Cyril VI (Atta) of Alexandria
His Holiness Pope Cyril (Kyrellos) VI of Alexandria, born Azer Ioseph Atta (August 8, 1902 – March 9, 1971), was Coptic Orthodox Pope from 1959 to 1971.
Pope Cyril VI was born in Damanhour, Egypt, into a Christian family. He resigned a civil service position to become a monk in July 1927. He passed his probationary period and, on February 24, 1928, took his monastic vows and assumed the name Fr. Mina El-Baramosy.
In 1947, he built the Church of Saint Mina the Martyr in Cairo.
He became Pope of Alexandria on May 10, 1959 (2 Pashons 1675 AM). On June 28, 1959, he appointed a Patriarch-Catholicos, Abune Baslios, for Ethiopia. In November 1959 he laid the foundation stone of the new Monastery of Saint Mina the Wonders Maker in the Mariout Desert.
In January 1965, Pope Cyril presided over the Committee of Oriental Orthodox Churches in Addis Ababa, the first ecumenical and non-Chalcedonian synod of these churches held in modern times.
In June 1968, Pope Cyril received the remains of the Apostle Saint Mark the Evangelist, which had been absent from Egypt for over eleven centuries. The Saint's remains were interred beneath the newly built Cathedral of Saint Mark at Saint Rewiss Cathedral in Cairo, which was built by Pope Cyril and was opened in a ceremony attended by President Nasser, Emperor Haile Selassie, and delegates from most of the world's churches.
His papacy has also been marked by the unprecedented Apparitions of the Blessed Holy Virgin Mary in Zeitun, Egypt (starting on 2 April 1968).
At his death bed Pope Cyril VI said this to the clergy: "I am leaving to the Lord... Safeguard the Church with your keen vigil over it... may the Lord shepherd you." He passed away on March 9, 1971, after a short illness.