In Cairo, the spirituality day of 60 students from the Sainte Anne secondary school was inspired by the Gospel of the Fourth Sunday of Lent in the Coptic rite: “Do you want to be healed?” ( Jn 5:6). Jesus’ question was not a passing one, but sought to arouse in the paralysed man the hope not only of a physical healing, but above all of a spiritual healing, the healing of the soul that is restored through faith in Jesus, God the Son.

The same verse inspired the theme of a memorable day of spirituality for Sainte Anne students in Cairo, spent at the spiritual oasis Anafora, founded by His Grace Coptic Orthodox Bishop Thomas of El Quossia in 1998, on the Cairo-Alexandria desert road. The floor is covered with multi-coloured woven carpets. On the carpets are large cushions made of the same material as the carpets and woven at the retreat itself. Everything invites to prayer, to recollection: there is an eye-shaped opening in the ceiling, through which light flows into the interior, and seven small plates of coloured glass set into the ceiling to let in the light, which is also multi-coloured.

A green oasis in the middle of the desert, where the walls pay homage to the Bible. The artist made these drawings using the “iota”, which is the first letter of the name of the Lord Jesus.

Here the students were able to take time out, away from the polluting noise, and devote themselves to prayer and meditation.