Cairo (Agenzia Fides). The North Cairo Criminal Court approved the death sentence for Ahmed Said al-Sonbati, the young man who on October 13, killed and stabbed Coptic priest Samaan Shahata in a peripheral street in Cairo. (see Fides 16/10/2017).

On Wednesday, November 15 – report Egyptian media sources – the documentation of the court proceedings was filed at the office of the Grand Mufti of Egypt, which will have to confirm the legitimacy of the ruling from the Islamic legal doctrine point of view. The court set the date to declare a final verdict to January 15 2018.

During the trial, the assassin confessed that he had premedidated the murder and had studied the priest's movements before attacking and killing him. Father Samaan was attacked by his assassin while he was in the car with another priest. The murderer forced him to get out of the car and beat him to death.

After the killing, some versions relaunched by Egyptian media had presented the assassin as a mentally disturbed person.

Representatives of the Orthodox Coptic Church, such as Anba Stephanos, Orthodox Coptic Bishop of Beba, al Fashn and Samasta, had strongly rejected those versions, which presented the killing as a violent act committed by a mentally unstable person. Before the trial, a medical examination certified that the assassin did not suffer from any mental illness, and was fully conscious when he committed the murder.

Coptic priest Samaan Shetata, married and father of three children, belonging to a diocese of Upper Egypt, was in Cairo to raise funds in favor of the poor of his region. After the murder, Coptic Orthodox Bishop Raphael, Secretary of the Holy Synod of the Coptic Orthodox Church, issued a statement in which, among other things, deplored the fact that many criminals and terrorists, authors of violence against Christians, were not affected by any form of punishment, while some were released after the arrest. This anomaly - emphasized Anba Raphael - contributes to spreading the impression that crimes against Christian citizens often remain unpunished. (GV) (Agenzia Fides, 16/11/2017)


Teachings of Christ

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” (Matthew 5:43-44 ESV)

Exaltation of the Cross

Save Your people, O Lord, and bless Your inheritance; * grant victory to Your Church over her enemies * and protect Your commonwealth by Your Cross. (Troparion - Tone 1)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Willingly lifted up on the Cross, O Christ God, * bestow Your compassions upon the new commonwealth that bears Your name. * By your power grant joy to Your Church, * granting her victory over her enemies. * May she have your Cross as the weapon of peace * and the invincible ensign of victory. (Kontakion - Tone 4)

The Church celebrates the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross on September 14th.

Random Proverb

Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce; then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine. (Proverbs 3:9,10 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

Repentance is the renewal of baptism. Repentance is a contract with God for a second life. A penitent is a buyer of humility. Repentance is constant distrust of bodily comfort. Repentance is self-condemning reflection, and carefree self-care. Repentance is the daughter of hope and the renunciation of despair. A penitent is an undisgraced convict. Repentance is reconciliation with the Lord by the practice of good deeds contrary to the sins. Repentance is purification of conscience. Repentance is the voluntary endurance of all afflictions. A penitent is the inflicter of his own punishments. Repentance is a mighty persecution of the stomach, and a striking of the soul into vigorous awareness.

St. John of the Ladder