Saint Kyrillos VI: The Weapon of Prayer

Pope Kyrillos VI, his prayers be with us, was born as Azer Yousseff Atta on August 2, 1902 in Damanhur, Egypt. In 1928 he was ordained Monk with the name Mina el-Baramousy, and subsequently in 1931 he was ordained priest. Pope Kyrillos longed for a life of solitude with God, and spent two years living in a desert cave a few miles from the monastery and after that he inhabited an abandoned windmill at the outskirts of Cairo. On May 10, 1959 Father Mina was consecrated patriarch as H.H. Pope Kyrillos VI. 

Through his quietness in the face of adversity, he taught us that the most powerful weapon to face problems and hardships is prayer. The power of prayer “moves mountains” the Pope used say. As a monk he faced many difficulties and was evicted from the humble windmill that he dwelled in, and as Patriarch he faced many problems inside the church and outside the church as well. The Pope oversaw the spiritual growth of the church through construction of new churches to the relationship between church and government. 

One of the holy fathers who served alongside the Saint described him as a “beggar” – motioning with open hands as one praying to the heavens. “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Mt. 5:3). The Pope completely emptied himself, so that he was purely receptive to the Divine Life and begging prayerfully for God’s gifts with which he touched many. 

His miracles are innumerable, the lives he has touched when he was alive and after his passing are countless. He was not a Pope of many words, nor did he leave many writings and books, but the impact he made on the faithful with his quiet prayers is simply profound. We cannot imitate the pope in his miracle-working abilities, but we can attempt to follow his example on love, kindness, generosity, forgiveness and humility. Grace from heaven is plenty and never-ending, and Pope Kyrillos is a wonderful example of how to tap into heavenly grace through a life of prayer and asceticism. “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and you will find, knock, and it will be opened to you” (Mt. 7.7).

On March 7, 1972 the Pope celebrated his last Divine Liturgy and two days later, on March 9, 1972 he reposed. On June 20, 2013 he was canonized by the Holy Synod of the Coptic Orthodox Church. 

It is highly recommended to read any book or writing that one can find about the Pope. The Saint himself advises us to “persist in, and honor reading, if possible more than prayer. Reading is the spring of intelligent prayer…reading for a good purpose will show you how to walk on the virtuous path. Whoever reads the books to understand the path of virtue, this path will be opened before him.” 

Therefore let us feel the presence of Saint Kyrillos as we read his books and about his miracles, and let us be engulfed with his holy fragrances as we ask him to intercede on our behalf before our Lord Jesus Christ. 

Meditations from “All That I Have is Yours” by Father Kyrillos Ibrahim

One thought on “Saint Kyrillos VI: The Weapon of Prayer

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s