Portrait of a Good Shepherd

He was born to be a shepherd to the people of God. He was a shepherd to the very core of his being.  To Father Mikhail Saad, priesthood was a calling and he felt it in his heart ever since his boyhood. At an early age, he felt he had a mission to fulfill and that he must prepare himself for it. He studied the bible thoroughly and learnt it at the hands of skillful teachers who were well versed in the Scripture such as Fr. Youssef Megally [1897-1978]. He listened well to enlightened preachers such as Archdeacon Iskander Hanna [1880-1944] and embodied the rhetorical ways of their Sermons.

When Pope Yousab II ordained him a priest on May 1947, he was already well qualified for his calling. Father Mikhail Saad was an extra ordinary priest, a good teacher and a wonderful preacher. If these were his only qualifications they would have been enough to make him famous. However, in addition to these outstanding traits, he was also a ?.. and a master architect.
 
He had the gift of foresight concerning the advancement of his parishioners and society, the edification of the souls and the creation of programs and building for public benefit.
 
Fr. Mikhail walked in the footsteps of St. Mark. When the saint built the very first church in Alexandria about 60 AD, he saw fit to establish in its vicinity homes for the new believers of Christianity. St. Mark?s objections were to encourage them to have spiritual fellowship, regularly participate in the prayers of the Holy Liturgy and sing praises to the Lord.
 
Father Mikhail adopted these objectives. He wanted to build the "House of Grace" in the vicinity of the church of St. Mary. And St Joseph in Smouha so as to gather the people near the church whenever they made use of the " House of Grace" with its various facilities [hospital, nursery, library, multi media center, parish hall, senior?s residence, student dorms, workshops, school for the blind, learning center and more. He was sure that the presence of the people near the church would elevate their souls to a higher spirituality. He also had the ability of administration and supervised over every detail during the construction of the church and the "House of Grace" which spanned over 40 years!
 
Words describing El-Kommos Mikhail Saad cannot fully reveal the living qualities of his personality. Words may illustrate his deeds and his fiery heart to attain the goal, which he had set before his eyes. Nor can words describe his dynamic intensity of his strong will. Neither can words describe his devoted earnestness that made him work without ceasing for the welfare of his parishioners.
 
Although there were many obstacles that faced Father Mikhail, he still managed to overcome them with prayers and perseverance. Nothing weakened his ardent spirit, for he fought bravely with the sword of the spirit and won victoriously. He remained until his advanced age carrying on his evangelical work with great enthusiasm. He knew the members of his congregation by name, discussed their problems with them and attended to their needs. As the psalmist says [Ps 92:12], "The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree?they shall still bear fruit in old age"
 
Father Mikhail authored many books, all of which promote the spirituality of the reader. The titles include: Anba Abram, Bishop of Fayoum, Anba Sarabamoun Abu Tarha, Bishop of Menofeya, Saint Joseph, the Righteous; Stages of prayer and spiritual life; The Cross in the Mysteries of the church; One Faith One Church, truly we believe in One God; My Sojourn on this earth [Zamaan Ghorbatty]
 
Apart from these books, he published many treatises including "The Explanations of the Creed", and "Learning and understanding." The style of his writing is clear and attractive. The recordings of his sermons and Liturgy are a delight for the heart, mind and soul.
 
Years pass, yet the memory of Elkommos Mikhail Saad remains alive. He had the power to create leaders who continue to carry on the ministry, which he established on a strong foundation. His memory will remain from generation to generation due to the enduring benefits, which he brought. Now he belongs to the church triumphant in heaven and prays for the church.

© 2017 St. Peter & St. Paul Coptic Orthodox Church - Santa Monica, CA