On this day of the year 221 A.M. (April 29th., 505 A.D.), Pope John the first, the twenty ninth Pope of Alexandria, departed. This father was born in Alexandria to Christian parents, and was attracted since his youth to the monastic life. He became a monk in the wilderness of St. Macarius, and he was chosen Patriarch after the departure of his predecessor Pope Athanasius the second. He did not accept but was taken by force by the bishops, priests, and lay leaders and ordained him on the first of Babah of the year 213 A.M. (September 29th., 496 A.D.). After his enthronement, he gave special attention to education and preaching for the edification and the steadfastness of the faithful in the Orthodox faith. He was the first Patriarch to be chosen from among the monks.
The Roman Emperor in Constantinople, at that time, was the righteous Emperor Zenon. For this reason the hand of the Patriarch was strengthened in spreading the Orthodox faith in all of Egypt. The Emperor sent all the needs of the monasteries from wheat, oil, wine and money to renew the buildings of their cells and to restore their churches. All the days of this pope were days of peace and tranquility. When he finished his good course, he became sick for a short time, and then departed in peace, after he had been on the throne of St. Mark for eight years and seven months.
May his prayers be with us. Amen.
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