In Photos: Egypt's Pope Tawadros II, Pope Francis celebrate 'Day of Brotherly Love' in Vatican

Aya Salah , Wednesday 10 May 2023

Love, which has become a motto, is celebrated annually on the "Day of Brotherly Love," and 'we speak on the phone to renew it every year,' said Coptic Orthodox Pope Tawadros II, pope of Alexandria and patriarch of the See of St Mark, on Wednesday in the Vatican.

 Pope Tawadros II, Pope Francis
Egypt's Pope Tawadros II, Pope Francis celebrate Day of Brotherly Love in Vatican


Pope Tawadros II was marking the 10th anniversary of his visit to the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church.

He delivered the speech in the presence of Pope Francis of the Vatican during the weekly public hearing in St. Peter's Square.

Pope Tawadros II congratulated Pope Francis on his 10th anniversary of being elected as pope and bishop of Rome, stating, "I appreciate all that you have done during this time to serve the entire world in all fields, and I pray that Christ will keep you in good health and grant you the blessing of a long life."

Egypt's pope referred to his first visit to the Vatican in 2013 – the second by the Egyptian Coptic Church to the Vatican State which tool place on 10 May 1973. He expressed his gratitude for the hospitality and love he and the delegation of the Coptic Orthodox Church received, a statement by the Coptic Orthodox Church read.

Pope Tawadros II thanked Pope Francis for his previous visit to Egypt in 2017, which he described as “a blessing for all of Egypt,” the statement added.

Pope Francis greeted and thanked Pope Tawadros II for accepting his invitation to visit the Vatican to commemorate 50 years of relations between the Orthodox and Catholic churches, recalling the Christological declaration signed in 1973 between Pope Shenouda III and Pope Paul VI.

According to the Holy See's news portal, the declaration was the culmination of several years of ecumenical and theological discussions between the Catholic and Coptic Orthodox churches. It also signalled the resolution of the Christological dispute that had emerged following the Council of Chalcedon in 451, ending a 1,500-year-old theological dispute and beginning a new period of improved relations between the Coptic and Catholic groups.

On the occasion, the Vatican released a book on Wednesday about its efforts to promote Christian unity under the title The Catholic Church and the Coptic Orthodox Church: 50th Anniversary of the Meeting between Pope Paul VI and Pope Shenouda III (1973-2023).

Pope Francis referred in his speech to the Copts who were killed in Libya years ago, calling on the attendees to pray for the protection of the Coptic Orthodox Church and blessing of the visit of Pope Tawadros II.

Concluding his speech, Pope Francis asked Pope Tawadros II to address the people gathered in St. Peter's Square to give them his blessings.

As part of his three-day visit, Pope Tawadros II stopped at St. Peter's Basilica on Tuesday, where he was received by Vatican officials and invited to go up with the delegation of the Coptic Church to the dome for a panoramic view, according to a statement by the Orthodox Church.

Pope Tawadros II also visited the Ethiopian Pontifical College, where he recited the prayer of thanksgiving in the college chapel. 

During dinner, Pope Tawadros II gave a short speech in which he said, “Love yourself in Christ... [The Coptic delegation and] I would like to thank you for the warm welcome and great love you have shown us.”



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