Apparition in Assiut: Eyewitness Account
Around 7:00 PM this evening (local time in Ottawa Canada) a dear friend of mine in Ottawa and a native of Assiut, managed to reach by telephone one of his friends named Magdy in Assiut. He then called me and brought me on line in a conference call. Magdy and his family were eyewitnesses to the apparition events which occurred recently in the altar and outside the church. I listned to Magdy's account for about 20 minutes. While the information is fresh in my mind, I’ll try to summarize it as my friend and I heard it.
Events started during a mass on Wednesday 29 March that usually starts at 12:00 noon and ends at 3:00. There were two priests praying at that time, Abouna Boulos and Abouna Tadros. One of the pictures hung on the wall inside the altar, which shows St Mary with a dove above her and surrounded with the disciples, started to illuminate. The dove started to illuminate first, then the light from the dove started to flow down and spread on the heads of the disciples. Next, the light spread to the adjacent picture of Christ during the last supper. Then the light spread to other pictures in the altar. The timing of this occurrence coincided with the mass prayer for the descending of the Holy Spirit (I think just prior to saying “we worship your holy body ...”)
But what all congregation witnessed in the mass, is the moment when the priest after the confession prayer, raised the tray with the holy body in it. A glorious shining light covered the whole tray. Abouna Tadros, the other priest serving in the mass, is quoted to say that he could not see the tray; only a chunk of light.
More fascinating is what the worshipers in the altar who were receiving communion saw and felt. Magdy’s sister was receiving communion and is quoted to say that all she could see is light in the tray and light in the hands of Abouna while giving her the body of Christ. All light, to the extent that she did not get the normal chewing feeling. She felt as if she was chewing light !! Meanwhile worshipers inside the altar were on their cell phones relaying to the whole city of Assiut what they were seeing first hand, so it did not take time for the crowd to block the streets around the church.
The following Wednesday (April 5), worshipers crowded the church (in the lower level) and kept waiting after finishing the mass to see the light. At the same time another mass served by Bishop Mikhail (Metropolitan of Assiut) had ended also in the upper level of church. The Bishop was called to bless people downstairs ('Yesref El Shaab') and convince them to leave since no more light had appeared at that time. While the Bishop was doing that, the light struck in the altar and the people rejoiced.
Outside the church the light covered the whole minaret with illuminating flying objects described as having the size of large ducks and not doves.
Holy light in Assiut (Watani - issue of 9 April 2006; in English) (mirror copy)
Statement from the Coptic Orthodox Metropolitanate of Assiut (Watani - issue of 9 April 2006; in Arabic)
Heavenly lights reappear in Assiut on Wednesday 29 March 2006 (Watani - issue of 2 April 2006; in Arabic)
Multimedia: Videos; Photos; More videos and photos: , ; Official Church statement (5 April 2006; in Arabic)