Cyril VI (Atta) of Alexandria
|Oriental Orthodox (Non-Chalcedonian) perspective, which may differ from an Eastern Orthodox (Chalcedonian) understanding.|
His Holiness Pope Cyril VI (Atta) of Alexandria (also transliterated Kyrellos, Kyrillos, or Kirellos), born Azer Ioseph Atta (August 2, 1902 – March 9, 1971), was Coptic Orthodox Pope from 1959 to 1971.
Pope Cyril VI was born in Damanhour, Egypt, into a Christian family. One day his family invited an elderly saintly monk, and the future pope slept in his lap (when he was a toddler). The mother apologized and tried to take away, but that monk said, "Let him be, he will be of our share."
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. The spiritual mentor of Fr. Mina El-Baramosy the recluse was St. Isaac of Syria, Bishop of Ninevah and 7th century ascetic. Fr. Mina was very much influenced by St. Isaac's writings and wrote extensively about them.
In 1947, Fr. Mina 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 (in Venice). 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.
God gave Cyril the gifts of casting out demons, healing the sick, and prescience, for he knew who was coming to see him, their needs (before they said a word) and God's answers to them, and also the gift of bilocation. He also knew the time of his departure.
At his death bed Cyril 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.
Countless miracles occurred and continue to occur to this day through the intercession of Pope Kyrillos VI. The Holy Synod of the Coptic Orthodox Church headed by H.H. Pope Tawadros II of Alexandria declared at the end of its meeting on June 20, 2013, in Cairo, Egypt, the official recognition by the Church of Pope Kyrillos VI as Saint. His name is to be included in the Coptic Orthodox Synaxarium, mentioned in the Mass among the Saints of the Church, and has churches built and named after his name.
Cyril VI (Atta) of Alexandria
|Pope of Alexandria (Coptic)
- Pope St. Kyrillos VI Multimedia Web Gallery
- Short Bio of Pope St. Kyrillos VI
- Bio of Pope St. Kyrillos VI, long version (Zipped PDF)
- Pope Kyrillos VI (St. Mina Monastery page)
- Pope Kyrillos VI Miracles (St. Mina Monastery page)
- Rare footage of H.H. Pope Kirellos VI
- April 19, 1959 • The Coptic Church Chose Kyrillos VI as its 116th Patriarch (Christian History Institute)