The Apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary inthe Coptic Orthodox Church
named after her, In Shentena El-Hagar,
On the 6th of August 1997 some people saw super natural lights in Shentna El Hagr, Birkt El-Sab in El Menufiya, thousands of people rushed to see that marvelous light. That incident was recorded in a Coptic magazine, and it was released in the January/ February, 1999 issue from a press report that was written by the journalist Mosaad Sadeq in El Watni newspaper. The following was written in the report: “On this day, we saw spiritual creatures that happened to appear in St Mary church in Shentna El Hagr, Birkt El-Sab, El Menufiya. There were a lot of witnesses on the 6th of August, who spotted red lights and silver-white objects around the church's roof, followed by spiritual images which were very clear.”
On Wednesday in 1997 Pope Shenouda III acknowledged this apparition in his weekly lecture at St. Mark's Coptic Orthodox Cathedral. He declared that the light was supernatural, which means that it was not from any electrical source because it was sent from heaven. The Pope also issued an official statement in the Kiraza Magazine on the 12th of September 1997, entitled: “The apparitions in Shentna El Hagr". According to the reports we have received from His Grace Bishop Bishoy and His Grace Bishop Benjamin, the Patriarchate announced the following:
“A super natural light appeared in the church at Shentena El-Hagar, Menufiya, especially around the end of the month of August, and it attracted thousands of persons, rejoicing and chanting hymns for this spiritual phenomenon, which continued for several days on separate occasions. Unfortunately, video and photographic cameras provided nothing….”
(Taken from El-Keraza official bimonthly Arabic magazine of the Coptic Orthodox Church, issue of Friday, September 12, 1997)
According to an article released in one of the Egyptian newspapers, H. G. Bishop Benjamin, the bishop of El Menufiya, has affirmed the appearance of Virgin Mary on the tower of the church, accompanied by spiritual phenomenon such as marvelous bright lights, bright objects, and circles of fire around the tower of the church, doves, incenses and other marvelous spiritual phenomenon.
The statement of the Council of Menufiya Parish Priests:
In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, one God. Amen.
The statement is concerning the apparition of the Virgin Mary, followed by the spiritual phenomenon in her Church in Shentna El Hagr, El Menufiya.
The Council of Menufiya parish priests was convened in the Church of Saint Michael the Archangel, El Menufiya on Tuesday the 2nd of April 1997 and presided by H. G. Bishop Benjamin. After an accurate follow-up in the course of 26 days, from August 6th 1997 to September 21th, the day of holding the council, H.G. Bishop Benjamin and all the priests agreed on sighting the following spiritual phenomenon:
*The apparition of St. Mary in a bright body of light under the big cross of the church tower. She was moving upwards towards the cone-shaped part of the church tower till. She was in her full form and was seen by everyone. She was waving her hands in order to bless the people, and she did this after bowing before the Cross.
*The frequent appearances of silver doves piercing the sky was apparent.
*The appearance of an unbelievable array bright lights illuminated the church tower and its surrounding.
*The spreading of incenses in the sky above the church was detected and very clear.
*The sudden appearance and disappearance of spiritual objects around the church tower and its surrounding.
*The appearance of flames of fire over the church tower moving up and down, followed by the appearance of a marvelous light surrounding the outline of the church tower, especially the cross base and the upper cone-shaped part on which Virgin Mary appeared. During that intense amazing light, the Virgin Mary has appeared around fifty times over one hour.
*The apparition of Virgin Mary and the appearances of these spiritual phenomena were followed by a lot of miracles. People were healed from various chronic diseases while others who were demon possessed were also liberated. Those miracles were verified by declarations by those to whom the miracles were performed.
The Council of Menufiya parish Priests clarified that those appearances referred to the gates, which were opened between heaven and earth. This way people’s spiritual lives are refreshed.
Despite of the media coverage, no one can cover the heavenly light. The apparition was announced in the world news agencies and issued in the newspapers all over the world. In Egypt, however, it was issued in some journals in brief, except El Esbou' Newspaper which released a full-page report titled: "The journal editor of the week has been to the Church, saying: I have seen Virgin Mary in Her church in Menufiya". That report was written by Mostafa Soliman, one journalists from El Esbou's Newspaper. He described Virgin Mary as he had seen her in the midst of thousands of people, and he wrote: "H.G. Bishop Benjamin, the Bishop of Menufiya, has affirmed that it was not the first apparition of Virgin Mary in Menufiya because she appeared there twice. The first time was since fifteen years ago in Her Church in Manshiat Shenwan and the second time was since twelve years ago in her church in Shebin El Koum. But he has declared that Virgin Mary’s apparition in her church in Shentna El Hagr is different because she appeared there daily for one month. She was witnessed by thousands of people throughout the whole month, and the apparition was extremely vivid to the point where it was enough to cause the body to tremble.”