Church representatives from all over the world were in Cairo yesterday (14 May) for a service at St.
Church representatives from all over the world were in Cairo yesterday (14 May) for a service at St. Mark's Coptic Cathedral, at which a relic of St. Athanasius was exhibited.
Egyptian Copts are marking the sixteenth centenary of the death of St. Athanasius, a former Bishop of Alexandria, with a week-long celebration.
The relic -- one of the Saint's fingers -- was presented to the head of the Coptic Orthodox Church, Patriarch Anba Shenouda, by Pope Paul VI, at a ceremony in Rome last week.
St. Athanasius is venerated by both the Roman Catholic and Coptic churches, but the two churches have had no dealings with each other for fifteen centuries. Last week's ceremony at St. Peter's in Rome marked the healing of that rift.
The relic of St. Athanasius will be kept in a velvet box on a table near the inner sanctum of the cathedral.