` Zeitoun

Apparitions of the "Lady of Light" above Zeitoun Coptic church

1968-70, near Cairo, Egypt

YouTube videos

     Zeitoun (rhymes with "my tune") means "olives", in Arabic (the apparition is said to have often been holding an olive branch).

     The video Ten Secrets of Medjugoriae from Mirjana Soldo (YouTube, 1:45) has the statements: "Blessed Mary always said these things, don't talk about secrets, pray, because fulfill me like mother, fulfill God like father, don't have afraid of anything. She said that afraid have those who don't believe … but we, like human being, we always talking about secrets, but don't think about future, don't think what will happen, will be God's will, think about your soul, think that you can go in front of the God tomorrow, and think about this, are you ready, or are you not ready, to go in front of the God?"

     Our Lady of Medjugoriae Messages has texts of messages purportedly received from "Blessed Mary" ("Theotσkos" in Greek); Medjugoriae Videos includes such as Video Apparition for Mirjana, 2. January 2009 (YouTube also has Q&A with Medjugoriae visionary Mirjana, about Jesus and Mary, Medjugoriae Visionaries Speak - Jakov & Ivan, and videos of weeping statues at St. Mary Statue Crying In Medjugoriae, and, near the end of Mirjana in Medjugoriae - proof of authenticity).
     YouTube has Marian Apparitions in Garabandal, Spain (8 minutes), and Conchita of Garabandal Speaks (22 minutes); Garabandal apparitions (Wikipedia) has a link to Garabandal Videos.
     YouTube also has Miracles of Medjugoria (4 minutes).
     ("Medjugoriae" is spelled "Medjugorje" in Croation -- that language uses basically the same Roman alphabet as English, but the letters are sometimes pronounced differently.)

     Our Lady of Zeitoun (Wikipedia): "They [apparitions] were also confirmed by the Jesuit Father Dr. Henry Ayrout, and by Rev. Dr. Ibrahim Said of the Protestant Evangelical Ministries. Nuns of the Society of the Sacred Heart also witnessed the apparitions and sent a detailed report to the Vatican, resulting in the arrival of an envoy on April 28 who also saw the apparitions and sent a report to Pope Paul VI."

