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Christmas 2016 in Cairo

About the Princess of Peace

This is Magy!

Magy died this past Tuesday as a result of the attack on the “Botrosia” church on Sunday Dec. 11. Some of you know about Magy because we had asked for prayers for her. On Wednesday she had an extraordinary funeral, which has been described as more like a wedding. Her coffin was white, her lovely young mom refused to wear black and said she didn’t want people to mourn… she had returned “home” to the One who gave her to them 10 years ago.

Magy was our next door neighbor, and though we didn’t even know her name before, we feel blessed to have met her occasionally in the lift and to know her parents and little sister are still there, on the other side of our living room wall. The tears that Am Samir, our Moslem security man wept for her, were precious and showed us what an effect this little girl had had on him.

This last week of Advent has sort of been “taken over” by Magy and our Christmas celebration will also be “touched” by her. Her short life had a huge influence on Egypt. May her love for life which she showed in so many ways during these 10 years continue to give light to her family, her classmates here at Ramses College, those who knew her as a neighbor and all those touched by the witness of her televised funeral, the stories, photos and video clips.

Last Sunday at the Coptic Catholic church the gospel reading was that of yesterday and today in the Latin liturgy: the birth of John the Baptist and Zacharia’s canticle. The celebrant gave a beautiful homily on the meaning of John’s name: God is compassionate. The theme of God’s mercy and compassion runs through the canticle and he stressed that God is always compassionate. It is in human history that we find hatred and violence. Our response should be to look deep into ourselves and ask God to cleanse our hearts of all hatred and violence. It was a beautiful answer to what we so often hear in these situations: where is God? why does God allow this?
Magy’s short life teaches us that light overcomes darkness, that love is stronger than hatred and death and that no one is too young or too insignificant to be an instrument of love and peace. May she help us at this Christmas time to allow the Prince of Peace, born for us, to shine deeply into our hearts and lives and transform us, so that we can bring just a bit more love, compassion and peace into our world.

With love and Christmas greetings from all of us in Egypt,

Sr. Darlene DeMong NDS