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Icon of Pope St. Kyrillos IV, 110th Pope of Alexandria

Pope Cyril IV of Alexandria (also Kyrillos IV), was the 110th Coptic Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of St. Mark (1854 - 1861). He was born David (Daoud) in 1816. Despite his relatively short papacy, he is regarded as the "Father of Reform" of the Coptic Orthodox Church[1] in modern times. He is credited for establishing a great printing house and printing many Church books.

While abbot of the monastery of St. Antonios, he was sent to Ethiopia at the request of Peter VII to mediate between Abuna Salama and his opponents in the Ethiopian Church, as well as "prevent the sympathies for the Catholic missionaries and their teaching from increasing further." While he was in Ethiopia, the Patriarch died. The former Ichege Gebre Mariam, who was in Cairo to press for the Ethiopian rights to the convent in Jerusalem, used this opportunity to exert pressure for his cause. As a result, the majority choice for Patriarch Peter's successor, Du'ad, was kept from taking his seat for two years.[2]

As Patriarch, Cyril returned to Ethiopia at the request of viceroy Sa'id of Egypt, the first recorded visit by the head of the Coptic church to that country. Emperor Tewodros II, whom Trimingham described as "unable to conceive how a Christian prelate could consent to act as the envoy of a Muslim prince",[3] received Pope Cyril unfavorably December 1856. Sven Rubenson records that when the Patriarch expressed an interest in reviewing the Emperor's army, Tewodros suspected him of being a spy, and confined him with Abuna Salama to their house; only after the Ethiopian clergy intervened, were both men released.[4] During a flare-up of tempers between the Abuna and Emperor in November of the following year, which led to the Abuna excommunicating Emperor Tewodros, Patriarch Cyril lifted the interdict against the wishes of Abuna Salama; the Patriarch left Ethiopia soon after.[5]

The Seat of the Pope during his papacy remained in the Saint Mark's Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in Azbakeya, Cairo.


  1. The Dictionary of African Christian Biography
  2. Sven Rubenson, The Survival of Ethiopian Independence (Hollywood: Tsehai, 2003), pp. 134f
  3. J. Spencer Trimingham, Islam in Ethiopia (Oxford: Geoffrey Cumberlege for the University Press, 1952), p. 118 and note.
  4. Sven Rubenson, King of Kings: Tewodros of Ethiopia (Addis Ababa: Haile Selassie I University, 1966), p. 70
  5. Rubenson, King of Kings, p. 71

External links

Preceded by
Peter VII
Coptic Pope
Succeeded by
Demetrius II

ar:كيرلس الرابع (بابا الإسكندرية)