     Ned Dougherty is among the 3 NDEers (near-death experiencers) in the videos linked from Near Death Chronicles - Dougherty's 2001 book, Fast Lane to Heaven, ch. 22, "Acceptance", says:
     [At the Shrine of Our Lady of the Island, in Manorville (Long Island), New York, December 8, 1994]: "When I reached the shrine's main roadway the apparitions ceased, but I was still in awe of what I had just experienced. I retreated to the solitude of a chapel and sat in a pew contemplating the visitation. It was during this period of contemplative meditation that I heard the voice of the Lady of Light through an interior locution. In a clear voice, she said: 'Go to Egypt!'
     "It was a simple message, specific and to the point. I was told to go to Egypt. But why? I had no reason to go to Egypt, nor could I imagine why going halfway across the world to Egypt would have any bearing on my spiritual journey. However, the message was so clear that I could not overlook it or attempt to rationalize the message as some sort of auditory hallucination.
     "I returned to my Hamptons [Long Island, NY] home that morning and sat down at the kitchen table, exhausted from my experiences at the shrine. I began nonchalantly leafing through a pile of mostly unwanted mail when my fingers suddenly froze on a particular envelope. It was a moment in my life that Carl Jung would have described as a "meaningful coincidence," one that is unthinkable as pure chance.
     "The piece of mail was an invitation to join a group on an archaeological expedition to the ancient ruins of Egypt. The trip was scheduled for late February and March, only months away. As I read the trip's itinerary, I still could not fathom the significance of my being told to go to Egypt until I read the itinerary for the final day of the trip: 'We will visit the site of the apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary at the Coptic Orthodox Church of St. Mary in Zeitoun, Cairo.'
     "I did not hesitate. I picked up the phone and dialed the '800' number to make my reservation. I was going to Egypt."
     Chapter 23, "Trip to Egypt" (2/28-3/10, 1995), says:
     "It was above and around these domes that the visions of a Lady of Light first appeared on the evening of April 2, 1968 …
     "In 1918, when Zeitoun was still a desert area on the edge of Cairo, one very wealthy member of the Khalil Ibrahim family suffered a family crisis. During the night, a Lady of Light appeared to him in a vision and told him to build a Coptic church on the land in her honor. If he built the church, she told him, she would return in fifty years (1968) and bless the church with her presence. Soon after, the Khalil Ibrahim family arranged for the construction of the church. It was opened in 1925 and was named St. Mary's in honor of the Lady of Light …
     "Farouk Mohammed Atwa, a Muslim worker, had just finished his day shift and sat with a group of co-workers at the gates of the garage building, attempting to enjoy his mug of tea …
     "He was momentarily distracted by what appeared in his peripheral vision - meteors or shooting stars in the sky above the domes of St. Mary's …
     "Besides, Farouk had to contend with the pain that emanated from the heavily bandaged forefinger of his right hand … He was scheduled to be admitted into the hospital the following morning to have his finger surgically amputated to prevent the spread of gangrene …
     "Farouk stood in the middle of the street, stupefied, engrossed in the luminous spectacle. However, he was consciously aware that something strange seemed to be happening to him as the pain from his injured hand seemed to diminish. Temporarily stunned by the mesmerizing sight above St. Mary's Church dome, Farouk observed that his gangrenous finger, which he had pointed to the Lady of Light, was suddenly and miraculously healed and free of gangrene …
     "The apparitions at Zeitoun were seen by crowds of up to 250,000 Christians, Jews, and Muslims from 1968 until 1971 …
     "To my knowledge, never before in the history or study of supernatural phenomena had convincing photographic evidence ever been produced as evidence of a supernatural visitation. But many photographs of the apparitions at Zeitoun were taken, documenting the apparitions. They do exist, and were taken by many different individuals, including a photographer for Egypt's semi-official newspaper Al-Ahram. Most of the photos taken showed only a burst of light or the shape of a figure within the light. However, the photos were accompanied by written accounts describing the details that the witnesses had observed. Some of the photos were more detailed, clearly showing the image of Mary. Many of the photos even captured the doves of light.
     "The investigative committee's report and the official statement of [Coptic Orthodox Patriarch] Pope Kyrillos VI created front page headlines in all six of Cairo's newspapers, which included articles and actual photographs of the celestial apparitions. The news of the apparitions was widely covered throughout the Middle East but, incredibly, only a few foreign or overseas newspapers gave any notice to the events in Zeitoun …
     "Many names have been ascribed to the Lady of Light ... Her messages of love and healing are dispensed to all of humanity, as evidenced most convincingly by some of her appearances in Zeitoun when she appeared to be holding out an olive branch to Christians, Jews, and unbelievers ... she is venerated in Muslim devotions.
     "During my near-death experience, she became known to me as the Lady of Light. Whenever I would recall the experience or be reminded of her intercession in my life, I would always think of her as the Lady of Light, yet I had never heard any reference to her from any other source as the Lady of Light -- that is, until I visited Zeitoun ...
     "I recognized why I had come all these miles to this small church in Egypt. Even after my experiences of apparitions at the Eastport shrine, I was still by nature cynical and disbelieving. I wanted to be certain that the visionary experiences were real and true. From everything I read about the Zeitoun apparitions, and after observing the photographs of the apparitions, I realized that the Lady of Light's visits to Zeitoun confirmed for me that my experiences at the Eastport [Manorville] shrine were real and true events in my life.
     "As I crossed the street and entered St. Mary's Church, my breath was taken away by a life-size portrait that hung in the entrance of the Church. The artist had captured what the photographs could not: a portrait of the Lady of Light as she appeared at St. Mary's Church in Zeitoun, and just as she had appeared to me at Our Lady of the Island Shrine in Eastport [Manorville], New York, on the morning of December 8, 1994."
     According to the 2008 World Almanac, Egypt's religion is about 90% Muslim (mostly Sunni), and 9% Coptic Christian.