Cairo (AsiaNews) – In a solemn service held at Cairo’s Cathedral of the Resurrection, Patriarch Gregorios III of Antioch and All the East officially opened the cause of beatification and canonisation of Boutros Cassab, known as ‘the apostle of Upper Egypt and the young’.
The ceremony was held on 102th anniversary of his birth, which took place on 8 August 1913. During the service, the patriarch underlined Cassab’s charity work in the Society of St Vincent de Paul, as well as his leadership in various Catholic youth associations.
Boutros Cassab, who was married and father of three, died on 23 March 1986, in Beni Suef. Right away, people spoke about his "heroic virtues". During his lifetime, his apostolic work in Alexandria earned him the nickname "Apostle of Upper Egypt and the Delta."
In 2012, the Synod of the Melkite Church asked that a cause of beatification be opened, and entrusted the process on the patriarch of Antioch, who is also patriarch of Alexandria.
"We have read and studied very carefully the testimony of many Egyptian personalities – Melkite, French, Christian or Muslim – who speak of their relationship with Boutros Cassab," said Gregorios III in his address at the ceremony. This confirms his “spiritual, ecumenical, and ecclesial work in the service of young people."
For the patriarch, Boutros Cassab "is without a doubt the layman who has had the biggest influence on the Church of Egypt . . . He constantly repeated that the ‘work within the Catholic Church is all my life!’"