H. H. Pope Shenouda III, the 117th Pope of Alexandria and the Patriarch of All Africa on the Holy Apostolic Seat of Saint Mark the Evangelist of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria, has passed away on March 17, 2012 (Baramhat 8, 1728). We ask the Lord to comfort His pure soul.Condolences to the Church and to everyone who loved Him. We are sure that He is interceding to God on our behalf.
About H. H. Pope Shenouda III
His Holiness was born on August 3, 1923 in the city of Asuit in Upper Egypt; he was given the name of Nazir Gayed. He obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree in History in 1947 from the University of Cairo. Mr. G
ayed was very active in his church and served as a Sunday School teacher, first at Saint Anthony's Church in Shobra and then at Saint Mary's Church in Mahmasha. He worked as a high school English and Social Studies teacher in Cairo by day, and attended classes at the Coptic Theological Seminary by night. Upon graduation from the seminary in 1949, he was chosen to teach New Testament Studies. He was appointed in 1953 as a teacher in the Monastic School.
From his youth, His Holiness enjoyed writing very much, especially poems; he is a remarkably literate man as evidenced by the over 100 books that have been written by him. For many years, he was the Editor-in-Chief of the Sunday School Magazine. At the same time, he followed his post-graduate studies at the Seminary of Archeology.
On July 18, 1954, Mr. Gayed was led to the monastic life at "El-Suryan" Monastery in the western desert of Egypt; he was given the name of Father Antonyos El-Suryaani. For six years, from 1956 to 1962, he lived a life of solitude in a cave about seven miles away from the monastery, dedicating all his time to meditation, prayer, and asceticism.
In 1962, he was ordained by the late Pope Cyril VI as Bishop of Ecclesiastical (Religious) Education and was named President of the Coptic Theological Seminary; he was given the name of Bishop Shenouda on September 30, 1962. Continuing from his literary past, Bishop Shenouda published the first issue of "El-Keraza" magazine in Arabic in 1965, and remains the Editor-in-Chief to this day.
On November 14, 1971, His Holiness was enthroned as Pope Shenouda III, the 117th Pope of Alexandria, and successor of the see of St. Mark.