Peter VII (Mankarius) of Alexandria

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Coptic Orthodox Cross
Note: This article or section represents an Oriental Orthodox (Non-Chalcedonian) perspective, which may differ from an Eastern Orthodox (Chalcedonian) understanding.
HH Pope Peter VII, 109th Pope of Alexandria
His Holiness Pope St. Peter VII (Petros or Boutros El-Gawly) (born in the village of El-Gawly in Upper Egypt and known as Mankarius while a monk at St. Anthony Monastery in the Red Sea [1]) was the 109th Coptic Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of St. Mark for forty-two years and three months, from December 24, 1809 until his departure from our vanishing world on April 5, 1852. The papal throne stood vacant for a little over one year before his successor, Cyril IV, was elected.

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 to offer putting the Coptic Church under the protection of Caesar (the Czar), Pope Peter VII politely and graciously refused the proposal by asking, "Does your Caesar live forever?" When the envoy answered that he would die like all human beings, the Pope told him that he preferred that the Protector of the Church would be her true Shepherd, the King of Kings that does not die. The delegates admired the Pope's faith and patriotism, and left after taking his blessings.

Also during the papacy of this holy father, St. Sidhom Bishay [2] was martyred at the hands of Muslims in Damietta on March 25, 1844 A.D., after enduring extreme torture for the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ. His martyrdom made it possible the raising of the Cross openly during Christian funeral processions, for this practice was previously forbidden.

Succession box:
Peter VII (Mankarius) of Alexandria
Preceded by:
Mark VIII
Pope of Alexandria (Coptic)
1809–1852
Succeeded by:
Cyril IV
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