Daily Readings

We believe in one God, God the Father, the Almighty, Who created heaven and earth,
and all things, seen and unseen.



Vespers Gospel

Stand in the fear of God and listen to the Holy Gospel. A reading from the Gospel according to our teacher Saint Luke the Evangelist. May His Blessings be with us all. From the Psalms of our teacher David the prophet. May his blessings be with us all.
Psalms 121:4-5

Where the tribes go up, The tribes of the LORD, To the Testimony of Israel, To give thanks to the name of the LORD. For thrones are set there for judgment, The thrones of the house of David.

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Our Lord God, Savior, and King of us all, Jesus Christ, the Living Son of God to whom be glory forever. Amen.
Luke 8:22-25

Now it happened, on a certain day, that He got into a boat with His disciples. And He said to them, “Let us cross over to the other side of the lake.”And they launched out. But as they sailed He fell asleep. And a windstorm came down on the lake, and they were filling with water, and were in jeopardy. And they came to Him and awoke Him, saying, “Master, Master, we are perishing!”Then He arose and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water. And they ceased, and there was a calm. But He said to them, “Where is your faith?”And they were afraid, and marveled, saying to one another, “Who can this be? For He commands even the winds and water, and they obey Him!”
And Glory be to God forever


Matins Gospel

Stand in the fear of God and listen to the Holy Gospel. A reading from the Gospel according to our teacher Saint Luke the Evangelist. May His Blessings be with us all. From the Psalms of our teacher David the prophet. May his blessings be with us all.
Psalms 90:13-14

You shall tread upon the lion and the cobra, The young lion and the serpent you shall trample underfoot. “Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him on high, because he has known My name.

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Our Lord God, Savior, and King of us all, Jesus Christ, the Living Son of God to whom be glory forever. Amen.
Luke 8:1-3

Now it came to pass, afterward, that He went through every city and village, preaching and bringing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God. And the twelve were with Him, and certain women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmitiesMary called Magdalene, out of whom had come seven demons, and Joanna the wife of Chuza, Herods steward, and Susanna, and many others who provided for Him from their substance.
And Glory be to God forever

Divine Liturgy

Pauline Epistle

Paul, the servant of our Lord Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, appointed to the Gospel of God. A reading from the 1 Epistle of our teacher Paul to the Corinthians. May his blessings be upon us. Amen
1 Corinthians 14:5-11

I wish you all spoke with tongues, but even more that you prophesied; for he who prophesies is greater than he who speaks with tongues, unless indeed he interprets, that the church may receive edification. But now, brethren, if I come to you speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you unless I speak to you either by revelation, by knowledge, by prophesying, or by teaching? Even things without life, whether flute or harp, when they make a sound, unless they make a distinction in the sounds, how will it be known what is piped or played? For if the trumpet makes an uncertain sound, who will prepare for battle? So likewise you, unless you utter by the tongue words easy to understand, how will it be known what is spoken? For you will be speaking into the air. There are, it may be, so many kinds of languages in the world, and none of them is without significance. Therefore, if I do not know the meaning of the language, I shall be a foreigner to him who speaks, and he who speaks will be a foreigner to me.
The grace of God the Father be with you all. Amen.

Catholic Epistle

A Reading from the 3 Epistle of St. John. May his blessing be upon us. Amen
3 John 1:10-15

Therefore, if I come, I will call to mind his deeds which he does, prating against us with malicious words. And not content with that, he himself does not receive the brethren, and forbids those who wish to, putting them out of the church. Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. He who does good is of God, but he who does evil has not seen God. Demetrius has a good testimony from all, and from the truth itself. And we also bear witness, and you know that our testimony is true. I had many things to write, but I do not wish to write to you with pen and ink; but I hope to see you shortly, and we shall speak face to face. Peace to you. Our friends greet you. Greet the friends by name.
Do not love the world or the things in the world. The world passes away, and its desires; but he who does the will of God abides forever. Amen.

Acts of the Apostles

The Acts of our fathers the apostles, may their blessings be with us.
Acts of the Apostles 15:7-12

And when there had been much dispute, Peter rose up and said to them: “Men and brethren, you know that a good while ago God chose among us, that by my mouth the Gentiles should hear the word of the gospel and believe. So God, who knows the heart, acknowledged them by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as He did to us, and made no distinction between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith. Now therefore, why do you test God by putting a yoke on the neck of the disciples which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved in the same manner as they.” Then all the multitude kept silent and listened to Barnabas and Paul declaring how many miracles and wonders God had worked through them among the Gentiles.
The word of the Lord shall grow, multiply, be mighty, and be confirmed, in the holy Church of God. Amen.


