John II of Alexandria

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John II of Alexandria was the Patriarch and Pope of Alexandria of the Church of Alexandria from 496 to 505. A Miaphysite, he is also listed as John I by the Church of Alexandria (Coptic). Patr. John was patriarch during the period of the developing schism between the Chalcedonians and non-Chalcedonians following the Fourth Ecumenical Council at Chalcedon.


Little is known of John's early life. He was born in Alexandria to Christian parents but the date of his birth is unknown. He became a monk at the Monastery of St. Macarius the Great in the monastic area of northern Egypt known as the Nitrian Desert.

After the repose of Patr. Athanasius II on September 29, 496, John was elected his successor against his wishes as Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria. He was the first bishop for the see of Alexandria to be chosen from among the monks of the Egyptian desert monasteries rather than from the educated clergy of Alexandria. While he was patriarch, John was able to obtain gifts of wheat, wine, and oil from the emperor for his former monastery.

He was an opponent of the Fourth Ecumenical Council at Chalcedon and held communion with those who accepted the Henoticon of emperor Zeno without having formally imposed an anathema on decisions of Chalcedon. Through such a maneuver he kept the church of Alexandria in peace although the schism with those who opposed both the Chalcedon Council and the Henoticon continued to grow.

Patr. John reposed on April 29, 505, the 4th day of Pashons according to the Egyptian calendar.

Succession box:
John II of Alexandria
Preceded by:
Athanasius II
Patriarch of Alexandria
Succeeded by:
John III
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