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Short Stories (Stories for the Youth), book by Father Tadros Yacoub Malaty

31- Father Mina Passed Away


In my informal conversation once with the late Nazmi Bottros (an Egyptian writer), he asked me, Do you know how my friendship with His Holiness Pope Kyrolos VI, developed?

I answered that I did not know. He then said, In the beginning, I didnt know him very well, but rather I knew of him, and I had heard controversies about him. When he was a candidate for papacy, I attacked him violently in editorials of some newspaper. When he was chosen and ordained, I went to congratulate him for pontification. Image: A heart - by Amgad Wadea صورة في موقع الأنبا تكلا: قلب - رسم أمجد وديع Image: A heart - by Amgad Wadea.

صورة في موقع الأنبا تكلا: قلب - رسم أمجد وديع.

After greeting him, while noticing how cheerful he was, I thought that hes never read my editorials. Then, still cheerful, said to me with a smile, They say so and so about me, thus mentioning my accusations. I answered by asking his forgiveness since I did not really know him that well. His Holiness then smiled and said, You havent attacked me, youve attacked Father Mina the Recluse. Father Mina passed away. Im Kyrolos, the father of all.

I felt how large the heart of this holy man is; and, from that point on, we became buddies; our relationship was that of great affection.

This is a story of a big heart that knows how to win people with his love, and to convert even his adversaries to friends. He internalized the fact that the greatness of a human being lies not in his status or his popularity, but in his interest towards everyone, so to make of him a personal friend.

Do not say that because he was a pope and patriarch, his job was to win everybody and should be able to forgive. Indeed, the big heart is not necessarily a symptom of a church rank or of age. It is a manifestation of how roomy the heart is to accommodate God.

→ English translation of the story here at أبونا مينا مات! Divider

My small heart shall vanish

May my small heart vanish,

So I can bear Your big heart

My small heart has become an exceedingly narrow grave,

That cannot tolerate the nuisance of others,

And frequently misunderstands them.

Replace the small grave in me with a big sanctuary,

So the doors of heaven would open wide inside me.

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