THE EGYPTIAN GAZETTE. FRIDAY, APRIL 11, 1969
'APPARITION OF VIRGIN STILL BEING SEEN'
MORE than a quarter million Egyptians and overseas visitors, attended a ceremony held at the Church of the Virgin Mary at Zeitun, near Cairo, to mark the first anniversary of an apparition of the Virgin Mary at and near this church.
Although a year now has elapsed since the apparition was first reported, yet it is still appearing. The most recent report of Her appearance was on Friday April 4 when She was seen for thirty minutes between the central dome of the church and the cross situated above the church fence. The apparition was seen nodding to a large number of people, who stood outside the church.
On three other recent occasions the apparition was seen and each time was preceded by the appearance of shining white clouds shaped like doves, and followed by a light which covered the church.
His Beatitude Kyrollos VI, the Pope of Alexandria and All Africa and the Coptic Orthodox Patriarch, made a statement on the occasion of the first anniversary of the apparition. This was read out at the ceremony held at the Church.
The ceremony, which lasted twelve hours, started at 5:00 p.m. and continued until the following morning.
The Pope's statement said that apparition of the Virgin Mary had continued to appear in and around the church named after Her at Zeitun from April 1968 to date, and that thousands of people from the UAR and from various other countries had seen it.
The Pope added that many people suffering incurable diseases had been cured after seeing the vision.
The Pope spoke of the Holy Family's flight into Egypt two thousands years ago and said that Jesus, the Virgin Mary and Joseph had then visited Ein Shams which is situated near Zeitun (...)
After the apparition was first reported having been seen at the Church, in April 1968, the Coptic Patriarch entrusted a special committee to investigate the matter.
The committee reported that its members had seen the apparition. On the basis of this report, and other evidence, the Pope declared that the apparition of the Virgin Mary had in fact appeared in and around the Church of the Virgin Mary at Zeitun.
Describing the apparition Bishop Athanasius of the Beni Suef Diocese and Chairman of the Committee, said it looked like an illuminated, dazzling white cloud, 100 cms. by 60 cms. in size. "It formed the shape of the sad Virgin after the crucifixion of Christ," he said.
Bishop Athanasius added that the apparition was preceded by a shining, quick-moving white cloud forming the shape of a dove. On one occasion, he added, he saw the vision in a full-size human form surrounded by a glorious halo of shining light.
Many foreigners still come to Cairo to see the apparition which for many recalls the story of the Holy Family's flight across the Sinai Desert into Egypt.