PopeKyrillosVIbyRIbrahim by 196T3f1


									The Great Saint Pope Kyrillos VI
    Model for the Spiritual Life
             Brief Outline of His Life
• Born Azer Youssef Atta on August
  2(?), 1902 in Damanhour

• Grew up in a very pious Christian
  home – during his childhood the
  evidence of a spiritual person were
  evident in his love for the church
  and his behavior
• In July 1927, he entered into the
  monastery of El-Baramous
• Stayed as a novice until February
  of 1928 when he was tonsured a
  monk and given the name Monk
  Mina El-Baramousy, then ordained
  a priest in July 1931.
              Brief Outline of His Life
• Escaped ordination to the Episcopate
  by fleeing to the monastery of St.
  Shenouda in Sohag but when he
  returned at the request of the Pope he
  pleaded his case to be a solitary and
  his wish was granted.
• He lived as a solitary in a cave that
  was approximately one hours-walking
  distance from the monastery (El-
               Brief Outline of His Life
• In 1936 he continued to live as a
  solitary but in an old abandoned
  wind mill in Old Cairo until 1941
  where he was appointed as the
  abbot of the Monastery of St.
  Samuel the Confessor in El-
  Kalamun near Maghaga (this is the
  monastery of St. Andrewes and
  many other holy men). He was
  successful in renovating and
  improving the conditions of this
              Brief Outline of His Life
• In 1947 he moved to Old Cairo where
  he built the Church of St. Mina his
  beloved saint. During this time many
  university students (whose homes were
  outside Cairo) surrounded him so he
  established a dormitory for them and
  attended to their spiritual needs. Many
  of these students became priests, monks
  and bishops including H.H. Pope
  Shenouda III.
• In May 1959 he was chosen to be Pope
  and Patriarch of the See of St. Mark
  under the name Kyrillos VI.
            Brief Outline of His Life
• During his life as Patriarch the Church witnessed
  many great things:
   † The monastery of St. Mina in Mariut
   † Processed the Holy Myron for only the 26th time
     in Coptic Church history.
   † Renovation of St. Mark‟s cathedral in Cairo.
   † The unprecedented apparition of the Holy Mother
     of God over the Church in Zeitoun.
   † The return of the relics of St. Mark the Apostle to
   † Liturgical revival in the Coptic Church
   † Spiritual revival in the Coptic Church.
             Brief Outline of His Life

• Departed this world
  March 9, 1971
• His miracles continue to
  be documented in over
  fifteen separate volumes
  in Arabic and slowly are
  being translated into
  English and other
                  Spiritual Gifts
† Miracles
† Clairvoyance
† “Spirit-Borne”

  Although one cannot study the life of this Holy Saint
  without noting the thousands of miracles granted
  through his prayers and his blessed life, let us defer
  this to another time and study his virtues to see how
  we can benefit in our own lives.
       Model for the Spiritual Life
In the life of this great saint we find a school of
virtues and a complete picture of how one can be in
perfect communion with God while in this world. He
is a true witness in the 20th century that God is still
working in his saints. Although there is too much to
discuss to even gain a glimpse into the life of this
hero, let us look at a few of his virtues, namely:
– Humility
– Life of Prayer/Asceticism
– Love/Service

“Let us disappear that God may be
manifested in His glory” (First Papal
Epistle of Pope Kyrillos VI)
“If I, your Lord and Teacher have
washed your feet, you also ought to
wash one another’s feet” (John 13:14)
His Grace Bishop Mina El-Samueli
said, “Father Mina considered everyone
better than himself.”
• His Grace Metropolitan Athanasius of Beni Suef said
  that once he gave a sermon in the Cathedral when the
  Pope was present. After the sermon the Pope gently
  admonished him saying, “Brother, why do you yell
  at, and order the people as you instruct them...Who
  knows who is better than whom…”
• One of Pope Kyrillos‟ relatives said that when Fr.
  Mina lived in St. Mina‟s Church in Old Cairo with
  other monks and novices, he used to assign them
  work to do. However, he kept to himself the chore of
  cleaning the washrooms without letting anyone notice
  it. He never assigned this job to a hired hand or
  anyone else.
• Fr. Raphael Ava Mina, the
  private deacon to the Pope, on
  many occasions would forget that
  the Pope had requested a cup of
  tea, for example. After an hour or
  so he would remember but would
  then be too embarrassed to go to
  him. When one of the other
  workers went to the Pope, the
  pope would ask him about the tea
  but the worker would respond
  that “Raphael has not requested
  anything from me” The Pope
  would reply, “Never mind my
  son, Raphael works so hard, he
  gets tired, God help him”.
• Many people tried to convince the
  Pope (including a delegate from the
  Vatican) to refurnish and repaint his
  residence at the Patriarchate to suit the
  level of a pope and he would respond,
  “It is still better than the manger in
  which our Savior Jesus Christ was

