Inauguration of the Grand Cathedral of St. Mark, Abbasiya, Egypt
Today, in Abbasiya, Egypt, Copts from across Egypt joined His Holiness Pope Tawadros II and 109 metropolitans and bishops, to celebrate mass, marking the inauguration of the Grand Cathedral of St. Mark and the 50th anniversary of the cathedral’s construction in 1968. His Holiness consecrated three altars, the middle on the name of St. Mark, the cathedral’s namesake, the north altar for The Holy Virgin Mary and the South altar for St. Athanasius and St. Pope Kyrillos VI, such a momentous occasion that His Holiness deemed it worthy of addition to the Synaxarium.
The cathedral was initially built under the watchful eye of St. Pope Kyrillos VI, who also blessed the church on its initial inauguration on June 25th, 1968, an event that was well attended by local and foreign clergy and dignitaries, including former Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser and Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie. Today’s inauguration marks half a century of restorative work since that day, bringing together over 50 companies and 300 workers, under senior engineers and artists. The project expanded parts of the cathedral including seating for the Holy Synod, the restoration of classic icons from the last century and the addition of new renditions of modern saints to the collection. The new artwork is crowned with an intricate mosaic, featuring the sun and symbolizing Christ’s central role as the light of the world.