POPE KYRILLOS (CYRIL) VI
FR. TADROS Y. MALATY
Many wrote biographies of this saint, while he was alive
and after his departure in the Lord. For he was known as a
man of God, a man of prayer and a miracle-performer.
He lived as a hermit in a "Mill" in Old Cairo after leaving
El-Baramous Monastery. He used to devote all his time to
praying, chanting hymns, and praying the liturgy of the
Eucharist every day except on Saturdays. His heart was open
by love toward everybody, therefore God granted him the
gift of performing miracles. He also attracted many well-edu-
cated young men to the monastic life. He enjoyed special
friendship with the saints, especially St. Menas, who
appeared to him many times, and helped him in his ministry,
therefore Pope Cyril established the monastery of St. Menas
in Marriott, near Alexandria.
When he was ordained Patriarch, he instructed the priests to pray the liturgy of Eucharist daily. His door was opened to everyone, he was very gentle especially with children and at the same time he was strict and firm. God granted him as enlightened inner sight to know many secret matters, therefore he used to call many persons by their first name even those he wasn't acquainted with.
In his days the church suffered from many troubles for
about seven years; he found his comfort in praying and
meditating, afterwards he became a close friend to president
Gamal-Abdel-Nasser, and the church enjoyed peace at that
Pope of Rome presented part of the relics of St. Mark to
the Pope of Alexandria. In his time Virgin Mary appeared
openly on the domes of the church after her name at Zeitoun,
a district of Cairo, this apparition occurred for many years.
He ordained, for the first time, bishops for particular
purposes and named them: "general bishop" H.H. Anba She-
nouda for Church Education and Sunday Schools, Anba Samuel for Public and Ecumenical services, Anba Gregorius for Coptic High Studies and Seminaries.
His biography is a sweet aroma which fills every Coptic
house in Egypt and abroad, and his prayers are still effective!
4. POPE SHENOUDA III
H.H. Pope Shenouda III was a Sunday School teacher while he was young. He was known for his readings and studying with an ascetic spirit. During his youth he was a living spiritual leader, known for his pleasant personality and his attractive speeches.
When he was ordained bishop for Church Education and Sunday Schools he set a weekly meeting for preaching, where several thousand of young men and women used to attend. This meeting remained alive after his ordination as Pope of Alexandria, and is well known in Egypt and abroad. His sermons and writings are simple, attractive, spirit filling and gives precise theological knowledge.
He made many pastoral visits throughout Egypt and
abroad. He also visited the patriarchs and bishops of the
Eastern Churches, the Pope of Rome in Vatican and the
heads of the Western Churches. He presented many lectures
in the universities of Europe, America and Canada. In May
1980 he was invited to open the meeting of the World
Council of Churches, but the bad relation between him and
president Sadat prevented him from doing so. The Pope of
Rome presented part of the relics of St. Athanasius to him.
He gave special attention to the ministry in Africa. He
visited Ethiopia, but now the relation between the two
churches had deteriorated because of the ordination of a new
"Cathlekon" during the life of the legal one, for political
reasons. Pope Shenouda visited Libya, Sudan, Kenya, South
Africa etc. and he ordained a bishop (Anba Antonius
Markous) for African affairs.
He set modern printing machines in the Anba Reuis building in Cairo and established an audiovisual center.
Since his youth he played an active role in the national
movements in Egypt. After his ordination and during his
visits abroad, he played an effective role in presenting the
true face of Egypt through his meetings with foreign leaders.
President Sadat praised him and thanked him many times for
his patriotic role and activities. It is ironic that in later years
Sadat accused him of betrayal! He "house arrested" him in
the Monastery of Anba-Bishoy and imprisoned the church
leaders (seven bishops, one Khori-Episcopas, twenty-four
priests and more than a hundred laity). This evil conduct
inflamed the hearts with love towards Pope Shenouda. Some
of the moderate Muslims defended the Pope's patriotism.
Sadat appointed a papal committee that consisted of five bishops. Although he had chosen popular bishops yet all the people and the mjority of the clergy utterly refused to cooperate with this papal committee. The close relationship between the Copts and their Pope is a symbol of their relation with the Church itself.
In his time St. Mary appeared once openly in the Church of St. Damiette in the district of Shoubra in Cairo, and she still appears till this day.
U Division of the big dioceses and the consecration of bishops, thus opening opportunities for the dedication of pastoral care for every place in need. The number of Metropolitans and Bishops who have been ordained by His Holiness till now is more than 50.
Established Youth Diocese dedicated specially for youth
to aid them to develop their spiritual needs.
U Established a school for Coptic Music and Hymnology under the name of "Didymius' Institute."
He also established visual and Aural aids in the Papal
residency in Cairo, that encouraged all churches to do the
U He set up a very modern printer which printed the Holy Word throughout the Coptic Metropolitans.
U The establishment of various Theological institutes specialised in teaching various religious topics, Biblical Studies and the Coptic language.
U The establishment of new Theological colleges at Alexandria, Tanta, Shebin El-Kom, El-Muharaq monastry, Elmenia, El-Balyana and Damanhour.
For the first time, establishment of Theological college
under the name of "Pope Shenouda 111" in Sydney -
Australia, and other ones in New York and Los Angeles.
U The establishment of a Coptic Diocese in France. Two Bishops were ordained and assigned to serve Paris, Marseilles, Tollon.
U The establishment of a Coptic Diocese in Africa and the ordination of a bishop who was assigned for its service.
U The establishment of a Coptic Church in Vienna, Austria.
U The foundation of seven churches in Germany (Frankfurt, Dusseldorf, Berlin, Hanover, Stuttgart, Hamburg, Munich). At the same time the establishment of a monastery and a Coptic center in Frankrurt.
May our Lord grants him many years for the spiritual edification of the Church of God.