The Second Day of the Blessed Coptic Month of Paone, may God make it always received, year after year, with reassurance and tranquility, while our sins are forgiven by the tender mercies of our God my fathers and brothers, Amen.
Appearance of Saint John the Baptist and Elisha the Prophet
On this day, the church celebrates the appearance of the bodies of St. John the Baptist and Elisha the Prophet, the disciple of Elijah the Prophet, in the city of Alexandria. Julian the Infidel wished to rebuild the Temple of Jerusalem, having been destroyed by Emperor Vespasian and his son Titus. He intended with malice to prove the invalidity of the saying of the Lord in the Holy Gospel: ‘Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left her upon another, that shall not be thrown down’ (Matthew 24:2). He supplied the Jewish people with money to rebuild it. He put Elebius, who asked the Jews to assist him secretly, in charge. Many of the Jews, men, women, old and young, gathered. They started digging the foundation with eagerness, transferring the dirt and rocks away, some with baskets and the others in the tails of their dresses. St. Kyrillos (Cyril), bishop of Jerusalem, ridiculed what they were doing. When they finished raising the rocks of the old foundation, they started to put down the new one. A severe earthquake took place, filled the excavation with dirt, dispersed the building material and killed many of the workers. The Jews were not terrified of that, and returned to the work again. Out of the depths of the earth, fiery balls came, showering the workers with rocks and hitting them so they stopped building. Many of them believed because of that and especially because they had fulfilled the prophesy of the Lord Christ, with their hands, about the destruction of the building of the temple from its foundation. St. Gregory the Theologian and St. John Chrysostom had mentioned this incident. The Jewish historian Emian, in the fifth century, had mentioned this account also incidentally in his writings.

Nevertheless, the Jews told the Emperor, ‘The reason for what happened is the presence of the bodies of Christian leaders in that place. They must be removed from it, otherwise the temple will not be built.’ Julian ordered that the bodies of the saints be removed from the place and burned. When they took the bodies of St. John the Baptist and Elisha the Prophet to burn them, some believers came forward to the soldiers, gave them a sum of silver and took the two bodies. They brought them to St. Athanasius, Pope of Alexandria. He was pleased and placed them in a special place until he could build a church for them. One day St. Athanasius was sitting in the garden with his scribe, the one to be Pope Theophilos (23rd Pope) who succeeded him on the Chair, and told him, ‘If God gives me long days, I will build in this place a church in the names of St. John the Baptist and Elisha the prophet, and I will lay their bodies in it.’

When Pope Theophilos was enthroned on the Chair of the See of St. Mark, he remembered what Pope Athanasius had told him. He built the church and relocated the pure bodies to it. On their way to the church carrying the holy bodies, they passed by a house of a pagan woman. This woman was in labor for the last four days. She had a difficult labor and she was in severe pain. When she heard the singing and the chanting of the people as they passed by, and when she knew what was happening, she vowed, saying, ‘O John, the saint of God, if you deliver me from this tribulation, I will become a Christian.’ Before she had finished what she was saying, she gave birth to a boy, and she called him John. Then, her family and she were baptized. They laid the bodies with great honor in the church. Many miracles and wonders were manifested through them. As of the end of Julian the infidel was as follows: He decided to declare a war against Sapor, King of Persia. St. Basilius the Great, the author of the liturgy, and some bishops went to meet him. Emperor Julian asked them, ‘Why have you come.’ St. Basilius replied, ‘We came asking for a shepherd’ He mocked them saying, ‘Where did you leave the son of the carpenter?’ The Saint answered with courage and pride, ‘We left him making a coffin for you, for you have lost all wisdom and knowledge.’ Julian told him, ‘I have read and memorized it.’ St. Basilius replied, ‘But you did not comprehend it.’ Julian became angry and ordered them seized, to be slain after his return from the war with Sapor. St. Basilius told him, ‘You will not come back, for God has spoken by my mouth.’ The Emperor ordered them imprisoned. The Emperor went to the war. St. Basilius prayed before the icon of St. Marcurius Abu-saifain, asking for the chastisement of the Emperor because he insulted his Lord Christ. St. Marcurius disappeared from the icon, and when he returned, his sword was dripping blood. During the war, Julian was shot by an arrow in his liver. Thlodoritius said in his history of the church: ‘When this infidel Emperor was stabbed, he took a handful of the blood that was pouring out of his side and scattered it toward the heaven, saying, ‘You have defeated me O Son of Mary.” The prophesy of St. Basilius was fulfilled in him and the church was saved from his evil. When St. Macarius, Bishop of Edko, was martyred, they placed his body with the bodies of St. John the Baptist and Elisha the Prophet.
May their prayers be with us. Amen.