• Fr. Raphael also said this: “I often
  heard him (the Pope) abasing himself
  saying, „the boy became a patriarch‟
  and if he asked for something and
  found many people responding to his
  request he would say, „his shirt is at
  his knees and ten are at his service‟ or
  „he is still in grade school and the
  world is waiting on him‟”
1. In the life of Pope Kyrillos we see humility has two
   sides, the positive and the negative, what are they?
   Has our view only been one-sided?
2. Why is it that the Scriptures and the Fathers speak
   of humility as the most essential virtue and key to
   communion with God? How is this shown in the
   life of Pope Kyrillos?
3. What are some ways we can practice humility based
   on the example of Pope Kyrillos?
                         Life of Prayer
Fr. Raphael says this about the
Pope‟s prayer life: “His Holiness
prayed unceasingly. He never
stopped praising God, either in his
cell, during meetings, while
walking, or even while eating. He
was always lifting up his heart and
all his senses as he sang psalms.
Prayer was his source of comfort
and the tool for solving difficult
problems. He spent prolonged
periods of time alone in his cell
just in prayer. The pope‟s life was
always full of prayer, and
eventually prayer became his life”
                  Life of Prayer

• Bishop Mina El-Samueli says this about Fr. Mina the
  Hermit when he was in the windmill: “Fr. Mina used
  to wake up at 2 a.m., start the midnight agpeya
  prayers, do the praise service (tesbeha), bake the
  „korban‟, raise the morning incense, then serve the
  holy liturgy which would end around 8 a.m.…in the
  evening after fasting all day he would raise the
  vespers incense. During the night he would make
  praises for several saints”
                   Life of Prayer
• As Pope, Fr. Raphael said this: “Pope Kyrillos started
  his day at 3 a.m., no matter how late he went to bed
  the night before. He would wake up for midnight
  prayers, and then go to the church for the raising of
  incense before the divine liturgy...he used to pray
  with a low voice, bowed head, and closed eyes…
  with fear and respect. He never allowed himself to
  lean against the altar nor to talk with anyone during
  the liturgy. While praying he used to shed many
  tears…we deacons found ourselves shedding many
  tears with him”
                      Life of Prayer

• “His Holiness was also committed
  to the Prayers of Raising Incense
  which he said every morning and
  evening…he insisted on raising
  incense by himself. When a young
  priest monk offered to raise the
  incense for him, as was the
  practice of some bishops, the Pope
  told him, “And why can I not raise
  the incense? Are we not all raising
  it to the glory of God? There is no
  great or small person in the eyes of
  God. We are all the same in front
  of him”
                      Life of Prayer
1. Given the extremely busy schedule of a Pope, what
   does the prayer life of Pope Kyrillos teach us?
2. What does Pope Kyrillos‟ emphasis on the
   Eucharist and the traditional prayers of the Church
   show us?
3. What is the goal of prayer as manifested in the
   Pope‟s life?
4. Based on the life of Pope Kyrillos what are some
   ways we can deepen our prayer life?
  Fr. Raphael tells these incidents:
• “Once when the Pope was residing at St. Mina‟s
  monastery, some families came to visit him. Before
  they left, His Holiness ordered food for them. Shortly
  after, he asked me to bring his own dinner to the
  children. I explained that we already took care of
  their food, but he insisted. So, I took the food and
  gave it to them, and he remained without food”.
• “On many occasions the Pope would see an elderly
  gentleman who needed a blessing but could not reach
  him because of the crowd. The Pope would then go to
  him and pray for him”.
• “One day H.H. heard the that one of the
  deacons criticized the way a priest
  chanted the mass. He had said that the
  priest‟s hymns barely had a tune. The
  Pope wanted to gently reform the
  deacon‟s behavior. He did so at a
  Divine Liturgy attended by the priest
  and that deacon. He said to the deacon,
  „Do you hear how Abouna is praying?
  The prayers are coming from his heart.
  If two or three people like him existed
  in this world, God would have turned
  away his wrath‟. The deacon was
  embarrassed and asked the Pope for his
• “One day H.H. had finished the Divine Liturgy, and
  had not yet eaten breakfast. A large number of visitors
  arrived asking for his blessings. When he asked me
  about the number of visitors, I told him there were too
  many. I noticed that the Pope looked tired and I
  beseeched him to quickly dismiss them. The Pope
  looked right at me and asked sharply, „What do you
  mean?!‟ I felt ashamed of my conduct. He then asked
  me to invite the visitors in and he had long
  conversations with them. The visits were not over until
  late afternoon…In order to draw my attention to my
  mistake, H.H. said „If I had listened to you I would not
  have been that late for breakfast‟…I left H.H.
  weeping. I was touched by his great compassion and
  love for his flock. Moreover, H.H. would ask me,
  before going to his room to rest, to check that there
  were no more visitors waiting on the ground floor.”
•   Based on the example of Pope Kyrillos, what is the
    relationship between love and service? Love and

•   How did the Pope deal with hearing negative things
    about others?

•   What are some practical ways we can emulate the
    love of this great saint?
                 Final thoughts:
In addition to what we have
discussed above, it is impossible to
forget the Pope‟s intimate
relationship with the Mother of God
and the saints, especially St. Mina
the Wonderworker, whom he use to
converse with and see regularly.
His life is a witness to the close
communion that exists between the
church militant and the church
O Lord, through the prayers of your
beloved saint Pope Kyrillos VI,
have mercy on us and forgive us
our sins!

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