Tuesday 20 March 2012

His Holiness Shenouda III is given the full Funeral rites with all Oriental Orthodox church individual prayers

His Holiness Shenouda III was a distinguished and prominent religious leader, a profound theologian, a gifted preacher, a talented author, a spiritual father, a man of God his entire life that we have seen and experience in our time.
His Holiness was born Nazeer Gayed on August 3, 1923, to a pious Christian family in Egypt. By the age of 16, H. H. was active in the Sunday School movement, which wrought to enrich Christian Education in the Coptic Orthodox Church.
After graduating from Cairo University, he joined the Coptic Orthodox Seminary, and upon graduation, joined the faculty of the seminary.
On July 18, 1954, H. H. chose to live the solitude of the Egyptian desert and the life of monasticism leaving the world behind, following in the steps of our desert father of St. Anthony the Great. As a monk, and later a monk priest, H. H. carried the name of the Christian monk and was know as Fr. Antonious El-Syriani.

he live in solitude for six years, but on September 30, 1962, he was called by the late Pope Cyril VI to be consecrated Bishop of Christian Education and President of the Coptic Orthodox Theological Seminary. As of that moment he was known as His Grace Bishop Shenouda. Through his leadership of the seminary, the number of students tripled.
So it was that on November 14, 1971, His Grace Bishop Shenouda was consecrated as His Holiness Pope Shenouda III, the 117th Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of St. Mark.

He became the first patriarch of Alexandria since the Fifth Century to have been Dean of the Theological Seminary and continues to lecture at the branches of the Seminary in Cairo, Alexandria, and abroad and the Higher Institute of Coptic Studies. He also established other branches of the Seminary in Egypt as well as in America, Australia, and the United Kingdom.

not to mention that His Holiness is the author of 101 books on a variety of subjects, most of which have been translated into English, French, German, Italian, and other languages.He gives special attention to the youth of the church. H. H. has said many times, 

“A church without youth is a church without a future.” And one of our youth once replied to H. H., “And youth without the church are youth without a future.”
the most obvious and notable cchange in the Coptic Orthodox church became evident in the first century of hi Holiness oversea activities the expansion of the church worldwide from 1971 was eminent there were only four churches in North America. Today, there are over 100.
This include the establishment of a mission churches in the U. S. Virgin Islands in St. Thomas, Bermuda, and St. Kitts. Moreover, he founded the first Coptic Orthodox Church in South America in Sao Paolo, Brazil, and the second in Bolivia. Furthermore, a growth in Australia and New Zealand, where there are currently twenty-eight churches. In 1999, we witnessed the enthronement of the first bishop over Australia and New Zeland. In Europe, there are currently over fifty church and ten bishops. Africa currently has two bishops serving in missions in nine African countries.
 His Holiness Pope Shenouda III worked hard to see Christian Unity. In an speech he gave at an ecumenical forum during the International Week of Prayer in 1974, he declared,

 “The whole Christian world is anxious to see the church unite. Christian people, being fed up with divisions, are pushing their church leaders to do something about church unity and I am sure that the Holy Spirit is inspiring us.”
H. H. has emphasized that Christian Unity must be found upon a unity of faith and not a unity of jurisdiction. As a result, H. H. has paid many visits to the various sister Orthodox churches and their patriarchs, such as those of Constantinople, Moscow, Romania, and Antioch. A full communion of these churches with the Oriental Orthodox Churches is very close.
His Holiness Shenouda III passed away on 17 March 2012 at the age of 88 after struggling many year with health issues. May his soul rest in peace.