Axios! Axios! Axios! to the newly canonized saints of the Coptic Church!
The Coptic Church's Holy Synod, consisting of the bishops, has recognized the sainthood of two modern figures who had already been widely venerated by the Coptic faithful. And no, Gamal Abdel Nasser was not one of them, but Pope Kyrillos (Cyril) VI, shown with Nasser in this 1965 photo, was. The Coptic Pope from 1959 to 1971, prior to the late Pope Shenouda III who reigned from 1971 to last year, and the predecessor once removed of current Pope Tawadros II, has been widely acclaimed as a saintly figure among the Coptic faithful.
The other figure is less well known outside Coptic circles: Archdeacon Habib Girgis (1876-1951), who played several key roles in the renaissance of the Coptic Church in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The Church had become calcified through the centuries, with poorly educated priests and Coptic faithful with little understanding of their Church, and it was losing adherents to Catholic and Protestant missionary efforts.
An ebook about the life of Archdeacon St. Habib Girgis:http://www.orthodoxebooks.org/node/330
An already existing candidate Synexarium account of the life of Pope St. Kyrillos VI can be read here:http://www.copticchurch.net/topics/synexarion/popecyril4.html
This is the first time in a while we have a saint not necessarily associated with miracles, and I'm glad for it. The achievements of St. Habib Girgis are overwhelming. He revitalized the education of an ignorant mass of priests, monks, and few bishops. During the dark times of the Coptic Church between 1928 and 1959, he was quite the theological and even temporal leader for a huge mass of the Coptic Church. In the 1950s, those who were considered the disciples of St. Habib Girgis (alternative spellings: Gerges or Guirguis) were shunned by most of the bishops to be the next patriarch, but once HH St. Pope Kyrillos VI was chosen, he ordained pretty much all bishops, priests, and monks as directly or indirectly disciples of St. Habib Girgis, which was considered the beginning of the Coptic Church's Renaissance and revival.
May their blessings be with us all! Amen!