Pope Heraclas of Alexandria
Pope Heraclas, 13th Pope of Alexandria & Patriarch of the See of St. Mark. Pope Heraclas of Alexandria, was born to pagan parents who believed and were baptized after his birth, they taught him the Greek philosophy the Christian wisdom. He studied the four gospels and the epistles. St. Demetrius, 12th Pope of Alexandria, ordained him deacon a priest over the church of Alexandria, he was successful in the ministry and was faithful in all, entrusted to him. He followed Origen as head of the Catechetical School of Alexandria; when Pope Demetrius departed, St. Heraclas was chosen as Patriarch, he shepherded the flock of Christ well. He baptized them, he devoted his efforts to teaching and instructing the transgressors. He assigned to St. Dionysius the work of judging between the believers, taking care of their affairs. Pope Heraclas departed in peace, he has been identified as the first Patriarch of Alexandria to carry the appellation of "Pope". The first known record of this designation being assigned to Heraclas is in a letter written by the bishop of Rome, Dionysius, to Philemon: τοῦτον ἐγὼ τὸν κανόνα καὶ τὸν τύπον παρὰ τοῦ μακαρίου πάπα ἡμῶν Ἡρακλᾶ παρέλαβον.
GeneralSt. Heraclas, 13th Pope of Alexandria. Meinardus, Otto F. A.. Two Thousand Years of Coptic Christianity. American University in Cairo Press. ISBN 978-977-424-757-6. Atiya, Aziz S; the Coptic Encyclopedia. New York: Macmillan Publishing Co. 1991. ISBN 0-02-897025-X The Official website of the Coptic Orthodox Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of All Africa on the Holy See of Saint Mark the Apostle Coptic Documents in French
Council of Chalcedon
The Council of Chalcedon was a church council held from 8 October to 1 November, 451, at Chalcedon. The Council was called by Emperor Marcian to set aside the 449 Second Council of Ephesus, its principal purpose was to assert the orthodox catholic doctrine against the heresy of Eutyches and the Monophysites, although ecclesiastical discipline and jurisdiction occupied the council's attention. The council is numbered as the fourth ecumenical council by the Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church, most Protestants. Oriental Orthodox Churches do not agree with the conduct and the proceedings of the Council calling it "Chalcedon, the Ominous". Followers of the Council believe its most important achievement was to issue the Chalcedonian Definition, stating that Jesus is "perfect both in deity and in humanness; the council's judgments and definitions regarding the divine marked a significant turning point in the Christological debates. In 325, the first ecumenical council determined that Jesus Christ was God, "consubstantial" with the Father, rejected the Arian contention that Jesus was a created being.
This was reaffirmed at the Council of Ephesus. About two years after Cyril of Alexandria's death in 444, an aged monk from Constantinople named Eutyches began teaching a subtle variation on the traditional Christology in an attempt to stop what he saw as a new outbreak of Nestorianism, he claimed to be a faithful follower of Cyril's teaching, declared orthodox in the Union of 433. Cyril had taught that "There is only one physis, since it is the Incarnation, of God the Word." Cyril had understood the Greek word physis to mean what the Latin word persona means, while most Greek theologians would have interpreted that word to mean natura. The energy and imprudence with which Eutyches asserted his opinions led to his being misunderstood. Thus, many understood Eutyches to be advocating Docetism, a sort of reversal of Arianism —where Arius had denied the consubstantial divinity of Jesus, Eutyches seemed to be denying that Jesus was human. Pope Leo I wrote. Eutyches had been accusing various personages of covert Nestorianism.
In November 448, Bishop of Constantinople held a local synod regarding a point of discipline connected with the province of Sardis. At the end of the session of this synod one of those inculpated, Bishop of Dorylaeum, brought a counter charge of heresy against the archimandrite. Eusebius demanded. Flavian preferred that the bishop and the archimandrite sort out their differences, but as his suggestion went unheeded, Eutyches was summoned to clarify his position regarding the nature of Christ. Eutyches reluctantly appeared, but his position was considered to be theologically unsophisticated, the synod finding his answers unresponsive condemned and exiled him. Flavian sent a full account to Pope Leo I. Although it had been accidentally delayed, Leo wrote a compendious explanation of the whole doctrine involved, sent it to Flavian as a formal and authoritative decision of the question. Eutyches appealed against the decision, labeling Flavian a Nestorian, received the support of Pope Dioscorus I of Alexandria.
