OTTAWA, Sept. 23, 2014 /CNW/ - The 118th Pope of the Coptic Orthodox Church will visit three congregations in Ottawa and Kingston, as well as Canada's first Coptic monastery in Perth, ON
The Coptic Orthodox communities in Ottawa and Kingston celebrate the first official visit to their respective cities by His Holiness, Pope Tawadros II, Patriarch of All Africa on the Holy Apostolic See of St. Mark the Evangelist of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria.
Jason Kenney, Minister of Employment and Social Development greeted His Holiness, upon his arrival at Pearson International Airport in Toronto on September 5, and welcomed His Holiness on behalf of Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
In his month-long visit to Canada, his first since being enthroned in November 2012, His Holiness will visit 52 Coptic churches in Canadian cities from coast to coast, including (but not limited to) Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Winnipeg, Edmonton, and Vancouver.
His Holiness will pray the Holy Liturgy in Ottawa's two parishes, the church of St. Mary and the church of St. George and St. Anthony, as well as in Kingston, where he will be giving a lecture at Queen's University. He will also attend a banquet ceremony hosted by the local Ottawa communities to celebrate this historic visit.
In addition, His Holiness will be blessing St. Anthony Coptic Orthodox Monastery, Canada's first Coptic monastery, situated near Perth, ON, where he will be putting the cornerstone for the monk's cell.
This historic visit marks the 50th anniversary of the opening of the first Coptic Orthodox Church in Canada. His Holiness will also celebrate the 25th anniversary of the opening of Ottawa's first Coptic Orthodox church, St. Mary's parish in Ottawa's west end.
Quick Facts about H.H. Pope Tawadros II:
H.H. Pope Tawadros II was enthroned to the see of Saint Mark on November 19, 2012 at St. Mark's Cathedral in Abbasiya, Cairo. His Holiness was born on November 4, 1952. He received a bachelor's degree in 1975 from the Faculty of Pharmacy at Alexandria University. He attended the Coptic Seminary and graduated in 1983. In 1985, he earned a fellowship with the World Health Organization from the British International Health Institute in England.
He managed a state-owned pharmaceutical manufacturing operation after graduating, and later joined the Monastery of Saint Pishoy in Wadi Natrun to study Theology for two years. He was ordained into the priesthood in 1989, and was consecrated as a general bishop on June 15, 1997, by the late Pope Shenouda III.
The name "Tawadros" is the Coptic version of the Greek "Theodoros", the English "Theodore", and the Arabic "Tadros", all of which mean "Gift of God".
Quick Facts about the Coptic Orthodox Church:
The Copts are the native Christians of Egypt. The Coptic Church was founded in 42 AD by Saint Mark the Apostle, shortly after the Ascension of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Saint Mark is the author of the earliest of the four Christian Gospels, and is the first Patriarch (Pope) of the Coptic Church. The Coptic Church has been blessed with outstanding leaders throughout the ages.
The Patriarchs of the Coptic Church are renowned in the Christian Community for their zeal in keeping the Christian faith in tact, without blemishes throughout the ages. Saint Athanasius (author of the Christian Creed) and Saint Cyril (known as the Pillar of Faith), are just two of the renowned Patriarchs of the Church.
The Church has been blessed with a succession of Patriarchs, starting with Saint Mark (1st Pope) to our current beloved Pope, H.H. Pope Tawadros II (118th Pope).
H.H. Pope Tawadros II was preceded by the late Pope Shenouda III (117th Pope, reposed in the Lord on March 17, 2012), who in turn was preceded by the late Pope Cyril VI (the 116th Pope of Alexandria).
SOURCE: Rofail Conference and Management Services (RCMS)