The Coptic Orthodox Church
Who are the Copts?
The Coptic Orthodox Church is one of the most ancient churches in the world, founded in Egypt in the first century by Saint Mark the Apostle and writer of the second Gospel of the New Testament. A conservative church, it has carefully preserved the Orthodox Christian faith in its earliest form. It is a faith that has been passed down through generations, always remaining true to the apostolic doctrines and patterns of worship. The church's spiritual approach emphasizes holiness, divine mysteries, and fellowship, rooted firmly in the canons of the holy scriptures, the apostolic and orthodox creeds, the teachings of the church fathers, and the first three ecumenical councils.
Egypt is a land rich in history, blessed by our Lord Jesus Christ himself. In His infancy, during their flight from Israel at the instruction of the angel, the Lord visited Egypt with His mother Saint Mary, and Saint Joseph Naturally, Egypt became their second home and a place of refuge (Matthew 2:13-14). The word 'Copt' is derived from the Pharaonic word 'Egypt' and the subsequent Greek word 'Aegyptus' meaning 'Egypt'. Copts are the Christian and indigenous peoples of Egypt, direct descendants of the ancient Egyptians, a people with perhaps the longest history on record.
When Saint Mark traveled to Egypt on two separate occasions, he preached the Christian message to many in the land. During his first journey, he met with Ananias, who expressed knowledge of the concept of 'one god', and when this was further explained by Saint Mark within a Christian context, he accepted the faith and was baptized along with his household. Soon after, many others pronounced their newfound belief and Ananias' house became a meeting place for the faithful. After witnessing for seven years, Saint Mark was martyred in AD 68 when followers of Serapis (the Serapion-Abbis Greek Egyptian god) attacked the church in which he prayed and dragged him through the streets of Alexandria for two consecutive days.
His Holiness Pope Tawadros II was born Wagih Sobhy Baky Soliman on November 4th, 1952 in Mansoura. His father was an irrigation engineer and his family moved around during his childhood from Mansoura to Sohag and then to Damanhour.
He received his bachelor's degree in pharmacy in 1975 from Alexandria University and earned a fellowship for the World Health Organization from the British International Health Institute in England in 1985. He attended the Coptic Seminary and graduated in 1983. He then worked as a manager in a pharmaceutical company in Damanhour that was owned by the Ministry of Health.
His Holiness's life has always revolved around church since his youth; he wished to live the life of monasticism. He entered the Monastery of St. Pishoy in Wadi Elnatroun on August 20th, 1986 and remained a brother for two years. He was ordained a monk on July 31, 1988 and after a year he was ordained a priest on December 23, 1989. Two months after, H.H. Pope Tawadros started serving with H.E. Metropolitan Pakhomius of Beheira on February 15th, 1990. He was ordained a bishop on June 15th, 1997 by H.H. the Late Pope Shenouda III as a General Bishop assisting H.E. Metropolitan Pakhomius. His Holiness focused on childhood whether it was in the country-wide children's festival as well when he was in charge of the children's committee in the Holy Synod. Before assuming the papacy, H.H. wrote twelve books.
His Holiness was enthroned as the 118th Pope of Alexandria and Pope of the See of St. Mark on November 19th, 2012 at the Cathedral of St. Reweiss in Abbassiya, Cairo. The enthronement was presided by H.E. Metropolitan Pakhomius of Beheira, other metropolitans and bishops of the Coptic church and was attended by many delegates of Christian Churches.
His Grace Bishop Boulos. Joined the Baramos Monastery on November 18th, 2001 Ordained monk on February 23rd, 2004 Ordained priest on March 7th, 2009 Ordained as Bishop of the Coptic Orthodox Diocese of Ottawa, Montreal and Eastern Canada on June 9th, 2019. Enthroned on August 20th, 2019