John Anthony McGuckin sees an "innate rivalry" between the Sees of Constantinople. Dioscurus, imitating his predecessors in assuming a primacy over Constantinople, held his own synod which annulled the sentence of Flavian, absolved Eutyches. Through the influence of the court official Chrysaphius, godson of Eutyches, in 449, the competing claims between the Patriarchs of Constantinople and Alexandria led Emperor Theodosius II to call a council, held in Ephesus in 449, with Dioscorus presiding. Pope Leo sent four legates to represent him and expressed his regret that the shortness of the notice must prevent the presence of any other bishop of the West, he provided his legates, one of whom died en route, with a letter addressed to Flavian explaining Rome's position in the controversy. Leo's letter, now known as Leo's Tome, confessed that Christ had two natures, was not of or from two natures. On August 8, 449 the Second Council of Ephesus began its first session; the Acts of the first session of this synod were read at the Council of Chalcedon, 451, are thus preserved.
The remainder of the Acts are known through a Syriac translation by a Monophysite monk, written in the year 535 and published from a manuscript in the British Museum. Nonetheless, there are somewhat different interpretations as to what transpired; the question before the council by order of the emperor was whether Flavian, in a synod held by him at Constantinople in November, 448, had justly deposed and excommunicated the Archimandrite Eutyches for refusing to admit two natures in Christ. Dioscorus began the council by banning all members of the November 448 synod which had deposed Eutyches from sitting as judges, he introduced Eutyches who publicly professed that while Christ had two natures before the incarnation, the two natures had merged to form a single nature after the incarnation. Of the 130 assembled bishops, 111 voted to rehabilitate Eutyches. Throughout these proceedings, Hilary called for the reading of Leo's Tome, but was ignored; the Eastern Orthodox Church has different accounts of The Second Council of Ephesus.
Pope Dioscorus requested deferring reading of Leo's Tome, as it was not seen as necessary to start with, could be read later. This was seen as a rebuke to the representatives from the Chur
Pope Peter I of Alexandria
Pope Peter I of Alexandria, 17th Pope of Alexandria & Patriarch of the See of St. Mark, he is revered as a saint by the Coptic Orthodox Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Roman Catholic Church. Peter was raised in Alexandria; the Coptic Orthodox Church believes that Peter was given by his parents to His Holiness Theonas to be brought up as a priest to the story of Samuel in the Old Testament. He rose through the ranks of holy orders, first becoming a reader a deacon a priest. Educated, Peter became head of the school of Alexandria. In early 300, while on his death bed, Theonas advised the church leaders to choose Peter as his successor, which they did. Peter's time as bishop included the severe persecution of Christianity from Roman Emperor Diocletian, which began in 303, continued intermittently over the next ten years. Forced into exile from the city during the anti-Christian persecutions, Peter traveled through many lands, encouraging his flock by letter, before returning to his city to guide the Alexandrian Church during this period.
He secretly visited those imprisoned, assisted widows and orphans, conducted clandestine services. Accounts of Peter's position during the persecution vary, but one states that he was imprisoned for a time with bishop Meletius of Lycopolis and they fell into an argument over the treatment of Christians who had either offered pagan sacrifice or surrendered scriptures to the authorities to save their lives during the persecution. Peter urged leniency while Meletius held that the lapsed had abandoned their faith and needed to be rebaptised, their argument became heated, was ended when Peter hung a curtain between him and Meletius. One of Meletius' followers was a priest named Arius. According to Severus of Ashmumeen, Arius tried in vain to receive absolution from the Patriarch before Peter was executed, before dying Peter anathematized Arius as a heretic and excommunicated him; the tenth-century historian Severus of Ashmumeen gives us an account of how during the Diocletianic Persecution the Patriarch was seized and thrown in prison.
