His Holiness Pope Shenouda III]] His Holiness ''' Pope Shenouda III (Gayyid)''' was the 117th [[ Church of Alexandria ( Coptic)| Coptic Orthodox]] Pope of Alexandria (1971-2012). He died on [[ March 17]] , 2012.
A Brief Biography of His Holiness Pope Shenouda III== His Holiness was born on [[ August 3]] , 1923 in the city of Assiut in Upper Egypt; he was given the name of Nazir Gayed. He obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree in History in 1947 from the University of Cairo . Mr. Gayed was very active in his church and served as a Sunday School teacher, first at Saint Anthony's Church in Shoubra and then at Saint Mary's Church in Mahmasha. He worked as a high school English and Social Studies teacher in Cairo by day, and attended classes at the Coptic Theological Seminary by night. Upon graduation from the seminary in 1949, he was chosen to teach New Testament Studies. He was appointed in 1953 as a teacher in the Monastic School.
From his youth, His Holiness enjoyed writing very much, especially poems; he is a remarkably literate man as evidenced by the over 100 books that have been written by him. For many years, he was the Editor-in-Chief of the Sunday School Magazine. At the same time, he followed his post- graduate studies at the Seminary of Archeology.
On [[ July 18]] , 1954, Mr. Gayed was led to the monastic life at [http://www.st-mary-mons.org/ "El-Suryan" Monastery] in the western desert of Egypt; he was given the name of Father Antonyos El-Suryaani. For six years, from 1956 to 1962, he lived a life of solitude in a cave about seven miles away from the monastery, dedicating all his time to meditation, prayer, and asceticism. He was among the candidates nominated for the papal throne in 1956, but [[Cyril_VI_ %28Atta%29_of_Alexandria|Pope Cyril VI] ] was the one ultimately chosen for the post.
In 1962, he was ordained by the late Pope Cyril VI as Bishop of Ecclesiastical ( Religious) Education and was named President of the Coptic Theological Seminary; he was given the name of Bishop Shenouda on [[ September 30]] , 1962. Continuing from his literary past, Bishop Shenouda published the first issue of "El-Keraza" magazine in Arabic in 1965, and remains the Editor-in-Chief to this day. Bishop Shenouda was suspended in 1966 by Pope Kyrillos VI.<sup>[http://www.coptichistory.org/new_page_1494.htm], [http://www.zeitun-eg.net/members_contrib/DrGeorgeHBebawi16Nov06.doc]</sup> This was essentially the result of Bishop Shenouda' s (and students' ) enthusiastic 'campaigns for change' that used rather strong words, e.g., supporting people's right to choose their bishops and priests, a principle he later applied when he became pope after the repose of Pope Kyrillos VI. This "conflict" between Pope Kyrillos VI and Anba Shenouda seems to have later been resolved.
On [[ November 14]] , 1971, His Holiness was enthroned as Pope Shenouda III, the 117th Pope of Alexandria, and successor of the see of St. Mark. Some argue that the choice of Pope Shenouda III as Pope ( and Bishop) of the City of Alexandria is not canonical ( against Nicea Canon 15 and other Church councils/ canons), because His Holiness was already bishop ( with another [[ episcopate]]) in the 1960s.<sup>[http://www.rezgar.com/debat/show.art.asp?t=0&userID=981&aid=80855], [http://groups.yahoo.com/group/arbible/message/35806], [http://groups.yahoo.com/group/arbible/message/35814], [http://www.zeitun-eg.net/members_contrib/FrBishoyKamelBayan.zip], [http://groups.yahoo.com/group/arbible/message/35816] , and p.30 onward in [http://web.archive.org/web/20031007020943/http://home.ptd.net/~yanney/The_Transfigured_Cross.pdf]</sup> However, there are also modern day examples from other Churches of patriarchs who were previously bishops before their election as patriarchs, e.g., [[Theophilus_III_%28Giannopoulos%29_of_Jerusalem|]], [[Bartholomew_I_%28Archontonis%29_of_Constantinople|]].
Early Life== His Holiness Pope Shenouda III was born the youngest of eight children (five sisters and two brothers) on [[ August 3]] , 1923 in the Upper Egyptian province of Assiut , and was named Nazeer Gayed. His mother passed away shortly after his birth. By the age of sixteen, Nazeer began service in the Sunday School of St. Anthony's Church in Shoubra, Cairo, where he also went to school.
In 1943, Nazeer entered the University of Cairo and completed a Bachelor of Arts in English and History while he spent his summer vacations at the Monastery of St. Mary (Souryan). Although at this time only graduate students were admitted to the evening classes at the Coptic Theological Seminary, Dean Archdeacon Habib Guirguis admitted Nazeer while he was still in his final year of undergraduate study.
After graduation from the University of Cairo in 1947, Nazeer completed his military service and began work as a teacher of English and History. Meanwhile, he completed his Bachelor of Theology and the Dean appointed him as lecturer in the Old and New Testaments. In 1950 Nazeer resigned from his secular employment to take a full-time lecturing position. In 1953, he was appointed a lecturer at the Monastic College in Helwan.
and other servants labored for several years to establish a strong Sunday School and youth group at St. Anthony's Church in Shoubra. his service produced hundreds of devoted servants who began establishing youth groups in neighboring parishes.