Pope Cyril VI of Alexandria

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This article uses dates and years written in the Coptic calendar, using the A.M. (Anno Martyrum) calendar era, in addition to the Gregorian calendar, using the A.D. (Anno Domini) calendar era.

Saint Pope Cyril VI
Pope of Alexandria
Born(1902-08-02)August 2, 1902
Damanhour, Egypt
DiedMarch 9, 1971(1971-03-09) (aged 68)
Cairo, Egypt
Venerated inCoptic Christianity
Ethiopian Christianity
Canonized13 Paoni 1729 Anno Martyrum by Coptic Orthodox Church
Feast30 Meshir
Pope Saint

Cyril (Kyrillos) VI
Pope of Alexandria & Patriarch of the See of St. Mark
Pope Cyril VI of Alexandria.jpg
Papacy began2 Pashons 1675
(10 May 1959)
Papacy ended30 Meshir 1687
(9 March 1971)
PredecessorJoseph II
SuccessorShenouda III
Personal details
Birth nameAzer Youssef Atta
Born2 Mesori 1618
((1902-08-08)August 8, 1902)
Damanhour, Egypt
Died30 Meshir 1687
March 9, 1971(1971-03-09) (aged 68)
Cairo, Egypt
BuriedMonastery of Saint Mina, Alexandria, Egypt
DenominationCoptic Orthodox Christian
Residence1959-1968 Saint Mark's Coptic Orthodox Cathedral (Azbakeya) 1968-1971 Saint Mark's Coptic Orthodox Cathedral, Cairo
Feast day30 Meshir
(Julian: 24 February)
(Gregorian: 9 March)
Canonized13 Paoni 1729 Anno Martyrum
(Julian: 7 June)
(Gregorian: 20 June 2013)
Papal styles of
Pope Cyril VI
Coptic cross.svg
Reference styleHis Holiness
Spoken styleYour Holiness
Religious stylePope (disambiguation) and Patriarch
Posthumous styleSaint

Pope Cyril VI of Alexandria also called Abba Kyrillos VI, Coptic: Ⲡⲁⲡⲁ Ⲁⲃⲃⲁ Ⲕⲩⲣⲓⲗⲗⲟⲩ ⲋ̅  ; born (8 August 1902 – 9 March 1971; 2 Mesori 1618 –30 Meshir 1687), 116th Pope of Alexandria & Patriarch of the See of St. Mark from 10 May 1959 (2 Pashons 1675) to his death on 9 March 1971 (30 Meshir 1687).

Early life[edit]

Pope Cyril VI was born in Damanhour, Egypt, into a Coptic Orthodox family. He resigned a civil service position to become a monk in July 1927 (Paoni–Epip 1643). He passed his probationary period and, on 24 February 1928 (21 Meshir 1644), took his monastic vows at the Paromeos Monastery, assuming the name of Father Mina el-Baramosy (Father Mina of the Paromeos Monastery). He was also known as Father Mina the Elder.

In 1947 (1663-1664), Father Mina built the Church of Saint Mina in Cairo. He also used to pray in the Church of the Holy Virgin in Babylon before assuming the papacy.[1]

Coptic Pope[edit]

Father Mina became Pope of Alexandria on 10 May 1959 (2 Pashons 1675). In accordance with the old Coptic church tradition, Pope Cyril VI was the only monk in the 20th century A.D./17th century A.M. to be chosen for papacy without having been a bishop /Metropolitan first. Before him, there were three bishops / Metropolitans who became Popes of Alexandria: Pope John XIX (1928–1942), Pope Macarius III (1942–1944) and Pope Joseph II (1946-1956). After him, Pope Shenouda III was also a bishop before becoming Pope.[2]

In June 1968 (Pashons–Paoni 1684), Pope Cyril received the relics of Saint Mark the Evangelist and Apostle, which had been taken from Alexandria to Venice over eleven centuries earlier. The relics were interred beneath the newly completed Cathedral of Saint Mark in Cairo, which was built under Pope Cyril and was inaugurated in a ceremony attended by President Nasser, Emperor Haile Selassie, and delegates from most other churches.

Cyril's papacy also saw marked the alleged apparitions of the Virgin Mary in Zeitoun, Egypt (starting on 2 April 1968/24 [Paremhat 1684]).[3][4]

The Seat of Pope Cyril VI was initially located in Saint Mark's Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in Azbakeya, Cairo. However, during his papacy he built the Saint Mark's Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in Abbasseya, also in Cairo, which then became the Seat of the Coptic Orthodox Pope.

Pope Cyril died on 9 March 1971 (30 Meshir 1687), after a short illness. Pope Shenouda III spoke about his predecessor: "There is no man in all the history of the church like Pope Cyril VI, who was able to pray so many liturgies. He prayed more than 12,000 liturgies. This matter never happened before in the history of the Popes of Alexandria or the world, or even among the monks. He was wondrous in his prayers."[citation needed] On 20 June 2013 (13 Paoni 1729), 42 years after his death, he was canonised as a saint by the Holy Synod of the Coptic Orthodox Church.[5]

Inter-Church Relations[edit]

Pope Cyril VI elevated the Archbishop of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church to the title of Patriarch-Catholicos. Abuna Basilios, who was the first Ethiopian to be appointed Archbishop of Ethiopia by Pope Joseph II, became Ethiopia's first Patriarch. Pope Cyril VI was awarded the Grand Cordon of the Star of Solomon by Emperor Haile Selassie in gratitude. In November 1959 he laid the foundation stone of the new Monastery of Saint Mina in the Desert of Mariout.

In January 1965 (Koiak–Tobi 1681), Pope Cyril VI presided over the Committee of Oriental Orthodox Churches in Addis Ababa, the first ecumenical and non-Chalcedonian synod of these churches held in modern times.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ St Mary Mons Archived 24 March 2002 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ History of the Coptic Church, Iris Habib Elmasry Volume five.
  3. ^ "I Traveled to Egypt for a Miracle Cure for My ALS". Vice. 5 March 2015. Retrieved 14 March 2018.
  4. ^ "The Apparitions of the Blessed Holy Virgin Mary to Millions in Zeitoun, Egypt". www.zeitun-eg.org. Retrieved 14 March 2018.
  5. ^ Dunn, Michael. "Coptic Church's Synod Recognizes Two Modern Saints by His Holiness Pope Tawadros II Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of St Mark the evanglist 118th". Middle East Journal, Editors Blog. Retrieved 12 January 2014.


External links[edit]

Pope Saint Kyrillos VI

Oriental Orthodox titles
Preceded by
Joseph II
Coptic Pope
Succeeded by
Shenouda III