Pope Peter VII of Alexandria


Pope Peter VII of Alexandria

:"For other people known as Peter VII, see Peter VII." Pope Peter VII of Alexandria (Petros or Boutros El-Gawly) was the 109th Coptic Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of St. Mark (December 24, 1809 - April 5, 1852). He was born in the village of El-Gawly in Upper Egypt, and known as Mankarius while a monk at St. Anthony Monastery on the Red Sea.

During his papacy, sensing intimations of pressure from Roman Catholicism, the Coptic Church intensified her teaching, her preaching, and her pastoral work, and the Coptic Pope himself intensified his writing on matters of faith and doctrine. During the period, many private and public patriarchal libraries were founded.

When the Russian Czar sent his delegates with an offer to put the Coptic Church under his protection, Pope Peter declined the proposal by asking, "Does your Emperor live forever?" When the envoy answered that he would die, like all humans, the Pope told him that he preferred the Protector of the Church who wouldn't die.

The seat of the Pope during his papacy remained in the Saint Mark's Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in Azbakeya in Cairo.

The papal throne stood vacant for a little over one year before his successor, Cyril IV, was elected.

Also during the papacy, Saint Sidhom Bishay [http://www.copticchurch.net/synaxarium/7_17.html#4] was martyred at the hands of Muslims in Damietta. His martyrdom made possible the raising of the Cross openly during Christian funeral processions, for this practice was previously forbidden.

ource and further details

* [http://www.copticchurch.net/synaxarium/7_28.html#2 Coptic Orthodox Synaxarium (Book of Saints)]

----A different Peter VII was the Greek Patriarch of Alexandria from 1997 to 2004. See: Patriarch Peter VII of Alexandria.


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