- Pope John XVIII of Alexandria
Pope John XVIII of Alexandria was the 107th Coptic Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of St. Mark (
23 October, 1769– 7 June, 1796).
Pope John XVIII was born in
Fayoum. His lay name was Joseph. He became a monkin the Monastery of Saint Anthony. At the departure of Pope Mark VII, he was unanimously chosen to succeed him. He was ordained at the church of Saint Philopater Mercurius in Cairo, on Sunday, 15 Paopi, 1486 A.M. ( 23 October, 1769A.D.)
The Seat of the Pope during his papacy remained in the
Saint Mary Church (Haret Elroum)in Cairo.
Relations with Rome
During his papacy, Pope Pius VI of Rome attempted to attract the Eastern Churches to
Roman Catholicism. Thus, he published the proceedings of the Council of Chalcedonand distrivuted it in all the countries of the East. Pope Pius VI of Rome even sent an envoy to Pope John XVIII of Alexandria asking him to unite with the Roman Catholic Church. The famous scholar and theologian Joseph el-Abbah, Bishopof Girgaresponded to the message, refuting its claims and defending Orthodoxy.
During the papacy of Pope John XVIII, the
Coptswere persecuted by the Ottoman rulers. The Jizyawas increased to unprecedent amounts of money, and those who could not pay it had to convert to Islamor be executed. The commander of the Ottoman army stationed in Egyptseized the treasury of the Patriarchate and confiscated all its funds. Pope John XVIII had to go into hiding for some time.
Pope John XVIII was a good friend of the famous Coptic layman
Ibrahim El-Gohary. Together, they worked on restoring monasteries and churches. They also prepared the Holy Myron.
Pope John XVIII departed on 2 Paoni, 1512 A.M. (
7 June, 1796A.D.) He remained on the papal Throne of Saint Markfor 26 years, 7 months, and 16 days. He was buried in the tombs of the Patriarchs at the church of Saint Philopater Mercurius in Cairo. The papal Throne remained vacant after his departure for 3 months and 26 days.
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