Theophilos I

THEOPHILOS I

The Coptic archbishop of Jerusalem (1935-1945). He was born in 1893 in the village of al-Matahrah, Egypt. He joined the Monastery of Saint Antony (DAYR ANBA ANTUNIYUS) in the Eastern Desert, becoming a monk in 1910 and adopting the name Butrus. In 1915 he was ordained and then appointed HEGUMENOS. After serving as pastor of the at Kom Ombo, where he caused a large church to be built, he was appointed abbot in 1931 of Cairo’s Monastery of Saint and the Resurrection.

During the same year he became abbot of the Monastery of Saint in the Eastern Desert. In 1935 he succeeded III as archbishop of Jerusalem, taking the name Theophilos. Shortly after his consecration, he was restored to the abbacy of the Monastery of Saint Antony. He a new church at this monastery and opened two schools, one for boys and one for girls, in near the administrative headquarters of the monastery.

He also built houses for the endowment of the monastery in and bought about twenty feddans (a little more than twenty acres) of land near Bani Suef, annexing them to the endowment of Saint Antony’s. He was responsible for the construction of churches in the governorates of Sharqiyyah and the Canal as well as in his home town near Minya. He also built the Church of Saint George at al-‘Arish and bought land near the river Jordan to build a monastery.

He was fatally wounded by a gunshot on 1 October 1945, while visiting farms near the monastery in in the governorate of Bani Suef.

ARCHBISHOP