When the emperor was informed about this, he ordered Peter to be beheaded. This was hindered by a large number of Christians who gathered at the prison willing to die for their Patriarch; the soldiers delayed the execution because they neither wanted to massacre the crowd nor create a riot. The Patriarch, fearing for the life of his people, advised the soldiers with a plan to smuggle him out of jail by breaking a hole in a certain wall which he would point out, he could be smuggled out and receive his sentence. Severus of Ashmumeen describes the moment when the Patriarch was martyred: And he took off his omophorion, bared his neck, pure before the Lord, said to them: «Do as you have been commanded», but the soldiers feared. So they looked one at another, not one of them dared to cut off his head, because of the dread which had fallen upon them, they took counsel together and said: «To him that cuts off his head each one of us will give five denarii». Now they were six persons. So one of the men went forward, summoned up his courage, cut off the head of the holy martyr and patriarch Peter.
Hatur is a month in the Coptic calendar, corresponding to November. Saint Peter's martyrdom occurred in the year AD 311. Traditionally, in Christianity, the day of a saint's death is the day on which his feast day is celebrated. 29 Hatur corresponds to 25 November in the Julian calendar. Thus 29 Hatur corresponds at present to 9 December. Baucalis "Petros I". Official web site of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria and All Africa. Retrieved 2011-02-08. Hieromartyr Peter the Archbishop of Alexandria Eastern Orthodox icon and synaxarion
Egypt the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a country spanning the northeast corner of Africa and southwest corner of Asia by a land bridge formed by the Sinai Peninsula. Egypt is a Mediterranean country bordered by the Gaza Strip and Israel to the northeast, the Gulf of Aqaba and the Red Sea to the east, Sudan to the south, Libya to the west. Across the Gulf of Aqaba lies Jordan, across the Red Sea lies Saudi Arabia, across the Mediterranean lie Greece and Cyprus, although none share a land border with Egypt. Egypt has one of the longest histories of any country, tracing its heritage back to the 6th–4th millennia BCE. Considered a cradle of civilisation, Ancient Egypt saw some of the earliest developments of writing, urbanisation, organised religion and central government. Iconic monuments such as the Giza Necropolis and its Great Sphinx, as well the ruins of Memphis, Thebes and the Valley of the Kings, reflect this legacy and remain a significant focus of scientific and popular interest. Egypt's long and rich cultural heritage is an integral part of its national identity, which has endured, assimilated, various foreign influences, including Greek, Roman, Ottoman Turkish, Nubian.
Egypt was an early and important centre of Christianity, but was Islamised in the seventh century and remains a predominantly Muslim country, albeit with a significant Christian minority. From the 16th to the beginning of the 20th century, Egypt was ruled by foreign imperial powers: The Ottoman Empire and the British Empire. Modern Egypt dates back to 1922, when it gained nominal independence from the British Empire as a monarchy. However, British military occupation of Egypt continued, many Egyptians believed that the monarchy was an instrument of British colonialism. Following the 1952 revolution, Egypt expelled British soldiers and bureaucrats and ended British occupation, nationalized the British-held Suez Canal, exiled King Farouk and his family, declared itself a republic. In 1958 it merged with Syria to form the United Arab Republic, which dissolved in 1961. Throughout the second half of the 20th century, Egypt endured social and religious strife and political instability, fighting several armed conflicts with Israel in 1948, 1956, 1967 and 1973, occupying the Gaza Strip intermittently until 1967.
In 1978, Egypt signed the Camp David Accords withdrawing from the Gaza Strip and recognising Israel. The country continues to face challenges, from political unrest, including the recent 2011 revolution and its aftermath, to terrorism and economic underdevelopment. Egypt's current government is a presidential republic headed by President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, described by a number of watchdogs as authoritarian. Islam is the official religion of Egypt and Arabic is its official language. With over 95 million inhabitants, Egypt is the most populous country in North Africa, the Middle East, the Arab world, the third-most populous in Africa, the fifteenth-most populous in the world; the great majority of its people live near the banks of the Nile River, an area of about 40,000 square kilometres, where the only arable land is found. The large regions of the Sahara desert, which constitute most of Egypt's territory, are sparsely inhabited. About half of Egypt's residents live in urban areas, with most spread across the densely populated centres of greater Cairo and other major cities in the Nile Delta.
