Departure of St. Macarius the 69th Pope of Alexandria

On this day the Church commemorates the departure of Abba Macarius the 69th Pope of Alexandria who died in the year 1122 A.D.

From his early youth this father was ascetic and devout in his worship. As he was attracted to monasticism he went to the Desert of Scete and became a monk in the Monastery of St. Macarius. He used to read the Holy Scriptures and their commentaries and contemplate in them. He excelled in virtues and was ordained a priest.

When Abba Mikhail IV, the 68th Pope departed and his place became vacant a group of bishops and priests went to the Monastery of St. Macarius and met with the elders of the monks looking for a person suitable to be the next Pope. They unanimously agreed to choose Abba Macarius for his devout ascetic life. They took him against his will as he cried out begging them to release him saying: "I am not qualified for the Papacy".

They brought him to Alexandria and ordained him Patriarch. The deed of his appointment was read in the Church of Muallakah (The Suspended Church in Old Cairo) in the Greek, Coptic and Arabic languages.

During his Papacy he increased in his asceticism and worship. He taught his people daily and performed works of mercy for the poor and needy. He never asked any money from the Church, rather he used to give from the surplus of the contributions which were given to him. He was a Pope for twenty-seven years and departed in peace.