JOHN XIX, pope of Alexandria and 113th patriarch of the See of Saint Mark (1928-1942). He was born at DAYR TASA in the province of Asyut in 1855. It was there that he received his education. He entered DAYR AL-BARAMUS monastery in the Western Desert and was chosen by Pope CYRIL V to be his personal assistant. Yet he preferred to go back to his own monastery of which he later became the abbot, a position he occupied for ten years.
At one time he was nominated for the post of metropolitan of Ethiopia, but he declined to accept it. Eventually he became metropolitan of the provinces of Beheirah and Minufiyyah, a position he held for forty years. In 1892 he was exiled to the DAYR ANBA BULA due to the conflict that developed between the COMMUNITY COUNCIL, on one side, and Cyril V and John on the other.
After Cyril V died in 1927, John was patriarchal deputy from 7 August 1927 to 7 December 1928. During this period he was instrumental in establishing a committee of two metropolitans and four members of the Community Council, to be held under the chairmanship of the patriarch or his deputy, in order to supervise the accounts of bequests, as a means toward putting an end to the dissent between the two sides.
Reformists seized the opportunity to call for the choice of a person most suited to the dignity of patriarch, even if he were a layman. To put an end to this dispute, the Holy Synod decided on 28 July 1928 to apply the existing procedure of choosing a metropolitan or bishop as the candidate for the vacant seat of patriarch. In the meantime, a royal decree designated an electoral college consisting of eighty-five members from the clergy, the Community Council, and noted Coptic personalities to handle the whole question of patriarchal election. In the secret ballot John obtained seventy votes, and he was consequently enthroned on 16 December 1928.
John XIX established a theological college for monks at Hilwan, south of Cairo, as part of his drive toward raising the standard of religious education of monks. He consecrated a metropolitan and four bishops for Ethiopia, and when he later visited that country, he ordained many priests and deacons for Eritrea.
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