Pope Tawadros consecrates St Mark’s in Kuwait

Amidst a rejoicing Coptic congregation in Kuwait, Pope Tawadros II on Tuesday 25 April presided over Holy Mass and the liturgy of consecration of St Mark’s cathedral in Kuwait. Four altars were consecrated in the names of St Mark, the Holy Virgin, St John, and St George. 

Before he delivered his sermon, the Pope expressed his gratitude to His Highness Prince al-Sabah al-Ahmad for his generous invitation, and thanked Kuwaiti officials for the warm reception they gave him. He then talked about ‘Consecrating the heart’; “each one of us has an altar,” Pope Tawadros said, “but is that altar, the heart, dedicated to God? This can only be achieved through prayer, Bible reading, and deeds of mercy.” 

The Pope concluded by thanking the cathedral’s priests for their compassion and efforts. He offered the cathedral an icon of St Mark as a gift, and handed it to Anba Antonius, Metropolitan of Jerusalem, the Near East and Kuwait. 

Among the congregation welcoming the Pope at St Mark’s was a girl on a wheelchair pushed by her father. Pope Tawadros spotted her, stopped by and blessed her and prayed for her. She was overjoyed.


The Pope has been on a five-day visit to Kuwait since last Sunday 23 April. It is the first visit for the Pope to Kuwait, and comes in response to an official invitation by the Amir of Kuwait, Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah.

Accompanying the Pope on his visit is Anba Pachomius, Metropolitan of Beheira and Pentapolis; Anba Marcos, Bishop of Shubral-Kheima; and Anba Yusab, Bishop-General of Luxor; as well as the papal secretaries Fr Ammonius Adel and Fr Angaelos Ishaq.

The Pope was received upon his arrival at the airport by the head of the Amiri staff, Sheikh Ali Gharah; Kuwait’s ambassador to Cairo, Muhammad al-Zuwaikh; Egypt’s ambassador to Kuwait, Yasser Atef; Anba Antonius, Metropolitan of Jerusalem, the Near East, and Kuwait; as well as the clergy of St Mark’s in Kuwait and a number of State officials.


Shortly after he arrived, Pope Tawadros was received by Amir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad. It was a courteous visit, with the Pope expressing his happiness for meeting the Amir and for visiting Kuwait which, he said, was famous for the tolerance and kindness of its people.


According to Fr Bigoul al-Anba Bisoi, pastor of St Mark’s church in Kuwait, the Coptic congregation was overjoyed at the Pope’s visit. That afternoon, his first in Kuwait, Pope Tawadros held Vespers service at St Mark’s. He was received with resounding enthusiasm by the congregation, many of whom took the day off from their work in order to meet him. He promised he would meet the Coptic families after the service.

“So happy to visit such a beautiful country and such kind people,” Pope Tawadros said at St Mark’s. “I first knew Kuwait through the Kuwaiti al-Arabi magazine, which was the gift offered by Kuwait for all intellectuals in the Arab World, since it speaks to the mind about human knowledge,” he said. 

The Pope’s sermon during the service focused on ‘Love’, urging all to spread love in words and deeds.


Monday 24 April Pope Tawadros visited the Kuwaiti parliament and the Islamic Antiquities House in East Kuwait. The Pope met Sheikh Jaber al-Ahmad and they both visited Sheikh Jaber al-Ahmad’s Cultural Centre, the Kuwaiti Opera House, where the Sheikh showed the Pope around and they both had lunch together. They were accompanied by Deputy Minister of Amiri Diwan Sheikh Ali Jarrah al-Sabah. 

The Pope Tawadros also visited the Islamic Antiquities House where he wrote in the guest book: “I really enjoyed to hear about that deep rooted history of Kuwait, especially that this building was first as a hospital where the Kuwaiti people had a medical care…”

At his residence in Kuwait, Pope Tawadros received Sheikha Fareeha al-Ahmed al-Jaber al-Sabah, President of the Kuwaiti Society for the Ideal Family, and Sheikha Maymouna al-Khalifa al-Athbi.

Source: Watani International