also face the people in the street, nod her head and bless them with her hands. On one or more occasions she held an olive branch in her hand. Sometimes she was accompanied by luminous, dove-shaped bodies which moved about at high speeds. And the apparitions lasted from a few minutes up to a couple hours. You are probably wondering if the apparitions are real or some sort of hoax. It seems the local government wondered the same thing. According to an article written by Amargi Hillier, the local police searched a fifteen mile radius surrounding the site in an attempt to locate any kind of device that could have projected the images onto the dome of the church. They found nothing. In addition, Anba Kyrillos VI, the Patriarch of Alexandria at the time, sent a delegation of priests to investigate. They stayed at the church for several nights and witnessed the apparitions for themselves. The Coptic Church has since declared that the apparitions are authentic. However, social scientists have offered their own explanations for the apparitions. One called the apparitions a case of mass delusion. Another referred to them as luminous phenomena correlated to the occurrence of seismic activity in the region. However, the first explanation explains nothing. It dodges the question. The second, while more credible than the first so-called scientific explanation, does not appear to explain the order and complex structure of the apparitions. I would expect "luminous phenomena" to exhibit randomness or chaos. But eyewitness reports of her movements and numerous photographs taken over an extended period of time by many different photographers reveal the distinct and recognizable form of a lady. This is order and structure, not randomness or chaos. So who is the lady? According to tradition, Zeitoun is on the route that the Holy Family took when fleeing King Herod's efforts to murder the infant Jesus (Mat 2:13-14). Furthermore, the Coptic Church was built at this location in response to this belief, and it was named Virgin Mary. Consequently, the woman in the apparitions is believed to be the Blessed Virgin Mary. There are other reasons why the woman is believed to be Mary as well. For instance, her appearances were accompanied by numerous miracles. Many of these miracles involved healings which were apparently investigated by medical doctors, who confirmed that the healings were not a result of natural causes.  Since our Blessed Mother did not speak, people have tried as best they could to discern the significance of the apparitions. Some people have noted that Mary appeared at a time of great difficulty for the Egyptian people. Others have sought meaning in the olive branch that Mary sometimes held. Traditionally, an olive branch is used as a symbol of peace. These speculations make sense, but I believe there is greater significance to her appearances than these speculations suggest. I believe this because Mary is revered by both Muslims and Christians. Before we can explore this idea further, it will help if we recall who Mary is to Christians and Muslims. For Christians, Mary is the Mother of God. In a very real sense, Mary brought the Incarnate Word of God, Jesus Christ, to the world, and, according to the Fathers plan, she was, and remains, totally united to His redemptive work. From this flows our understanding of Mary, and it largely explains why Christians revere her. Likewise, Muslims revere her as well, but not as the Mother of God. So who do Muslims say Mary is, and why do they revere her so highly? Mary is mentioned more than any other woman in the Koran, and she is one of a handful of people who have a chapter named after them. She is held in esteem as an example of submission to Allah and as one who accepts truth, who has faith, is purified, is chosen, and who fasts. Muslims also derive certain prayer postures, such as prostration, from Mary. Although Muslims do not believe that Jesus is God, they still believe in the virginal birth of Jesus and that Mary was immaculately conceived. The fact that Muslims do not believe her Divine Son is God may explain why Mary did not speak during her apparitions in Zeitoun. What could she say? She has always led us to her Son. That is the role God has given her. Yet, perhaps in her silence that is exactly what she was doing. Perhaps that is all she could do and, at the same time, respect the freedom and dignity of the people in Egypt. Perhaps, too, it was enough at that time for her to remind them by her presence that she is with them, that they are not alone, and that they share a common bond in their reverence for her. Given the reverence that Muslims have for Mary, we should not be surprised if God plans to unify Christians and Muslims and convert the Muslim people through His mother. Thus, Mary's appearances at Zeitoun may be a step toward that end. We may have seen evidence of this when Christians and Muslims united against the bombing of Saints Coptic Church in Alexandria at the New Year's Eve Mass and when they demonstrated together in Cairo over the past few weeks. Of course, we cannot know for certain what the significance of her appearances is, but based on what we do know, her appearances should inspire Christians to pray for Mary's intercession for unity between Christians and Muslims, for the conversion of Muslims and for peace throughout the world.
 
----- Michael Terheyden was born into a Catholic family, but that is not why he is a Catholic. He is a Catholic because he believes that truth is real, that it is beautiful and good, and that the fullness of truth is in the Catholic Church. However, he knows that God's grace operating throughout his life is the main reason he is a Catholic. He is greatly blessed to share his faith and his life with his beautiful wife, Dorothy. They have four grown children and three grandchildren. -----

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for August 2014
Refugees:
That refugees, forced by violence to abandon their homes, may find a generous welcome and the protection of their rights.
Oceania: That Christians in Oceania may joyfully announce the faith to all the people of that region.



