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Day 7 of the Blessed Coptic Month of Bashans, may God make it always received, year after year, with reassurance and tranquility, while our sins after forgiven by the tender mercies of our God my fathers and brothers.
The Fourth Day of the Blessed Month of Bashans
Departure of Pope John (Youhanna) the
First, the 29th Patriarch of the See of St.Mark
On this day of the year 221 A.M. (April 29th.,
505 A.D.), Pope John the first, the twenty ninth Pope of Alexandria, departed.
This father was born in Alexandria to Christian parents, and was attracted
since his youth to the monastic life. He became a monk in the wilderness
of St.Macarius, and he was chosen Patriarch after the departure of his
predecessor Pope Athanasius the second. He did not accept but was taken
by force by the bishops, priests, and lay leaders and ordained him on the
first of Babah of the year 213 A.M. (September 29th., 496 A.D.). After
his enthronement, he gave special attention to education and preaching
for the edification and the steadfastness of the faithful in the Orthodox
faith. He was the first Patriarch to be chosen from among the monks. The
Roman Emperor in Constantinople, at that time, was the righteous Emperor
Zenon. For this reason the hand of the Patriarch was strengthened in spreading
the Orthodox faith in all of Egypt. The Emperor sent all the needs of the
monasteries from wheat, oil, wine and money to renew the buildings of their
cells and to restore their churches. All the days of this pope were days
of peace and tranquility. When he finished his good course, he became sick
for a short time, and then departed in peace, after he had been on the
throne of St. Mark for eight years and seven month.
May his prayers be with us. Amen.
Departure of Pope Yoannis the Fifth,
the 72nd Patriarch
On this day also of the
year 882 A.M. (April 29th., 1166 A.D.), Pope Yoannis the fifth, the 72nd.
Patriarch of Alexandria, departed. He was John the monk from the monastery
of Abu-Yehnis (John). He was enthroned on the 2nd. of El-Nasi (Intercalary
days), year 863 A.M. (August 25th., 1147 A.D.) He was a holy, righteous,
and pure man. In his days, the Copts (El-Nasarah - Christians) were persecuted
by the Moslem governors (Emams) and Khalifas, and many were killed or sold
as slaves. A monk named "Bashnouna" from the monastery of St. Macarius
was martyred on the 24th. of Bashons year 880 A.M. (1164 A.D.) and his
body was burned for he refused to change his faith. The bones of this Saint
were preserved in the church of Abu-Serga. They also destroyed the church
of St. Mina in Haret El-Rome, and the church of El-Zohari and many other
churches in different parts of Cairo after they plundered what was in them.
But God permitted these churches to be rebuilt by the Coptic layman Abu
El-Fakher Salib Ebn-Mikhail. The Patriarch was arrested during the days
of El-Aadel Ebn El-Selar and was imprisoned because he refused to ordain
a Metropolitan for Ethiopia instead of its Metropolitan who was still alive.
The metropolitan name was Anba Michael El-Atfihi who was ordained by Pope
Macarius. The Pope was released two weeks later because of the death of
El-Aadel. During the days of this Patriarch, the words "Life-giving" was
added to the confession which became: "This is the life-giving Flesh that
Thine Only-Begotten Son, Our Lord, God and Savior, Jesus Christ, took from
our Lady ..." He departed after he had been on the throne of St. Mark for
18 years, 8 month, and 4 days.
May his prayers be with us and glory be to God forever. Amen.
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