Hierotheus I of Alexandria

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Hierotheus I of Alexandria, also Ierotheos I of Alexandria, was the Patriarch of Alexandria of the Church of Alexandria from 1825 to 1845. He continued the work of his predecessors in re-organizing the Patriarchate of Alexandria in a friendly environment under Viceroy Mohammed Ali of Egypt. The period of his Patriarchate was particularly significant for the Church of Alexandria.


Little is known of the early life of Patr. Hierotheus. He was born after the mid-eighteenth century in Larissa in Thessaly and was the ruling bishop in a number of sees before he became Patriarch of Alexandria. According to an inscription in the Church of St. Nicholas in Almyros, he was the bishop of Zitounio in 1802. In 1819, he was the Metropolitan of Paronaxia, and between 1820 and 1824 he was the Metropolitan of Nicaea.

Hierotheus was elected patriarch, in October 1825, possibly on October 14, after Patr. Theophilus II was deposed by the Patriarchate of Constantinople for abandoning his see. Theophilus had remained at his birth place, Patmos, from 1818 to 1825. Patriarch Chrysanthus of Constantinople with Patriarch Polycarp of Jerusalem had acted to have the see occupied under pressure from the Ottoman government during the Greek war of independence.

Patr. Hierotheus I led the Church of Alexandria during the rule of Mohammed Ali the Viceroy of Egypt who had established good relations with the Hellenic community of Egypt. Hierotheus, thus, continued the restoration and expansion of ecclesiastical properties in Egypt. He established Greek schools in Cairo and Alexandria. Also, in collaboration with Michael Tositsas, the Greek Consul and members of the Hellenic Community in Egypt, Patr. Hierotheus sponsored the establishment of the Hellenic-Arabic School of Cairo in 1842. Among the many projects he pursued were the renovation of the Monastery of St. Savvas in Alexandria and, with funds provided by Tsar Nicholas I of Russia, the Church of St. Nicholas in Cairo. He also established a guest house to host the poor.

Patr. Hierotheos was also confronted with the activities of Uniate priests in Syria, who since they wore Orthodox style clerical dress, led to misguidance of Syrian Christians. Through the initiative of Patr. Hierotheos, the Orthodox were able to get the sultan to issue a firman requiring the Uniate monks to change their clothing.

Patr. Hierotheus was also able to ransom and free many Christian captives from the Arabs.

Patr. Hierotheos I reposed on September 8, 1845 and was buried with royal honors in the Church of St. Nicholas in Cairo by order of Muhammad Ali.

Succession box:
Hierotheus I of Alexandria
Preceded by:
Patriarch of Alexandria
Succeeded by:
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