Comments


More Middle East

Islamists Occupy Churches in Nigeria: ISIL and Boko Haram Hate Christians, Must be Confronted Watch

Image of Boko Haram means Western education is forbidden in the Hausa language. These Islamist terrorists hate all things western and Christian. They are militant Jihadist Muslims who intend to forcibly establish an Islamic Caliphate and impose Shariah Law on everyone, just as the Islamic State is doing in lands formerly claimed by Iraq and Syria.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

While news reports give us the gruesome details of the Islamic State beheading one more American journalist in the land which was once a part of Iraq and Syria, the rising tide of Islamist evil spreads in Africa, under the banner of Boko Haram. Like the Islamic ... continue reading


Paul Bhatti, Brother of Martyr Shabhaz Bhatti, Urges Pope Francis to Visit Persecuted Christians in Pakistan Watch

Image of The Christian Martyr of Pakistan, Shabhaz Bhatti,

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

The world should pause once again to consider the Christian heroism shown by Shabhaz Bhatti in 2011. At the time, Shahbaz Bhatti was the only Christian member of the Parliament of Pakistan. He was executed in cold blood by militant Islamists on March 2, 2011. He ... continue reading


CATHOLIC ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: Islamic State infiltrating North Africa Watch

Image of A recruitment campaign, led by ISIL in the North African region has been targeting young people with socially disadvantaged backgrounds.

By Kaci Racelma (Algiers, Algeria)

The Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, known as ISIL or IS was created last year in the wake of the multinational war against Syria. They design to eventually take over the world. This mysterious terrorist movement is becoming more and more prevalent in ... continue reading


Steven Sotloff beheading video, uncensored (WARNING GRAPHIC VIDEO) Watch

Image of American Journalist, Steven Sotloff, has been executed by the Islamic State.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Islamic State has executed another hostage, this time beheading American journalist Steven Sotloff. A video has been released of the incident, but due to alleged self-censorship across the web, the footage has been suppressed. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - ... continue reading


'We are facing a terrorist monster:' U.N. to investigate IS' crimes against humanity Watch

Image of Among other things, children belonging to targeted minorities have been forcibly recruited and positioned on front lines to shield fighters or made to donate blood. Women are beaten for breaking rules requiring them to be veiled and escorted by men.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The United Nations will be sending investigators to Iraq to examine crimes being committed by Islamic State fighters committed on "an unimaginable scale." Authorities say they will hold perpetrators accountable. LOS ANGELES, CA  (Catholic Online) - "We are ... continue reading


Pope Francis thanks Gaza's sole Catholic priest; tells him to 'have courage' Watch

Image of Father Hernandez and three Missionaries of Charity were the only religious left at Holy Family Church during a 50-day battle between Israeli forces and Hamas militants.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Father Jorge Hernandez, the Gaza Strip's sole Catholic parish met with Pope Francis at the Vatican, thanking him for his support of those suffering in the war-torn territory. Speaking to Vatican Radio, the 36-year-old priest says that the Pope continued to ... continue reading


Islamic puritans threaten dissent in Saudi kingdom, asking King Abdullah to DESTROY the tomb of MOHAMED! Watch

Image of Wahhabi clerics are asking King Abdullah to destroy the tomb of Mohamed.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A recommendation from some Saudi clerics to Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah is creating controversy in the powerful Middle-Eastern kingdom. The proposal, set forth by hardline clerics, calls for the destruction of the tomb of Mohammed and possibly the shrine at Mecca, to ... continue reading


World 'cannot keep silent about the existence of the so-called ISIS,' patriarchs declare Watch

Image of The recent summit addressing IS was presided over by Cardinal Bechara Rai, Maronite patriarch.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Meeting at the Maronite Catholic patriarchate at Bkerke, north of Beirut, Catholic and Orthodox patriarchs convened for a special summit to address the crisis in Iraq and Syria. Later joined by the United Nations' special coordinator in Lebanon and the ... continue reading


U.S., Europe next on Islamic State's list to attack, Saudi king warns Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

As the world grows more appalled by the day about the inhumanities conducted by the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah warns that the west is not immune. A staunch ally of both the U.S. and its allies, Saudi King Abdullah bin ... continue reading


Fleeing imminent death, three million Syrians now registered in other countries. That's half the population of Syria. Watch

Image of A bride crossing the Israel-Syria border.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

"The Syrian crisis has become the biggest humanitarian emergency of our era, yet the world is failing to meet the needs of refugees and the countries hosting them," Antonio Guterres, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, said in a statement. As of this ... continue reading


All Middle East News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, First Corinthians 3:1-9
1 And so, brothers, I was not able to talk to you as ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 33:12-13, 14-15, 20-21
12 How blessed the nation whose God is Yahweh, the ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 4:38-44
38 Leaving the synagogue he went to Simon's house. ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for September 3rd, 2014 Image

Pope Saint Gregory the Great
September 3: St. Gregory, born at Rome about the year 540, was the son of ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter