Born Nazeer Gayed 3 August 1923 of a devout family. His mother died soon after his birth, leaving a family of three boys and five girls. His father, Gayed died a few years later. An older brother Raphael and his wife raised the child. Graduatedfrom the Faculty of History in Cairo University he then completed his national service as an officer in the Egyptian Army.
He became a teacher in a high school and devoted his evenings to study at the Theological Seminary while also practicing some journalism. A master of the spoken and written word all his life, producing an exceptional output of hundreds of books, articles and poetry. His academic achievements a seminarian resulted in a sudden appointment straight from the student body to the Faculty in 1949 at twenty-six years of age.
Nazir entered the Monastery of the Syrians in July 1954 as Father Anonious and then received a futher vocation to llive as a solitary in a desert cave between 1954 and 1962 for extended periods.
In September 1962 he was ordained Bishop of Education by Pope Cyril VI while also holding the post of Dean of the Theological College.
Ordained as Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria on 14th November 1971 after having been chosen by lot from the Altar. A man with a vision for ecumenism he presided over the explosive growth of coptic diocese outside of egypt - spanning from America (North and South), the whole of Europe, Asia, Australasia to Africa.
Our father Pope Shenouda died today on 17 March 2012 of lung and liver complications at age 88 may his prayers be with us all in these very difficult and uncertain times for his people.
Lord we are your people to do with as you will.