Pope St. Cyril VI of Alexandria
March 9 was the Anniversay of the Death of Pope St. Cyril VI of Alexandria also called Abba Kyrillos VI, born Azer Youssef Atta (2 August 1902 – 9 March 1971), 116th Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of St. Mark from 10 May 1959 to his death on 9 March 1971.
“Pope Cyril VI was born in Damanhour, Egypt, into a Christian family. He resigned a civil service position to become a monk in July 1927. He passed his probationary period and, on February 24, 1928, took his monastic vows and assumed the name Fr. Mina El-Baramosy. The spiritual mentor of Fr. Mina El-Baramosy the recluse was St. Isaac of Syria, Bishop of Ninevah and 7th century ascetic.
Fr. Mina was very much influenced by St. Isaac’s writings and wrote extensively about them.”
“Father Mina’s love for God was so great that he desired a life of solitude. Only thirty years old at the time, the monks refused his request saying, “You are only thirty years old and your monastic life is only five years. Do you want to pursue the life of solitude in the desert whereas many others before you have struggled for the same goal for thirty or forty years and failed?” The assembly of monks did not change Father Mina’s decision and he lived in a cave near the monastery. He pursued a life of solitude at El-Natron Valley in the western desert between Cairo and Alexandria, then he headed the Monastery of Saint Anba Samuel the Confessor at Zawarah in upper Egypt and devoted a great deal of effort toward the restoration of this historic landmark.
When the monastery of Saint Samuel was restored, he left that area and moved to a deserted windmill in El-Moukatam mountain at the outskirts of Cairo.
This windmill was totally abandoned and very dangerous. It was miles from the nearest city. Many dangerous animals can be found there at all times, like scorpions and snakes. Here, Father Mina spent his time praying and contemplating because of his love for his Saviour.”