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Church Martyrdom

Our Coptic Church lives by the work of the Holy Spirit inside of her. Her page of martyrdom comes from the fruits of the Spirit. We are amazed how our fathers and our martyrs withstood their sufferings; how they were unshaken, how they conquered, and how their honored blood, which was shed, destroyed the weapons of the evil kings and rulers.

Martyrdom is the story of Christianity from its inception. It is a story of spreading the Holy Gospel all over the world. The witness of the martyr's blood was greater than any teaching or preaching. Martyrdom is a deep philosophy founded on strong spiritual principles for which Christians from all social levels, cultures and throughout the ages have been attached to.


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Church History

The Coptic Orthodox Church is an Apostolic Church, not only because her founder is St. Mark the Apostle who ministered in Egypt, ordained a bishop, priests, and deacons to aid him in his ministry and was martyred in Alexandria, and not only because her first Patriarch is St. Mark's successor through an unbroken chain of popes since the apostolic age, but also because she preserves the apostolic thought in her life, spirituality, liturgies and dogmas. She is actually a living extension of the apostolic church without deviation.

The Coptic Church is sometimes accused of exaggerated conservatism and refusal of concessions. As a matter of fact she is not stagnant or stolid but faithful and conservative, preserving the apostolic life, and desiring to offer the gift of faith in all its aspects throughout the ages.


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Coptic Fasts & Feasts

2009 A.D. / 1725–1726 A.M.

Fast or Feast Date
The Holy Nativity Feast January 7
The Circumcision Feast January 14
The Holy Epiphany January 19
Feast of the Wedding of Cana of Galilee January 21
Jonah's (Nineveh) Fast February 9–11
Jonah's (Nineveh) Feast February 12
Presentation of the Lord into the Temple February 15
Holy Great Fast February 23 – April 10
The Feast of the Cross March 19
Annunciation Feast April 7
Lazarus Saturday April 11
Entry of our Lord into Jerusalem (Hosanna Sunday) April 12
Holy Pascha April 13–15
Covenant Thursday April 16
Good Friday April 17
Glorious Feast of the Resurrection April 19
Thomas’ Sunday April 26
Martyrdom of St. Mark the Evangelist May 8
The Holy Feast of Ascension May 28
Entry of the Lord into Egypt June 1
The Holy Pentecost Feast June 7
The Apostles' Fast June 8 – July 11
The Apostles' Feast (Martyrdom of St. Peter & St. Paul) July 12
St. Mary's Fast August 7–21
Transfiguration Feast August 19
Assumption of St.

Church Dogmas

Dogmas, to the Coptic Orthodox Church, are not merely theological concepts concerning God, man, church, eternal life, heavenly creatures, demon etc…, to be discussed among clergymen, scholars and laymen, but are, in essence, daily experiences each member of the church has to live. In other words, dogmas representing our faith in God through various aspects have one message, i.e. our communion with God the Father in Jesus Christ, the incarnate Word of God, by His Holy Spirit. Thus we conceive of our redemption, and our membership of the church, a deep understanding of the Holy Bible, an acceptance of the Kingdom of God within our souls, a communion with the heavenly creatures and the experience of eternal life.

The Church is not merely a school involved in researches and teaching dogmas, but an institution that worships God and serves mankind. It works for the transformation and the renewal of this world, and hopefully awaits the world to come. Truly, the Church would not be the church, as we know it without Christian dogmas. Dogmas interpret our whole philosophy of the Church through repeated practice of our faith through the holy tradition (the Holy Scriptures, worship, behavior and preaching). All these elements represent different aspects of the one inseparable church life.

Dogmas in fact are mirrors of the Holy Scriptures. They explain the Holy Scriptures and attract men to enjoy its spirit.

St. Mark the Apostle, the Founder of the Coptic Church

St. Mark

The Coptic Church or the Church of Alexandria is called "Sees of St. Mark"; one of the earliest four sees: Jerusalem, Antioch, Alexandria, and Rome.

St. Mark, The Founder

The Copts are proud of the apostolicity of their Church, whose founder is St. Mark; one of the seventy Apostles (Mk 10:10), and one of the four Evangelists. He is regarded by the Coptic hierarchy as the first of their unbroken 117 patriarchs, and also the first of a stream of Egyptian martyrs.

This apostolicity was not only furnished on grounds of its foundation but rather by the persistence of the Church in observing the same faith received by the Apostle and his successors, the Holy Fathers.

St. Mark's Bibliography

St. Mark was an African native of Jewish parents who belonged to the Levites' tribe. His family lived in Cyrenaica until they were attacked by some barbarians, and lost their property. Consequently, they moved to Jerusalem with their child John Mark (Acts 12:12, 25; 15:37). Apparently, he was given a good education and became conversant in both Greek and Latin in addition to Hebrew. His family was highly religious and in close relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. His cousin was St. Barnabas and his father's cousin was St. Peter. His mother, Mary, played an important part in the early days of the Church in Jerusalem. Her upper room became the first Christian church in the world where the Lord Jesus Christ Himself instituted the Holy Eucharist (Mk 14:12-26). Also, this is the same place where the Lord appeared to the disciples after His resurrection and His Holy Spirit came upon them.

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