A fragment of the skull of the Apostle Matthew is placed on display in an Orthodox church in Cairo, on Thursday, for the first time in recent memory.
The skull was displayed during celebrations of the Church’s 80th anniversary since its foundation.
Patriarch Theodoros of Alexandria told Reuters that Saint Matthew was killed in Ethiopia by the ‘non-believers’ of his time. His body was thrown in the street and his head was cut off.
“This is a part of the skull belonging to a great Evangelist. These fragments of the saint are considered a great blessing to us Orthodox Christians; which is why we place our hands on it as such, kiss it with our lips, light a flame, and take our blessings from it,” he said.
He also claims the relic arrived in Egypt around 500 years ago as a gift from the Patriarch of Jerusalem to the Patriarch of Alexandria.
The relic is kept in a Church different from where it was displayed on Thursday, located in ‘Hamzawy’ district in Cairo, according to Beheeg Sabaa:
“It’s not the full head, just a fragment of the skull, which is known as relics of the saints. Saint Matthew is the first author of the gospel and the part of his skull here in Egypt is kept in an area called Hamzawy. On the occasion of the 80th anniversary of our church, it was brought here so we can take our blessings from it and it will remain here for five days before it’s returned to it’s area, ‘Hamzawy’,” he said.