Virgin Mary Coptic Orthodox Church
L'ÉGLISE COPTE ORTHODOXE DE LA VIERGE MARIE
Every 2 weeks, following the Holy Liturgy, there is a breakfast gathering and fellowship for the Seniors. Come and join us!
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Saint Bishoy was born in 320 AD in the village of Shansa (Shensha or Shesna), currently in the Egyptian governorate of Al Minufiyah. Younger to six other brothers, he was weak and frail. His mother saw an Angel in a vision asking her to give God one of her children, and pointed at Bishoy. When the mother tried to offer one of her stronger children, the angel insisted that Bishoy was the chosen one.
At the age of twenty, Bishoy went to the wilderness of Scetes and became a monk by the hand of Saint Pambo, who also ordained Saint John the Dwarf a monk. When Saint Pambo died, Bishoy was guided by an angel to the site of the present Monastery of Saint Bishoy, where he lived the life of a hermit. At this time, he became the spiritual father of many monks who gathered around him. He was famous for his love, wisdom, simplicity and kindness, as well as for his extremely ascetic life. He was also known to love seclusion and quietness. Bishoy’s asceticism was harsh to the extent of tying his hair and hands with a rope to the ceiling of his cell, in order to resist sleeping during his night prayers. This asceticism made him so famous that he was visited by Saint Ephrem the Syrian.
The Copts believe that Bishoy saw Jesus a number of times. Once, an old monk asked him to help him climb a mountain, so Bishoy carried him on his shoulders and climbed, only to discover that the old monk was no one but Jesus. The latter told him that, for the extent of his love, his body will not see corruption. The Copts also believe that Bishoy washed the feet of Jesus who visited him as a poor stranger.
Saint Bishoy was also said to have seen Jesus at his monastery. When Bishoy’s brethren learned that Jesus was coming, they gathered so that they might see him. Earlier, there had been an old man that asked these monks to help him on his way but they ignored him. When Saint Bishoy saw the old man, he helped him back to his room. He customarily washed the old mans feet. The old man then appeared to him as Jesus.
Bishoy is known as a defender of Orthodox faith against heresies. Having heard of an ascetic in the mountain of Ansena who taught that there was no Holy Spirit, Bishoy went to him carrying a weaved basket with three ears. When the old man asked him about the reason for making three ears for a basket, Bishoy replied “I have a Trinity, and everything I do is like the Trinity”. After much debate from the Scriptures, the Old and New Testaments, the old ascetic reverted to Orthodox .
Saint Bishoy also has the title of “Perfect man”