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How did Egypt retrieve the remains of St. Mark the Apostle from Rome in 1968?

The incident of receiving the remains of St. Mark the Apostle in Rome took place in the tenth year of the pontificate of Pope Kyrollos VI, the one hundred and sixteenth pope in the series of Popes of the Episcopal see of St. Mark, on this day 15 Baounah of the year 1684 for the martyrs corresponding to June 22, 1968 AD.

According to historical accounts, the official delegation sent by Pope Kyrillos VI received the relics of the great Saint Mark the Apostle and the first patriarch of the See of St. Mark from the hands of Pope Paul VI, Pope of Rome, in the Papal Palace in Vatican City.

The delegation was made up of 10 metropolitan bishops, including 7 Copts, 3 Ethiopian metropolitans, and 3 archbishops. As for the metropolitans and bishops, they are, respectively, according to the seniority of the ordination: Anba Morcos, Bishop of Abu Tig, Tahta, Tama and its dependencies. Anba Boutros, Archbishop of Akhmim, Saqqalah and Dependencies, Anba Youannis Metropolitan of Tigray and its Dependencies in Ethiopia, Anba Lucas, Metropolitan of Arussi and its Dependencies in Ethiopia, Anba Boutros, Metropolitan of Gondar and its Dependencies in Ethiopia, Anba Domadeus, Bishop of Giza and its Dependencies, Anba Gregory, General Bishop of Helwena, General Bishop for Coptic Studies and Theological Research.

As for the civil archenas, according to the alphabetical order, they are Professor Edward Michael, Secretary General of the Milli Patriarchal Endowments Committee, Professor Farah Indraos, Secretary General of the Coptic Endowments Authority, and Professor Farid Al Farouni, Undersecretary of the Milli Council in Alexandria.

At that time, the Alexandrian papal delegation left Cairo on the afternoon of Thursday, the 23rd of Baounah, 1684 A.M., corresponding to June 20, 1968 AD, in a private plane, accompanied by about 90 Coptic Archangels, including seven priests.

They were received at Rome airport by some bishops and priests, delegated by Pope Paul VI and the ambassador of the Arab Republic of Egypt to the Vatican.

The twelfth o’clock in the morning of Saturday 15 Baounah, corresponding to June 22, was set for the Alexandrian papal delegation to meet the Pope of Rome and to receive the remains of Saint Mark the Messenger. General The Committee of Action for the Christian Union, Bishop Olivetti of Venice (Venice) and three priests in solemn procession were driven by Vatican luxury cars and motorbikes to the Papal Palace in Vatican City.

At exactly ten o’clock, the Alexandrian papal delegation entered, led by Anba Morcos, Bishop of Abu Tig and Tahta, the head of the delegation, followed by the metropolitans and bishops, according to the order of ordination and then the archangels. Pope Paul VI was at the entrance to his private office, standing receiving the head and members of the delegation, one after the other, then sat on his throne. Pope Paul VI speaks while sitting. He greets the delegation, praises Pope Kyrollos VI and the Church of Alexandria, and congratulates the inauguration of the new St. Mark’s cathedral and the receipt of the relics of Saint Mark the Apostle. In which he thanks him and informs him of the names of the members of the official delegation whom he delegated on his behalf to receive the remains of Saint Mark the Apostle. Then Pope Paul got up and the members of the delegation rose with him. The Pope of Rome and the head of the Alexandrian delegation carried together the box containing the remains of Saint Mark, and they all walked two by two in an official procession and moved from the Pope’s office to the hall A large one that had been prepared to receive the Copts accompanying the official delegation to witness the happy holy moment, and the mortuary box was placed on a special table, then love was offered. The Roman papal delegation prostrated before it and accepted it, and the Alexandrian papal delegation followed it, and the rest of the delegation followed it. While performing this tribute to the relics of St. Mark the Messenger, the Coptic priests sang the appropriate church tunes, and happiness captured the hearts of all, Egyptians and foreigners, and those moments were terrible and happy, and the whole situation was Excitingly, the hall was filled with a deep atmosphere of spirituality, piety, holiness and piety.

The Pope of Rome sat on his throne and then Anba Gregory rose and delivered a speech on behalf of the delegation in English in which he conveyed the greeting of Pope Kyrillos VI to Pope Paul VI, expressing the happiness of the Christians of Egypt and Ethiopia for the return of the relics of Saint Mark the Apostle after eleven centuries in which the body of Saint Mark remained a foreigner from the country in which he died as a martyr.

The Pope of Rome responded in an official speech in French, which he was reading while sitting on his throne, in which he praised the history of the Church of Alexandria and its long and pioneering struggle in the field of faith. He also praised its heroes and scholars such as Athanasius the Apostolic, Cyril, the pillar of faith, Pentinos and Clement, hoping that today’s ceremony would be a sign of love and a bond linking the Church Alexandria and the Church of Rome In his address to the head and members of the Roman papal mission, the Roman Pope asked to convey his greetings, love and appreciation to Pope Kyrollos VI and the clergy of the Church of Alexandria and Egypt and its people.

After that, Pope Paul and Anba Mark, the head of the delegation, rose to exchange souvenirs. Anba Mark presented the gifts of Pope Kyrollos VI.