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

“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand. I and the Father are one.” (John 10:27-30 ESV)

Saint Nicholas of Myra

The truth of your deeds has revealed you to your flock, * as a rule of faith, an image of meekness, and a teacher of abstinence. * Therefore, you attained the heights through humility, * and riches through poverty. * O Father and Hierarch Nicholas, * pray to Christ God that our souls may be saved. (Troparion, Tone 4)

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

In Myra, You were shown to be a servant of the sacred things, O Holy Nicholas, * for, fulfilling the Gospel of Christ, you, O Venerable, laid down your life for your people, * and saved the innocent from death. * Therefore, you were sanctified as a great initiate of the grace of God. (Kontakion, Tone 3)

Random Proverb

"My son, do not despise the Lord's discipline or be weary of his reproof, for the Lord reproves him whom he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights." (Proverbs 3:11,12 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

When the holy Abba Anthony lived in the desert he was beset by boredom, and attacked by many sinful thoughts. He said to God, 'Lord, I want to be saved but these thoughts do not leave me alone; what shall I do in my affliction? How can I be saved?'

A short while afterwards, when he got up to go out, Anthony saw a man like himself sitting at his work, getting up from his work to pray, then sitting down and plaiting a rope, then getting up again to pray. It was an angel of the Lord sent to correct and reassure him: 'Do this and you will be saved.' At these words, Anthony was filled with joy and courage. He did this, and he was saved.


The Desert Fathers