Today (9th April) we commemorate the martyrdom of the 45 parishioners of the Palm Sunday bombings in both St George’s church in Tanta and St Mark’s Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in Alexandria in 2017. The one martyr who stands out very much by far is the 22 yr old Bishoy al-Qommos – the son of Fr Daniel Maher. A video interview by the ME Sat channel reveals more information. His brother was also injured in the blast, but did not pass away.
Upon birth, Bishoy was weak, used to vomit and lose weight. However Archangel Michael worked a miracle with him and he recovered. He was a quiet child, committed to his studies, often coming first in his class. He loved the church, was devoted to service, loved Sunday School and memorized hymns. Before going to college, he used to wake up early to pray and to read the bible. During the Great Lent he used to do metanias.
On Thursdays, instead of going out with his friends, he preferred to visit his Sunday School children. He regularly communicated with the mothers of his children via what’s app in order to serve the children. Often he’s be heard telling his mum ‘Mum I am so upset that so and so of his Coptic college friends didn’t come to mass and have Communion”. Hence he would pray for them.
His father the priest reports, “He loved saints, heaven and contemporary saints” particularly Fr Samaan Anba Paul and enjoyed retreats at the monastery. Some time before his martydom, Bishoy told Fr Paula of St Mary’s church Ibiara (many say this priest is a saint), he wanted to be a monk. He loved his mother, helping in the housework, cleaning the dishes and the bathroom when he was home, which his mum would often find finished upon returning from work.
Whilst studying or doing anything at home, he’d always be seen holding a small cross. His desk was very organized and housed more than 10 small different icons. The wall his desk was in front of held a single poster of many saints combined, which he himself elaborately designed. Each day, he was fond of being aware of the saint that was commemorated.
Throughout the entire interview, his father and mother speak proudly, joyfully and gratefully about their son and his martyrdom and not one tear is shed. Thus they have great faith, humility and submission to the will of God. Many report miracles occurring with them through the intercession of Bishoy.
That’s my transcription so far! The interview can be found here and a nice hymn about him is here. There is another one in the “beautiful hymns” playlist at the Art of Orthodoxy’s youtube.
The vision Fr Paula had during the Palm Sunday bombings
On the 9th April 2017 (Palm Sunday) in Egypt, two Islamic suicide bombers blew themselves up in St George’s Church Tanta and St Mark’s Coptic Orthodox church Alexandria killing 45 people, including the famed martyr Bishoy Al-Qommos, and injuring 126 people. At the precise moment of the bombings in Tanta, the priest Fr Paula who is well reputed to be a saintly holy priest, saw a vision whilst he was praying the mass in Ibyar – a village 18 km away from Tanta. [This priest is a real, kind and caring father, I’ve experienced it in a small way].
During the confession part of the mass as Fr Paula was lifting up the holy body, staring behind the altar, he suddenly stayed silent for 10 mins, even to the extent, the deacon took photos of him. Word quickly spread about the bombings and as Fr Paula continued the mass, he asked some people what was wrong and they told him about the bombings.
Fr Paula told them I saw them all in a vision where he saw the picture of Jesus Christ sitting on the throne (the big painted in one right behind the altar as is present in all churches) light up and separate into different parts and deacons in two lines, one line coming from the left hand side of the altar, the other from the right hand side. As the deacons reached the icon, he saw the Lord Jesus place a crown on the deacons heads and then they would disappear into the picture of the Lord Jesus Christ sitting on the throne. Thus did the holy priest confirm the crowns of the martyrs.
Here is a nice arabic hymn video related to this priest and the Martyr Bishoy Al-Qommos: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RwpFHeJTaxw&feature=youtu.be