Coptic Orthodox Church
The Coptic Orthodox Church has been serving faithfully since its establishment by Saint Mark in the first Century AD. It is an Apostolic Church, founded by Saint Mark the Evangelist, Apostle, and Martyr. Saint Mark established the Coptic Church, also known as the Church of Alexandria (or the See of Saint Mark), which is one of the most ancient Christian Churches. Saint Mark is the author of the earliest of the four Christian Gospels, and is the first Patriarch of the Coptic Church. The Coptic Church has been blessed with outstanding leaders throughout the ages.
The Patriarchs of the Coptic Church are renowned in the Christian Community for their zeal in keeping the Christian faith in tact, without blemishes throughout the ages. Saint Athanasius (author of the Christian Creed), and Saint Cyril(known as the Pillar of Faith), are just two of the renowned Patriarchs of the Church. The Church fathers have fought to keep the faith pure, as was handed down from the Lord to the Apostles, and from the Apostles to the succession of Patriarchs. The Church Fathers have held firmly to the Orthodox faith, fighting against heresies, and withstanding severe persecutions throughout the ages.
The Church has been blessed with a succession of Patriarchs, starting with Saint Mark (1st Pope) to our current beloved Pope, His Holiness Pope Tawadros II (118th Pope). His Holiness was preceded by the late Pope Shenouda III (117th Pope, reposed in the Lord on March 17, 2012), who was preceeded by the late Pope Cyril VI (the 116th Pope of Alexandria). His Holiness Pope Tawadros II was enthroned to the see of Saint Mark on November 19, 2012. The name “Tawadros” is a derivative of the Greek “Theodoros” which is similar to the English “Theodore” and means “Gift of God“.
The Coptic Church is known for its numerous Martyrs throughout the ages, who have given their lives for the sake of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Just as the Lord shed His own precious Blood for our sake; the Church, His beloved, has shed her blood for His Name’s sake. Note that the word Martyr has been corrupted in recent times, by minority extremist factions who incite violence against others; but a Christian Martyr is NOT one who partakes in any form of extremist, violent, or terrorist acts. A Christian Martyr is one who is willing to die for the sake of their faith in Christ, without harming others.
The Coptic Church is well-known for its Monastic movement, and has been blessed with great Monastic leaders, including Saint Anthony (the father of Monasticism), and Saint Pachomius (the father of Monastic Communities). The Church is blessed with many Monasteries in Egypt, and now abroad through the grace of God, where many dedicate their lives to devout worship, serving the Lord in fasting, prayer, celibacy, and asceticism; praying for all of us, to come closer and closer to our loving God.
Saint Mary’s, Ottawa
The Coptic Christian community has been present in the Ottawa area since the 1960’s. Early immigrants to Canada who settled in the Ottawa area, first assembled for prayer in community halls, and by renting other Church buildings. In 1989, the church site on Greenbank was established, and consecrated by the late Pope Shenouda III, during a historic visit to Canada. In addition to the main altar, the church also has a chapel, in the names of the great Saint Anthony the Father of Monasticism and Saint Paul the First Anchorite. Our church also has an additional side altar, in the names of Saint Mina the Wonder-Worker and Pope Cyril VI his beloved.
May the Lord bless His flock, through the intercession of the Mother of God Saint Mary and the choir of Angels and Saints, and through the prayers and blessed service of His Holiness Pope Tawadros II and the blessed fathers.