The sovereign state of Egypt is a transcontinental country considered to be a regional power in North Africa, the Middle East and the Muslim world, a middle power worldwide. Egypt's economy is one of the largest and most diversified in the Middle East, is projected to become one of the largest in the world in the 21st century. In 2016, Egypt became Africa's second largest economy. Egypt is a founding member of the United Nations, Non-Aligned Movement, Arab League, African Union, Organisation of Islamic Cooperation. "Miṣr" is the Classical Quranic Arabic and modern official name of Egypt, while "Maṣr" is the local pronunciation in Egyptian Arabic. The name is of Semitic origin, directly cognate with other Semitic words for Egypt such as the Hebrew "מִצְרַיִם"; the oldest attestation of this name for Egypt is the Akkadian "mi-iṣ-ru" related to miṣru/miṣirru/miṣaru, meaning "border" or "frontier". There is evidence of rock carvings in desert oases. In the 10th millennium BCE, a culture of hunter-gatherers and fishers was replaced by a grain-grinding culture.
Climate changes or overgrazing around 8000 BCE began to desiccate the pastoral lands of Egypt, forming the Sahara. Early tribal peoples migrated to the Nile River where they developed a settled agricultural economy and more centralised society. By about 6000 BCE, a Neolithic culture rooted in the Nile Valley. During the Neolithic era, several predynastic cultures developed independently in Upper and Lower Egypt; the Badarian culture and the successor Naqada series are regarded as precursors to dynastic Egypt. The earliest known Lower Egyptian site, predates the Badarian by about seven hundred years. Contemporaneous Lower Egyptian communities coexisted with their southern counterparts for more than two thousand years, remaining culturally distinct, but maintaining frequent contact through trade; the earliest known evidence of Egyptian hieroglyphic inscriptions appeared during the predynastic period on Naqada III pottery vessels, dated to about 3200 BCE. A unified kingdom was founded c. 3150 BCE
Pope Anianus of Alexandria
Pope Anianus, second Pope of Alexandria & Patriarch of the See of St. Mark, he was ordained as the successor of Saint Mark the Evangelist, was the first convert Mark won to Christianity in the region. As Mark was entering Rakotis, a suburb of Alexandria, after his trip from Cyrene to the Pentapolis, the strap of his sandal fell off, he found Anianus, to repair it. While he was working on the sandal, the awl slipped in Anianus' hand. Anianus cried "Heis ho Theos" in response to the pain. Mark took the opportunity of Anianus' scream to preach the Gospel of Christianity to him, at the same time miraculously healing Anianus of his wound. How it was that Anianus was a monotheist in Alexandria is a matter of conjecture; some have suggested that he was himself a Jew, or a pagan native who had come under the influence of the wealthy Jewish community, learned his monotheistic beliefs there. Others have held that Anianus was a noble, although this does seem to be contrary to the documents available. In any event, Mark was invited to Anianus' house, where he taught Anianus' family the Gospel and baptized them all.
A large number of natives of the area were converted by Mark and his followers, causing those citizens who did not convert to feel obliged to defend their local gods against the new faith. Mark, the outsider, decided, he ordained Anianus to be bishop in his absence. He ordained three presbyters and seven deacons at the same time, charging the group of them with watching over the church of the area in his absence. Mark was gone for a period of two years, during which time he is said to have gone to Rome and the Pentapolis, performing miracles, winning converts to Christianity at each location. On Mark's return, he found that the church in Alexandria had grown and that they were able to build a church for themselves at Bucolia on the shore of the eastern harbor of Alexandria known as the Portus Magnus of the Ptolemaic dynasty. Following the martyrdom of Mark on the 30th day of Baramudah, Anianus became the patriarch of the church in Alexandria, he would remain in that capacity for over one-half years.
