This day also, of the year 1561 A.D., marks the departure of the great Saint Anba Gabriel VII, 95th Pope of Alexandria.
He was born in the area around the monastery of El-Mouharraq, and at a young age he became a monk in the wilderness of St. Macarius. Because of his good conduct and his great righteousness, they ordained him Patriarch after the departure of Pope John XIII (94th Pope). That was in the year 1518 A.D. after the Ottoman conquest.
He remained in the papacy about forty-three years, preaching and teaching the flock. Some of his important accomplishments, were the renovation of the monasteries of Anba Antonius, and Anba Paul, the first hermit, in the Eastern desert, and the monastery of El-Mouharraq in Upper Egypt.
Some people in authority asked him to approve things against the welfare of his flock. The Pope chose to leave his Chair and he went to the monastery of St. Antonius, for he desired to keep what the Lord said: "Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." (John 15:13) The Lord examined him but he endured thankfully, and received the blessing that the Lord gave for those persecuted for the sake of righteousness. Then, he fell sick for a short illness, and departed in peace.
May his prayers be with us and Glory be to God forever, Amen.
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