Patriarch Gregorios III of Antioch and All the East has officially opened the cause of beatification and canonization of Boutros Cassab.
According to Asia News, the patriarch opened the cause for Cassab, often called ‘the apostle of Upper Egypt and the young,’ during a solemn service held at Cairo’s Cathedral of the Resurrection.
Boutros Cassab, a married layman and father of three, died on March 23, 1986, in the Egyptian city of Beni Suef, and right afterward, people began to speak about his “heroic virtues”. Cassab is said to have had an ecumenical spirit and great influence on the mission of the Melkite Church and the Middle East. He was involved in charity work with the Society of St. Vincent de Paul and with youth groups.
In fact, his apostolic work in Alexandria led many to refer to him as the “Apostle of Upper Egypt and the Delta.”
The Synod of the Melkite Church asked that a cause of beatification be opened in 2012. The Patriarch of Antioch, who is also Patriarch of Alexandria, was entrusted with the process.
During the Aug. 8 ceremony, falling on the 102nd anniversary of Cassab’s birth, the Patriarch highlighted Cassab’s charity work in the Society of St Vincent de Paul and his leadership in various Catholic youth associations.
In his address at the ceremony, the Patriarch said, 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!’”
“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,” he also added, saying this confirms his “spiritual, ecumenical, and ecclesial work in the service of young people.” (D.C.L.)