+ Pope Tawadros II - Patriarch of Alexandria & Africa on the Holy Apostolic See of Saint Mark the Evangelist. The 118th Pope & Patriarch of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria +
Patriarch & Pope - His Holiness Tawadros II
Pope Tawadros II (Coptic: Ⲡⲁⲡⲁ Ⲁⲃⲃⲁ Ⲑⲉⲟ́ⲇⲱⲣⲟⲥ ⲡⲓⲙⲁϩ ⲃ̅', romanized: Papa Abba Theódōrōs II; Arabic: البابا تواضروس الثاني, romanized: al-Bābā Tawāḍurūs al-ṯhānī, lit. 'Pope Theodore II') (born 4 November 1952; 25 Paopi 1668) is the 118th and Current Pope of Alexandria & Patriarch of the See of St. Mark, succeeding the late Pope Shenouda III as leader of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria. He took office on 18 November 2012 (9 Hathor 1729 - Coptic Calendar), two weeks after being selected.
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 the Church since his youth; he wished to live the life of monasticism. He entered the Monastery of St. Bishoy in Wadi El-Natroun on August 20th, 1986 and remained a brother studying Theology initially for two years, before being ordained as 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 Bakhomius 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 Bakhomius. 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. Pope Tawadros II 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 over by H.E. Metropolitan Bakhomius of Beheira, other metropolitans and bishops of the Coptic Orthodox Church and was attended by many delegates of other Christian Churches.
The papal selection process began several weeks before the 4 November selection. About 2,400 clergymen and others were shortlisted as three candidates: Bishop Tawadros (Theodoros), Bishop Raphael, a former aide to the previous Late - Pope Shenouda III, and Father Raphael Ava Mina, a monk in a monastery near Alexandria, and the Disciple of the Late 116th Pope, Saint Pope Cyril (Kyrillos) VI.
The ceremony to choose the Pope from the three consensus candidates, was held at Cairo’s St. Mark’s Cathedral at about noon and featured a marked police presence. Prior to the selection, Metropolitan Bakhomius, locum tenens of the Church, sealed the chalice with the names with red wax and put it upon the Holy Altar as he led the Holy Liturgy.
He then told the congregation: “We will Pray & Ask that God will choose the Good Shepherd.” Following a moment of Silence and Prayer, a blindfolded Altar Deacon then picked Theodoros’s name from the Chalice.
The thousands of congregants in attendance and around the world who witnessed the Papal Enthronement Ceremony LIVE - then erupted in ovation, and tears of joy at the newly chosen Pope of the Coptic Orthodox Church and the 118th Successor to the Holy See of Saint Mark the Evangelist.