St Mark church

The Coptic Orthodox Church, Egypt’s national church, is one of the world’s oldest denominations. It has preserved so many ancient traditions and figures that contributes significantly to our understanding of the early centuries of the Christian Church.

The Markus tradition is the apostolic foundation of the Coptic Church. The evangelist Mark came to Alexandria, Egypt. Alexandria was then a Greek-speaking international city, in addition to the world’s largest library, also housed the largest Jewish colony. Mark preached about the risen Lord Jesus Christ and suffered martyrdom on April 25, 68. St mark was the first patriarch for the St. Mark’s chair, to the present, Pope Tawadros II, who in 2012 sat on St. Mark’s chair as the 118th patriarch.

When the Old Church in the 4th century set out to divide the world into 5 patriarchates, the Bishop of Alexandria was perceived as the patriarch of all of Africa, just as the Bishop of Rome was honored as the head of the West


The monasticism is without a doubt the Coptic Church’s greatest gift to Christianity. It began with St Paul, who in the year 250 went to the wilderness as the first monk. Then a farmer’s son, St. Antonios from Central Egypt (born 251) 35 years old, heard a call in the word of the Lord:

” If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me!” (Matt.19,21).

St. Antonius went to the eastern desert, and over the next few years other monks flocked there, creating a monastery. After 20 years, Antonius became the spiritual father of the monk community. To this day there are 2 monasteries, St. Antonius and St. Paul, where it all began in the desert by the Red Sea.

Patriarch Athanasius who wrote “Vita Antonii” wrote about his desert fathers. Thus, the monasticism ideas spread to Europe and Syria. Here are more info about Coptic monasticism and the Egyptian monasteries.

The coptic language

The Coptic language is the last step of the ancient Egyptian language, which was written with hieroglyphs, hieratic and demotic types until our days. The Word Coptic is a word deriving from the Arabic Word qibt, which is contained in the Greek Word Aigyptios.

Coptic means Egyptian and also means the Egyptian language, which has been used in script with Greek letters from the second Century ac. and supplemented with 7 demotic sounds, which the Greek alphabet could not reproduce.

The coptic calendar

The Coptic Church has its own calendar, which began in the year 284 AD when Diocletian became emperor. With his edict in the year 303 and up to 311, approx. 150,000 Copts lay down their lives for the sake of their Christian faith. In honor of these martyrs, a new era was reckoned from the year 284, called the Era of Martyrs . The year follows the ancient Egyptian year, which also begins with New Year’s Day on 11 September. In the meantime, however, the West has gone from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar, so that the Coptic feasts do not fall at the same time as the West. For example. is Christmas Day on January 7 for the Coptic Church.

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