Praise nor oppression nor violent times have deterred this papacy in His Holiness endeavors to further the growth of the church. Indeed His Holiness Pope Shenouda the III has followed in this example given by St. Macarius the Great whom gave this lesson to a monk who wanted to know how to be saved. St. Macarius instructed the monk to go to the graves and curse the dead buried there. The monk went and cursed and stoned the dead's graves. St. Macarius then asked him, "Did they answer you back?" The monk answered "no." He told the monk, "Go tomorrow and praise the dead instead." Again the monk went and highly praised the dead. St. Macarius again asked the monk if they answered him back, he replied "no." Then St Macarius told him, "If you have really died with Christ and were buried with Him, be like those dead people, because curses or praises do not affect the dead. This is how you can be saved."
Lifelong commitment is necessary to be a true disciple. For those who have committed their life to the Lord Jesus Christ, being without the Lord in their life at every moment would be similar to salt without its seasoning capability as noted in this question to the disciples, "Salt is good, but if the salt has lost its flavor, how shall it be seasoned?" (Luke 14:34) For His Holiness lifelong commitment has been pursued in both an ascetic and scholarly life.
As previously mentioned, His Holiness Pope Shenouda III, was obedient to the call of scholarly life, and was instrumental in founding the Sunday School movement within the Coptic Church, provides weekly educational and spiritual teachings at the Cathedral of St. Mark in Cairo, and assumes an active role in teaching the Catechetical School in both Cairo and Alexandria.
Many Coptic Orthodox churches have been established abroad in Europe, North and South America, Australia. His Holiness has blessed many with his constant visiting of these newly established churches giving the joy of celebration to their congregations.
Irenaeus, Bishop of the Church at Lyons (c.180) wrote regarding the Apostolic Succession and the papacy: "It behooves us to learn the truth from those who possess that succession of the Church which is from the apostles and among whom exists that which is sound and blameless in conduct, as well as that which is unadulterated and incorrupt in speech...They expound the Scriptures to us without danger, neither blaspheming God not dishonoring the patriarchs, nor despising the prophets" (Berkot, D. W. 2000. Dictionary of Early Christian Beliefs, p. 30).
We ask and entreat Your goodness, O Lover of Mankind, to remember, O Lord, our patriarch, the honored father, the high priest, Abba Shenouda III…Keep him unto us for many years and peaceful times, fulfilling that holy high priesthood, with which You have entrusted him, from Yourself, according to Your Holy and Blessed Will; rightly defining the Word of Truth; shepherding Your people in purity and righteousness. Amen.
His Holiness Pope Shenouda the III is the 117th Pope of the See of St. Mark, but considered the 116th successor as St. Mark the founder of the Coptic Orthodox Church, one of the seventy two apostles appointed by the Lord Jesus Christ, and one of the four evangelists was not a successor as he is regarded as the first, therefore not a successor, of an unbroken chain of 117 patriarchs.
To learn more, visit His Holiness Pope Shenouda's Official Web site.
- << Prev