Egypt marks third anniversary of Pope Shenouda's death

Ahram Online , Tuesday 17 Mar 2015

Visitors arrive at St Bishoy Monastery for a memorial mass

Pope Shenouda III
Egyptian Coptic mourners kiss a picture of the late Pope Shenouda III while gathering outside the Coptic Orthodox Church for the viewing of his body in March 2012 (Photo: AP)

Egypt's Coptic Christians mark on Tuesday the third anniversary of former Pope Shenouda III's death.

Visitors have arrived at St Bishoy Monastery in the Wadi Al-Natroun region, west of the Nile Delta, where the late Pope is buried.

Pope Tawadros II is expected to lead the mass in memory of his predecessor later Tuesday with top Church men.

Shenouda, the 117th patriarch of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria, died on Saturday, 17 March 2012, at the age of 88 following protracted battles with a number of illnesses.

Shenouda assumed his papal authority in 1971 during the presidency of Anwar Sadat, with whom he had a tense relationship.

Shenouda and Sadat often clashed due to the latter’s overtures to Islamists and public criticism of the Church's leadership.

However, the late pope enjoyed a friendlier relationship with president Hosni Mubarak.

Egypt's Coptic population is estimated at 10-15 million people.

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