Pope St. Kyrillos VI (Cyril VI)
116th Pope of Alexandria and See of St. Mark (Coptic Orthodox Patriarch - 1959-1971)
Exclusive: Rare film of Pope Kyrillos VI at St. Mina Monastery, Mariut (streaming video, 2 min: 29 sec - right-click to save, 9.35 MB - to view this video, you will need Microsoft Windows Media Player)
In 1948, Father Mina (Pope Kyrillos VI) built a church in Old Cairo under the name of Saint Mina. He lived in this church till his ordination as Pope of Alexandria and the Holy See of Saint Mark in 1959.
It was a dear wish for Pope Kyrillos VI, during his monastic life, to live among the ruins of St. Mina Monastery in Mariut. When he was enthroned to the See of St. Mark, his blessed hand brought construction and restoration to the desert that gave nothing but salty water, unfit even for building. Pope Kyrillos VI is credited with the establishment of the Monastery of St. Mina in Mariut (1959) and reviving the cult of St. Mina. Part of the relics of St. Mina was transferred to the new monastery in February 1962. St. Mina's new Cathedral in Mariut accommodates 3000 persons, has seven altars and its towers are 45 meters in height.
In 1969, Pope Kyrillos VI sent the late Fr. Matta El-Meskeen and his monk disciples to Wadi El Natroun to develop the 4th-century monastery of St. Macarius the Great.
His Holiness stated in his will, his desire to be buried with his beloved Saint and Patron, St. Menas. When the place was prepared to receive his pure body at St. Mina Monastery, Mariut, after about 18 months from his departure, the body was transferred to the chosen place on Thursday 23 November 1972. The amazing thing is the sudden change in the weather that occurred when Alexandria was getting ready to receive the body of the Holy Saint. No rain fell at all in Alexandria, which puzzled the meteorological experts. In Cairo, nature wept for the departure of the beloved Pope's body. The sky darkened, rain poured heavily at the time when the body was taken from the tomb in St. Mark's Cathedral, Anba Rweis, Cairo, on Wednesday evening, 22 November 1972, in readiness for the trip to Alexandria (St. Mina Monastery in Mariut).
Pope Kyrillos VI testified as to the holiness and asceticism of this contemporary Coptic Orthodox saint, Abouna Abdel Messih El Makari.
The upright Anba Bishoi, the beloved of our Good Saviour, and the man who was worthy of washing the feet of the LORD of glory, endeavoured particularly to conceal his virtues. He once said, "My reward will be for those years when I was not known to people." He also taught his pupils to shun vain glory and honour. Indeed, concealing virtues after perfecting them is an act of the highest degree of spirituality. Father (Abouna) Abdel Messih El Makari (monk and priest) was one of those who hid their many perfect virtues. Of those virtues we may mention:
FIRST his marvelous purity for which he was put to the test and came out victorious.
SECONDLY he was distinguished for his strict asceticism and continuous vigilance. Whether he was at the monastery or out in the world, he spent his nights repeating one complete doxology after another and with tears asking for God's forgiveness for sinning or causing others to sin.
THIRDLY he was known for his wonderful humility. He fled from praise in spite of the fact that he had the gift of healing the sick.
FOURTHLY he was very compassionate and gave everything he was given to the needy.
FIFTHLY Our Good God gave him the gift of prescience for he knew who was coming to see him and knew the exact day he will die.
Saint Abdel Messih El-Makari was born in 1892 in the village of Abou Shehata, Mattay district, El-Menya governorate (Egypt). His parents were both Christians; his father's name is Henein and His mother's name is Esther. When he grew up, he wanted to be a spiritual warrior in the army of celibates, so he left the world and headed to the Monastery of St. Abba Samuel the Confessor in El-Kalamoun mountain. He did so several times, and each time his father would come to the monastery and bring him back home and this was associated with the death of a large number of his father's cattles. At last, his father allowed him to do what he wanted, so he joined the Monastery of St. Abba Makar the Great in the desert of Scetes (Wadi El-Natrun) and became a monk. He led an extremely ascetic life and offered a superior example of true monastic life. Finally, he moved to El-Manahra village, Mattay district, and God honoured him with the gifts of prescience and discerning of spirits. He did wonders and miracles exactly like those done at the hands of the apostles, and he used to cover up his spiritual gifts and virtues with some "odd" behaviour, but all people of Mattay and Samalout region testify to his holiness. At the end, he was crowned with the crown of righteousness and good fighting as he departed our world on Easter Sunday morning of 6 Bermuda 1669/14 April 1963.
May the blessing of his prayers be with us and all glory be to our Lord forever. Amen.
The Life of Abouna Abdel Messih El Makari, a Full-length Arabic Movie with English Subtitle (Streaming RealVideo Format)
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This page was last modified February 25, 2009