Pope Francis has married a young deaf couple in the chapel of his residence at the Vatican. Teodoro Pisciottani and Paulina Szczepanska, the daughter of a Vatican employee, were married on July 9 at the Vatican’s Domus Sanctae Marthae.
The Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem is originally built in 339 AD, and after a fire rebuilt in the 6th century AD. Necessary restorations are taking place at the moment, by the Piacenti Spa Organization.
His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II celebrated the consecration of Mor Esha’yo Holoboyo Church in Wiesbaden.
On June 24, 2016, the highly respected abbess and founder of the Nativity of the Mother of God Convent in Asten, The Netherlands (near Eindhoven) reposed peacefully in the Lord after a long bout with cancer. The funeral service was held on Tuesday, June 28.
Mother Maria was born in The Hague, Netherlands on June 13, 1944. She converted to Orthodox Christianity from the Dutch Reformed Church in 1961, and became a novice in the St. John the Forerunner Convent in The Hague in 1965. After several years in a Serbian Monastery where she was a spiritual child of St. Justin Popovic, Mother Maria entered a monastery in Greece, where she lived for ten years and received the monastic tonsure. After receiving a theological education in Thessaloniki, Mother Maria was invited back to Holland to engender Orthodox monastic life, and in 1986 she returned, soon founded the convent in the southern, rural part of Holland known as the Peel. Seven sisters survive Mother Maria at her convent.
A Coptic Christian priest has been killed in “a hail of bullets” outside The Church of the Martyr of St George in Sinai, Egypt. While details remain vague at this stage, it’s reported that Raphael Musa was shot dead while returning from prayers outside El-Arish, according to a spokesman.