Samuel (1920-1981)

SAMUEL (1920-1981)

A Bishop. He was born Sa‘d ‘Aziz in Cairo. On 6 October 1981 he gave his life along with Egyptian President Anwar al-Sadat at the hands of Muslim extremist assassins. He graduated from the Faculty of Law at Fouad I University (now Cairo University) in 1941, and obtained a diploma in divinity from the Clerical College in 1944. He was a lecturer in the Theological Seminary at Addis Ababa in 1944, while helping in the establishment of the Sunday School there. In 1946, Emperor Haile Selassie decorated him with the order of the Star of Ethiopia. In 1948, he devoted his life as a monk under the name Makary.

He was guided by Father Mina al-Baramousy (later Pope Cyril VI) at the Monastery of St. Menas in Old Cairo. In 1950, he joined the Monastery of the Syrian at Wadi al-Natrun. In 1954, Pope Yusab II commissioned him with Father Salib Suryal (1916-1994) and Aziz S. Atiya to participate in the second World Council of Churches Assembly, held in Evanston, Illinois. This was an important step toward the cooperation between the Coptic Church and other churches. He obtained a master’s degree in religious education from Princeton Theological Seminary in 1955.
From 1955 to 1962 he taught pastoral theology in the Clerical College and the Higher Institute for Coptic Studies. He established the St. Didymus Institute for the Blind. On 30 September 1962 he was ordained a bishop of public, social, and ecumenical services. Bishop Samuel was a vice-president of All Africa Conference of Churches (AACC), which he founded. He was instrumental in establishing Coptic churches in Europe, America, and Australia.

GAWDAT GABRA

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