On April 2, 1968, the Blessed Mother St. Mary appeared to thousands of people in Zeitoun, Egypt, and remained visible for a total of 3 years. Christians and non-Christians alike witnessed her apparition atop the domes of the quaint church in Zeitoun. Her brilliant image left an indelible etch on the hearts of all. No one present has been able to forget it, and these chosen eyewitnesses have passed on this remarkable event since. Years later, precious physical mementos of St Mary’s apparition have been the key to keeping the miracle alive.Support Our Cause Find out more
The Zeitoun Memorial Foundation will replicate, to every detail, the actual church of St. Mary in Zeitoun, Egypt. The church replication will be a museum to house artifacts and writings of the greatest apparition of St. Mary in history.
The church museum will also house items pertaining to the heritage of the Coptic people of Egypt, the rich history of the Church of Alexandria, and its monumental influence in the Christian world. Another feature of the museum will be a history exhibit of the immigration to the United States by the actual descendants of the Pharaohs.
In the land of Egypt in Zeitoun, the St. Mary appeared in April of 1968. Zeitoun, a suburb of Cairo, borders the area that was once a part of ancient Heliopolis, (in Egyptian known as ON, in Greek known as CITY OF THE SUN).
It was on Tuesday night April 2, 1968, at 8:30pm when some workers at the garage across the street from the church were at the gate for the changing of shifts. There were also some women crossing the street. All of a sudden, there appeared an unusual movement up at the cross on the domes of the church. The scene, appearing in the darkness, seemed to be of a young lady in white kneeling by the cross at the top of the dome. As they all pointed to the dome, one of the workers gave out a cry warning the person not to jump down. Since he could not see her face, he thought she was a girl trying to commit suicide. He spoke to the man next to him and everyone started to whisper. Then these whispers became warning shouts. The lady stood up. They all saw her dressed as if in a bright gown of light in a view similar to that associated with the Virgin Mary.
After April 2nd, as time went on, witnesses of all different religious denominations reported seeing the Holy Virgin Mother almost nightly.
The following testimony of a witness says most perfectly what was revealed: “The whole scene was bathed with a luminous halo surrounded with a blue circular frame all ablaze. Little by little the vision became more distinct until the figure of Mary became more evident to the vast multitudes that filled the space surrounding the church of Zeitoun. The luminous circle seemed to symbolize... the perfection of eternity in contra-distinction to the fragmentary limitations of our seemingly dreary mechanical measure of time.”
The Zeitoun Memorial Foundation was established by people, taking initiative to do their part in trying to preserve the memory of the apparition of St. Mary in Zeitoun, Egypt.
The Zeitoun Memorial Foundation, a non-profit organization, was established to preserve the culture and heritage of an ancient people. While its ancient history is well known, its two thousand year past is relatively unknown. Taking major milestones as starting points, this organization will dutifully research more detailed history in order to establish curriculums to educate on this people’s recent history to present.
His Holiness, the Thrice Blessed, Pope Shenouda III (reposed in the Lord) and several honorable bishops received this concept with great enthusiasm. His Holiness applauded this project saying that it is very important to preserve these historical events, and noted that this plan is unique and unequalled in ambition, veneration, and magnitude.
On December 26th, 2014, Father Antonious met with His Holiness Pope Tawadros II in Egypt to present the concept and developments — about which His Holiness was enthusiastic and expressed an eagerness to see it’s fulfillment. At our request, His Holiness gave us a letter of blessing, encouragement, and outlined his hopes for this project.
We hope to design the museum to be a full-scale replica of the original church in Zeitoun. We have commissioned, in Egypt, an architectural firm to create “as-built” drawings of the existing church building in Zeitoun, and a professional photographer to capture the full interior and exterior design of the building: walls, columns, icons, banisters, arches, flooring, etc.
These have been given to an architectural firm here in the United States to begin work on redrawing plans according to American Standards and New Jersey Codes. The memorial will also have an annex building to hold exhibitions and events necessary for the continual propagation of this project.
It is in our plans that all artifacts pertaining to the Apparition will be maintained by proper museum preservation techniques to ensure the conservation of the artifacts for generations to come.
All artifacts pertaining to the Apparition are planned to be preserved by proper museum preservation techniques to ensure the life of the artifacts for generations to come.
On January 24, 2019, Zeitoun Memorial Foundation purchased a property next door to St. Mary and St. Athanasius Coptic Orthodox Church on US Highway 206 in Hillsborough, New Jersey. The next step, now, is to begin a capital campaign to start this blessed undertaking.
It is projected that the site work — construction of the memorial church with specific material and craftsmanship — will cost five million dollars. The annex building for all support and extended activities is estimated at two and a half million dollars. The Zeitoun Memorial Foundation will also establish an endowment fund for the purpose of maintaining the overall operating expenses, maintenance, and repairs for the facilities.
This is the preservation and memorialization of an event that impacted the lives of Egyptians and non-Egyptians alike. You can be a financial partner by donating to support the memorial’s purpose. You can also assist by spreading the word and encouraging as many people as you can to be a part of this blessed effort. As a 501(C)(3) organization, your support is tax-deductible.