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Pope Shenouda III.. Seasons in the life of a “pastor and teacher” (Profile)

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Pope Shenouda, Patriarch of the Coptic Orthodox Church, who passed away on this day (March 17) 10 years ago, is an eternal Egyptian and Arab symbol.

On Thursday, the Egyptian Church celebrates the anniversary of the death of Pope Shenouda III, as Pope Tawadros II, Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of Saint Mark, will preside over a mass at Saint Mark’s Grand Cathedral in Abbasiya, in the center of the Egyptian capital, on this occasion.

The late Pope was born on August 23, 1923 in one of the villages of Assiut, in southern Egypt, and his secular name was a good counterpart, and his mother died without being nursed by her, so he lived as an early orphan.

The late Patriarch studied pre-school in Assiut, and studied the second and third grades of primary school in Alexandria, then returned to Assiut in the fourth year, and went to Banha with his older brother, and from there to Cairo. , then joined Al-Iman High School in Shubra.

Study and service stage

Pope Shenouda studied history at Fouad I University (Cairo University), Faculty of Arts, Department of History. In the fourth year, he entered the seminary, as well as the College of Reserve Officers.

The late Pope recounted in a documentary about his life titled “Whispers of Love” the details of that stage, saying: “That’s how I studied in three schools in one year,” according to the local daily, Al-Watan.

Pope Shenouda joined the Military College as a volunteer in 1947, but was not called up to fight despite the outbreak of war at the time in 1948. Pope Shenouda said of the year he spent at the Military College that it had an “impact meaningful in your life by learning discipline.

Pope Shenouda served in church education, ministerial meetings, and youth meetings in many churches and associations, including the Church of the Virgin Mary in Hamisha in 1939 and the Spiritual Revival Society in Shubra in the early 1940s, and also served in the coptic church Sunday School House.

Pope Shenouda and monasticism

On July 18, 1954, Nadir Gayed went to the Syriac monastery and became a monk on behalf of the monk Antony the Syrian. He had a separate cell in the monastery fortress called “Karnak Quarter”. In 1956 he yearned for a life of unity and chose for himself a cave in the mountains, 3.5 km from the monastery.

The monk Antonio was ordained a priest on August 31, 1958 until 1960, when he went to a cave in the empty sea area, which is about 12 km from the monastery.

Pope Shenouda was chosen as secretary to His Holiness Pope Kyrollos VI, and on September 30, 1962, he was ordained bishop of education. During the period of the episcopacy and also during the period of the patriarchy, he was associated with the love of monasticism, and did not abandon the life and tranquility of the monastery.

On October 31, 1971, the Coptic Orthodox Church celebrated the enthronement of Pope Shenouda III to be the 117th Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of Saint Mark No. 117. From his enthronement until his death, Pope Shenouda III was a pastor and teacher, for which he made 104 trips around the world, inaugurating churches and inspecting the parish.

The late Pope was interested in research, learning, teaching, and authorship, and he founded the Papa Shenouda Cultural Center for Education and Information Technology, and delivered hundreds of educational sermons at the seminary and at seminars and meetings at which he was invited, until he died. on March 17, 2012.

Pope Shenouda and the scholars of Al-Azhar

Pope Shenouda had a strong relationship with many Sheikh scholars of Egypt, perhaps the most prominent of whom is Sheikh Muhammad Metwally Al-Shaarawy. Their relationship began after Pope Shenouda sent a delegation of ecclesiastics to visit Sheikh Al-Shaarawy during a surgical operation. in London, and then visited him himself, and Pope Shenouda placed a photo of Sheikh Al Shaarawy in his private office to pray to God to complete his recovery.

When Sheikh Al-Shaarawy returned safely to Egypt, he thought it necessary to visit the Pope in the cathedral to thank him for his visit, for which he received a great welcome, with dozens of bishops and priests waiting for him, and a large number of Copts gathered outside the outer gate to greet him as he entered.

Although this historic meeting was scheduled to last only half an hour, but it lasted more than 3 hours without getting bored, Sheikh Al-Shaarawy said at the time: “What God granted me in my trial is that he made me sit with His Holiness Pope Shenouda.”

The Grand Imam, Professor Dr. Ahmed Al-Tayeb, Sheikh of Al-Azhar Al-Sharif, mourned the passing of Pope Shenouda, with moving words, recalling his national and national history, saying: “Egypt lost one of its numbered men . , in delicate circumstances in which the wisdom of the wise, their experience and the clarity of their minds are needed, and the deceased of Egypt did not have his charges, his patriotism, his charitable personality, and his tireless search at the national level, but to national level, where the issue of Jerusalem and the problem of Palestine lived in his conscience, and they were never lost or humiliated, so he did his best to defend them.

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