The Coptic Church grieves the departure of His Holiness Pope Shenouda III. He was truly an inspiration to us all -- uniquely to bishops, priests, mothers, fathers down to the very youth of our Church. It would be difficult to find anyone who was not in some way touched, positively and deeply by the example HH has set before us. He truly is a remarkable servant of our Lord and he has somehow pushed each one of us closer towards our Good Shepherd.
These words are words from His Holiness Pope Shenouda talking to his children. These are words of comfort and condolences to you all:
I am your father and teacher, all of you my children,listen to my commandments, for I ask you my beloved children, preserve and look after the faith of the Holy Trinity.
I ask my beloved children, love one another with a true love.
I ask you my beloved, do good with all humanity.
I ask my beloved children, do not let the world deceive you.
I ask you my beloved children, do not fall short or “be not eager” in the service of the Lord.
I ask you my beloved children, to pray without ceasing and tirelessly.
I ask you o my beloved children, preserve your tongues from causing any division.
I ask of you my beloved children, to preserve the Holy Baptism that was granted to you.
I ask of you my beloved children, preserve your body pure for the Lord.
I ask of you my beloved children, do not ever lamp weaken without light.
I ask of you my beloved children, preserve the commandments that God gave to you.
I ask of you my beloved children, that the fear of God be within you.
God is witness, my beloved children, that I did not keep any of God’s words away from you…that I never ever slept my children, and be blamed by any one of you…that if you preserve and keep what I have told you, you will crush the head of the serpent and dragon. So hence, if you preserve and keep what I have said to you, you will eat of the goodness of the earth. So hence, if you preserve and keep what I have said to you, the shinning Cherobeam will guard you. So hence, if you preserve and keep what I have said to you, you will never lack of the Heavenly gifts.
I ask of you my beloved children, to ask of Christ for my soul, that it may have comfort in front of Him, and do not count my short falls, unknowingly and unwillingly.
(Then he directs his talks to the Bishops, clergy and priests)
I ask for your love and I plead to your reverence, to absolve me from everyone. And now, I am far from you and left you, and I cannot see your faces. And now I ask of you all, that you exhaust yourselves in prayers for me, remembrance in the Holy Liturgies, that my Master may accept me to Him, and forgive me.
And I ask Christ, the Great Shepherds of Shepherds, that he may elect for you a righteous shepherd according to His Will and heart, that he may shepherd you and your matters and watch for the salvation of your souls.
Pope Shenouda III
We pray that our Lord may repose the soul of our beloved father in the Paradis of Joy and to strengthen His Coptic Church more than ever. We ask and entreat our good Father to accept the prayers and supplications of His Holiness on our behalf.