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The Saints in the Coptic Church

The Saints are dear members in the One Body of Christ who have struggled like us on earth and have departed to Paradise. They are not dead, but are sleeping, as St. Paul called them “But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope.” (1 Thess 4:13).

The Saints in Paradise are the triumphant members of the same one church in which we are militant members. We, the triumphant and militants, are members of the Church, which is the one Body of our Lord Jesus Christ. They departed from earth, but did not leave the church; their love toward their brothers did not cease by their departure and dwelling in Paradise. The worship of Saints is expressly forbidden by the Church; however asking for their intercessions is central in any Coptic service. Their prayers for the salvation of the entire world never cease. They pray for us, and we honor them as they are our holy and dear friends.

Any Coptic Church is named after a Patron Saint. We esteem the icons of saints and put them on the iconostasis. Church walls and doors are hung with icons, also our homes, etc., as a sign of our communion with them in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Among all Saints, the Virgin Saint Mary (Theotokos) occupies a special place in the heart of all Copts. Other saints include martyrs like St. Mark, St. Mina, St. George, St. Mercurius (Known as Abu-sefein, or the one with two swords); monks like St. Anthony, St. Macarius, St. Bakhomious, Saints Maximus and Domitius, St. Moses the Black; Popes and bishops such as St. Athanasius the Apostolic, St. Dioscorus, St. Gregory, St. Cyril and many others.



 

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