Beautiful Egypt 416 – «The Ascetic Teacher!» – 15/9/2021

Beautiful Egypt 416 – «The Ascetic Teacher!» – 15/9/2021

Happy “Nayrouz” feast to the Copts of Egypt and the entire world, we celebrated it few days ago. Nayrouz Feast is the “Coptic New Year”, it is closely connected to the martyrs who had sacrificed their lives for their great faith. Christianity -particularly in Egypt- has passed through ages of martyrdom since the Roman State era and Emperor Neron’s rule, martyrdom has severely increased under Emperors Diocletian and Maximianus. The Coptic Nayrouz feast is not the same Nayrouz feast celebrated by the Persians at the onset of the spring season. Happy feast to all of you, may the Lord our God keep our Egypt safe from every evil and may He protect the world from pain and pandemic.

Last article tackled some of the tribulations encountered by Pope Kyrillos II caused by some bishops as well as a Coptic man called Yesib who was a garden keeper at the Commander of Armies, all their plots were foiled, we also tackled some suffering afflicted on the Ethiopians.

During the days of Pope Kyrillos II, the numbers of the Armenians immigrating to Egypt increased, so they elected a patriarch and he was ordained by Pope Kyrillos II; this was followed by a statement sent by the pope declaring the unity of the Churches of Egypt, Ethiopia, Antioch and Armenia with the Orthodox faith. Also, during the days of Pope Kyrillos II, a severe earthquake occurred in Antioch in 1091 AD, it caused “32 towers to fall from “Bab Al-Bahr” to “Bab Fares”, others collapsed with the great river of Al-Asi penetrating through their middle.”

Pope Kyrillos II was known to pay concern to declaring the ecclesiastical canons and teaching them to the congregation in order to understand and apply them. Pope Kyrillos II also set a number of laws concerning performing priestly acts for free, getting unpaid, and excommunicating any priest or bishop who rejects repentant sinners, as rejecting them opposes the teachings of Lord Christ who says: “There will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents” and “The one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out”. Moreover, the patriarch cared about serving the flock, so he set the laws that clarify the role shall be performed by father bishop towards the priests, congregation and monks he serves, as well as his service to them through teaching for their salvation, in addition to his concern about the poor, the needy, the churches and the monasteries under his authority. The pope also worked on shedding light on the importance of fasting and adhering to it, as well as the life of circumspection that shall be followed by priests and people, commanding the latter to respect the priests and bishops.

During the papacy of this father, the Church of Sepulcher in Jerusalem was restored; it had been burnt as per the command of Al Hakim Bi-amr Allah at the beginning of his rule. Pope Kyrillos II sent representatives of the Coptic Church to consecrate in on 1084 Easter.

Youhanna ibn Sa’ed Al-Qalzami, the biographer of Pope Kyrillos II, says: “He is a spiritual monk and saint, humble and meek, very ascetic, abhorrent of possessing money and properties, gives all what he receives from the dioceses as alms to the poor, and spends on restoring the churches and monasteries… He also helps the imprisoned Christians and saves them the punishment. Upon his death, not a dinar or a dirham was found in his possession! All his works were good and beautiful, he was of sweet logic, good appearance, permanent fasting and abundant prayers. He used to eat only one kind of the food cooked for his disciples in his cell, a kind of food served to him in a bowl; either from grains or legumes which he only ate a little of at dinners…” Pope Kyrillos II was a pious father, abhorrent of money, a frequent prayer and ascetic in his clothing and food.

Pope Kyrillos II departed in 1092 AD, spending nearly 14 years and few months on the See of Saint Mark, he was buried at the Church of Archangel Michael at “Misr” island, then his body was moved to Saint Macarius’ monastery at Wadi Al-Natroun, he was succeeded by Pope Mikhail II, and… stories in beautiful Egypt never end!

The General Bishop

Head of the Coptic Orthodox Cultural Center