[[Image:PopePeterVII(109th).jpg|thumb|127px|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 [http://www.touregypt.net/featurestories/antony.htm]) was the 109th [[Coptic]] Pope of Alexandria and [[Patriarch]] of the See of St. [[Apostle Mark|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 (David) of Alexandria|Cyril IV]], was elected.
During his papacy, sensing
intimations of pressure from [[Roman Catholic|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 [http://www.copticchurch.net/synaxarium/7_17.html#4] was [[Martyr|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|Jesus Christ]]. His martyrdom made it possible the raising of the Cross openly during Christian funeral processions, for this practice was previously forbidden.
and further details==
* [http://www.copticchurch.net/synaxarium/7_28.html#2 Coptic Orthodox Synaxarium (Book of Saints)]