Pope Shenouda returns to Egypt
Although not physically present with the thousands who greeted him back to Egypt we too can each join in the celebrations in our hearts by thanking and praising God for our beloved patriarch's safe return home.
Remember, O Lord, our Patriarch, the honoured father, the High Priest Pope Abba Shenouda...
In safety preserve him unto us for many years and peaceful times
The Copt Orthodox Church yesterday celebrated the arrival of Pope Shenouda III after his medical treatment journey to the United States that lasted more than four months. More than 10,000 people attended the celebration.
At 6:20 a.m. the church bells tolled and Bishop Moussa announced the Pope's arrival to the Cathedral.
The Pope appeared on the scale of the Papal Palace standing on his feet and waving to the people. The national anthem was played and the chorus chanted songs.
At 7:00 a.m. the Pope delivered a speech that lasted seven minutes. He said: ?My dear sons, I am pleased to see you and I thank you for your love. But you were not away from me, as every time I travel I take you with me in my heart and my mind. I take the whole of Egypt with me.
These are not my headquarters, as my real place is in your loving hearts.?
The Pope thanked President Mubarak for asking about him throughout his treatment, and for sending Major General Abdel Salam Mahgoub, Minister of Local Development, to attend the celebration.
For his part, Mahgoub welcomed the Pope to the Egypt that is blessed in all divine books, and cited the Pope?s famous motto that we do not live in Egypt, but rather Egypt lives in us.
He said: ?We missed a key symbol of the country who knows the meaning of love and peace, and who shows us everyday how to love and be loyal to the homeland.? [/i]