“I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” (John 10: 10). Those who follow the life of Lord Christ, the Light of the world, would be astonished at visiting the holy sites in Palestine, as every church and monastery there are carved out as if they recount their stories, from the angel’s preaching to St. Virgin Mary in Nazareth until His Ascension to Heaven on the Mount of Olives, near Bethany, passing through His baptism and ministry, then His entry to Jerusalem, His arrest, crucifixion, burial and Resurrection; and thus, a visitor can see the footsteps of the Lord and follow them, as if he is reading a living Bible via these holy monuments!
“On the Footsteps of Lord Christ” book is considered a documentation of the fragrant life of Lord Christ on earth, through skillfully pictured shots which carry us from a place to another while we are walking on the same path blessed by His footsteps. As for thought; it takes us through history from a place to another, getting back to that epoch that witnessed and was blessed by the life of our good Savior: Here is the city of Nazareth, which depicts the scene of the Annunciation carried by Archangel Gabriel to the Virgin of Nazareth, hence your mind will recall the words: “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest…” (Luke 1: 30-32). Then you are taken to Bethlehem, where the holy Nativity and the grotto which was the destination of the hastening shepherds, hence you will recite the praise of the Heavenly Orders: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” (Luke 2:14). Before the Jordan River, you will recall the details of the Divine Revelation scene, which occurred at the Lord Christ’s baptism at the hands of the Prophet of the two Testaments, the greatest among those born of women, John the Baptist, a voice from the heaven was heard: “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” (Matthew 3:17). Standing in front of the Mount of Temptation, we remember the words of Lord Christ: “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’ ” (Matthew 4:4). Hearts are raised to plead for assistance from the One who was tempted for our sake, in teaching us the path to triumph.
In the church of Beatitudes, the scene of our good Teacher is visualized before your eyes where He gave His sermon on the mount, which is considered the constitution of our lives. This book takes us to Jericho where we would recall the encounter of Lord Christ with Zaccheus, while Tiberias recalls to our mind the scene of the Lord of Glory rebuking the storm, and commanding Peter to come to Him while walking on the water. Reaching Jerusalem, we feel awe and reverence filling the corners of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, which witnessed the greatest facts of the history, and was an arena of the good tidings of humankind salvation through the crucifixion, death and resurrection of Lord Christ. You can do nothing but praise: O Lord, Thine is the power, the glory, the blessing and the majesty forever. Amen! Then you find yourself following the saint Marys to the tomb on the Resurrection Sunday, hearing the voice of the angel: “He is not here, but is risen!” (Luke 24: 6).
I express my thanks to the talented photographer Sami Wekeila, who has exerted much sincere efforts through using his nimble lens to present clear distinct photos, attached with priceless information in the book in your hands, taking us in an incomparably magnificent trip behind the footsteps of Lord Christ.
May the Lord make this book a reason of blessing to all who read it, through the intercessions of our Lady St. Virgin Mary, the theotokos and our masters the saintly father Apostles and through the prayers of His Holiness Great Pope Tawadros II, the Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of St. Mark.
29th of Baramhat 1732 AM Bishop Ermia
7th of April 2016 AD The General Bishop
The Feast of Annunciation Head of Coptic Orthodox Cultural Center