Pope Macarius III of Alexandria


Macarius III of Alexandria
Pope of Alexandria & Patriarch of the See of St. Mark
114th Pope of Alexandria.jpg
Native name
  • البابا مكاريوس الثالث
Papacy began19 February 1944
Papacy ended31 August 1945
PredecessorJohn XIX
SuccessorJoseph II
Personal details
Born(1872-02-18)18 February 1872
El-Mahalla El-Kubra, Egypt
Died31 August 1945(1945-08-31) (aged 73)
Cairo, Egypt
BuriedSaint Mark's Coptic Orthodox Cathedral (Azbakeya)
DenominationCoptic Orthodox Christian
ResidenceSaint Mark's Coptic Orthodox Cathedral (Azbakeya)
Feast day31 August (25 Mesra in the Coptic Calendar)
Papal styles of
Saint Macarius III
Coptic cross.svg
Reference styleHis Holiness
Spoken styleYour Holiness
Religious stylePope and Patriarch
Posthumous styleSaint

Pope Macarius III of Alexandria (Abba Macari III), 114th Pope of Alexandria & Patriarch of the See of St. Mark.

Before becoming a pope he was the Metropolitan of Asyut in Egypt. He is the second Metropolitan to become a Pope in the history of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria. The first Metropolitan to become a Pope was Pope John XIX.[1]

Due to him accepting the post there was a disagreement between him and Habib Elmasry who was the secretary of the General Congregation Council (Elmagles Elmelly Ela'am) of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria at some stage. Mr Elmasry was the father of the Coptic historian Iris Habib Elmasry and she had documented these incidents in her book about the history of the Coptic Orthodox Church.[1]

During his pontificate, he did not ordain any bishops or metropolitans and this was taken as a symbol of his regretting accepting the position of Pope of Alexandria despite being a metropolitan beforehand.[1]

He issued a document on 22 February 1944, its primary purpose was to repair monasteries and update the monks scientifically and spiritually, and to hold monastic heads accountable. This led to a major split between the Holy Synod and General Congregation Council (Elmagles Elmelly Ela'am). On 7 June 1944, the Holy Synod submitted an appeal to the Pope and to the Minister of Justice on the personal status law for non-Muslims Egyptians, because it destroyed a law of the Coptic Church and also affected secrets of the mysteries of the church and two sacraments, that of marriage and priesthood. This conflict continued for a while and The Holy Synod and General Congregation Council could not be reconciled. Pope Macarius failed to reconcile them, and abandon the capital headquarters and went into exile in Helwan. He later went to the Eastern monasteries accompanied by bishops and settled in Monastery of Saint Anthony in the Red Sea, then to the Monastery of Saint Paul the Anchorite. These incidents were painful among the Coptic people. When the Prime Minister learned of this matter, he worked on resolving the issue, and the Pope returned.


  1. ^ a b c History of the Coptic Church, Iris Habib Elmasry.
Oriental Orthodox titles
Preceded by
John XIX
Coptic Pope
Succeeded by
Joseph II