Pope John VIII of Alexandria


Pope John VIII of Alexandria

Pope John VIII of Alexandria was the 80th Coptic Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of Saint Mark Number 80 (14 February 1300 - 29 May 1320).

Pope John VIII was born in Meniat Bani-Khosaim. His real name was Yohanna Ben-Ebsal, but he was known as El Mo'ataman Ebn El-Kedees. He became monk at the Monastery of Shahran and was ordained Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of Saint Mark on 19 Meshir, 1016 A.M. (14 February, 1300 A.D.)

During the papacy of H.H. John VIII, severe tribulations befell the Christians in Egypt. They were forced to tinge their turbans with blue. Many churches were closed in Cairo and in different parts of the country. Exceptions were the monasteries in Alexandria and a few churches in other cities. An envoy from the king of Spain came to intercede on behalf of the Christians. Two churches were subsequently opened, one of them was the Coptic Orthodox church of the Virgin Mary in Haret Zeewailah in Cairo, and the other was the Melkite church of Saint Nicholas in El-Hamzawe.

H.H. Pope John VIII was a contemporary of Saint Parsoma, and presided ovr his funeral. He was the last to reside in the church of Saint Philopater Mercurius in Cairo. He was the first to relocate the patriarchal throne to the church of the Virgin Mary in Haret Zeewailah in Cairo. He was residing there in the year 1303 A.D. when a severe earthquake destroyed a large part of Syria and Egypt. Ebn Kabre indicated that H.H. Pope John VIII had made some changes in the Liturgy. He departed on 4 Paoni 1036 A.M. (29 May 1320 A.D.) after 20 years, 3 months, and 15 days on the Patriarchal Throne. He was buried at the Monastery of Shahran.


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