Departure of Pope John XVIII (1769-1797) the 107th Patriarch of Alexandria and the See of Saint Mark
On this day also, the church celebrates the departure of Pope Yoannis (John) the Eighteenth, the 107th Pope of Alexandria. He was of the people of El-Fayyoum and his name was Joseph. He became a monk in the monastery of the great St. Antonios on the mount of El-Araba. When Pope Marcus the seventh, his predecessor, departed, the bishops, priests, and the notables of the people unanimously agreed on choosing him a Patriarch. They brought him and ordained him a Patriarch in the church of the martyr St. Marcurius in Old Cairo. That was on Sunday, 15th of Babah, 1486 A.M. (October 23, 1769 A.D.). He was called Yoannis the Eighteenth, the 107th Pope of Alexandria. During his days, the Pope of Rome attempted to attract the Eastern Churches and especially the
Orthodox Church of Egypt (The Coptic Church) to the Catholic rite. He published the proceedings of the Council of Chalcedone in a book and distributed it in all the countries of the East. This council had caused the schism of the church, and the Saint Pope Dioscorus (25th Patriarch) had refused to recognize the legitimacy of this council. The Pope of Rome then sent an envoy to Pope Yoannis carrying a message inviting him to be united with him. Pope Yoannis gave this message to Anba Yusab El-Abbah, bishop of Girga. He asked him to study it and to respond to it. This great scholar and distinguished theologian replied, refuting all the claims of Rome. He defended his church, its faith, and its doctrines, a splendid defense that immortalized his memory. However, the book of the proceedings of the Council of Chalcedone brought the opposite results of what Rome expected from publishing it. The book was a proof of the sound teachings and doctrines of the Coptic Orthodox church. The Bishop of Rome was sorry for publishing the book in the East, and he gathered its copies and burned them.

During the papacy of Pope Yoannis (John) many tribulations and hardships befell him from the rulers of the country and the Ottoman governors. The Turkish commander of the army seized the patriarchate treasury and took all its funds. That forced the Pope to disappear from the oppression and the injustice of those rulers who over tasked the Christians with their unjust rules and the enormous increase of taxes stipulated from them. Pope Yoannis participated with Ibrahim El-Gohary, the head scribe at that time, in restoring the monasteries and the churches. He also made the Holy Myron. He departed on the second day of the blessed month of Baounah, 1512 A.M. (June 7, 1797 A.D.). He remained on the patriarchal chair for twenty-six years, seven months, and sixteen days. He was buried in the tomb of the patriarchs in the church of St. Marcurius Abu-Saifain. The chair remained vacant three months and twenty-six days after his departure.
May his prayers be with us and Glory be to God forever. Amen.


Divine Liturgy Gospel

Stand in the fear of God and listen to the Holy Gospel. A reading from the Gospel according to our teacher Saint John the Evangelist. May His Blessings be with us all. From the Psalms of our teacher David the prophet. May his blessings be with us all.
Psalms 30:16-17

Make Your face shine upon Your servant; Save me for Your mercies sake. Do not let me be ashamed, O LORD, for I have called upon You; Let the wicked be ashamed; Let them be silent in the grave.

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Our Lord God, Savior, and King of us all, Jesus Christ, the Living Son of God to whom be glory forever. Amen.
John 15:17-25

These things I command you, that you love one another. “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, A servant is not greater than his master. If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also. But all these things they will do to you for My names sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would have no sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. He who hates Me hates My Father also. If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would have no sin; but now they have seen and also hated both Me and My Father. But this happened that the word might be fulfilled which is written in their law, They hated Me without a cause.
And Glory be to God forever