During that time, the number of Christians in the area grew and Anianus ordained new priests and deacons for the growing church. The extent of the evangelization they performed is unknown, although it has been thought by some that it was done at least somewhat covertly, given the hostility the pagan population demonstrated to the new faith. Anianus died in bed, was buried next to Mark at the church in Baucalis, it is a matter of some dispute whether Anianus was the second Patriarch of Alexandria. The Roman Catholic Church and some others hold; the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria holds that Mark was the first patriarch of Alexandria, making Anianus second. He is regarded as a saint, with a feast day of 25 April in the Eastern Orthodox Church. GeneralSt. Anianus, 2nd Pope of Alexandria Meinardus, Otto F. A.. Two Thousand Years of Coptic Christianity. American University in Cairo Press. ISBN 978-977-424-757-6; the Official website of the Coptic Orthodox Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of All Africa on the Holy See of Saint Mark the Apostle Coptic Documents in French
Saint Mark's Coptic Orthodox Cathedral (Alexandria)
Saint Mark's Coptic Orthodox Cathedral is a Coptic church in Alexandria, Egypt. It is the historical seat of the Pope of the head of the Coptic Orthodox Church; the cathedral is said to stand on the site of the church founded by St. Mark the Evangelist in AD 60. St. Mark the Evangelist has been connected with the city of Alexandria since earliest Christian tradition. Coptic Christians believe he stayed for about seven years. During this time, Mark performed many miracles, he is considered the founder of the first Bishop of Alexandria. According to tradition, St. Mark was arrested during a festival of Serapis in AD 68 and martyred by being dragged through the streets, he was buried under the church. In 828, relics believed to be the body of St. Mark were stolen from Alexandria by Venetian merchants and taken to Venice. Copts believe that the head of St. Mark remains in a church named after him in Alexandria, parts of his relics are in St. Mark's Cairo's Cathedral; the rest of what are believed to be his relics are in the St Mark's Basilica in Italy.
Every year, on the 30th day of the month of Paopi, the Coptic Orthodox Church celebrates the commemoration of the consecration of the church of St. Mark, the appearance of the head of the saint in the city of Alexandria; this takes place inside St. Mark Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in Alexandria, where the saint's head is preserved; the head of St. Mark was moved around a great deal over the centuries, has been lost for over 250 years; some of the relics from the body of St. Mark, were returned to Alexandria from Rome in 1968 during the papacy of Coptic Pope Cyril VI; the present St. Mark's Coptic Cathedral is of recent date, but is said to stand on the site of church founded by St. Mark himself. In AD 311, before the martyrdom of Pope Peter the Last of Martyrs, he prayed a last prayer on the grave of Saint Mark, the church was a little chapel on the eastern coast, it contained bodies said to be of Saint Mark and some of his holy successors; the church was enlarged in the days of Pope Achillas, the 18th Pope.
The church was ruined in 641 when the Arabs invaded Egypt. In 680 Pope John III rebuilt the church. In 828, the body of Saint Mark was stolen by Italian sailors and was taken from Alexandria to Venice in Italy. However, Saint Mark's head remained in Alexandria; the church was destroyed again in 1219, during the time of the crusades it was rebuilt once more. Sixteenth-century French explorer Pierre Belon mentions the founding of the church in 1547; the church was pulled down during the French invasion of Alexandria in July 1798. The church was opened in 1819 by Pope Peter El Gawly in the time of Mohammed Ali Pasha; the church was renewed in the time of Pope Demetrius II and by the supervision of Bishop Marcos of El Behira in 1870. Between the years 1950–1952, in the time of Pope Yusab II, the church building was pulled down and another, larger building was built with reinforced concrete after the basilique style; the six marble pillars were transferred into the outer entrance of the church. The icon carrier was cut into parts, each part given a number, it was cautiously returned to where it was originally.
The two bell tower were not pulled down as they were reinforced with concrete and were decorated with beautiful Coptic engravings. Two new bells – brought from Italy – were provided, one for each bell tower. Between 1985 and 1990, the church was widened from the western side after the former style with great accuracy, keeping the two bell tower in their places, so the entire area of the church was doubled; the six pillars were transferred to the new western entrance of the church supervised by Pope Shenouda III. Coptic Orthodox Church Coptic architecture List of Coptic Orthodox Churches in the United States Seat of the Coptic Orthodox Pope of Alexandria Coptic Cairo Seat of the Coptic Orthodox Pope of Alexandria Saint Barbara Church in Coptic Cairo Saint Mark's Coptic Orthodox Cathedral, Cairo Saint Mark's Coptic Orthodox Cathedral Saint Mark Coptic Orthodox Church Saint Mary and Saint Abasikhiron Coptic Orthodox Church Saint Mary Church St Mary and St Mercurius Coptic Orthodox Church Saint Mercurius Church in Coptic Cairo Saints Sergius and Bacchus Church The Hanging Church Church of the Holy Virgin Church of the Virgin Mary Saint Mark's Coptic orthodox Cathedral