Pope of Alexandria - Shenouda III, (born Nazeer Gayed on 3 August 1923, in Asyut, Egypt), is the 117th Pope of Alexandria and the Patriarch of All Africa on the Holy Apostolic See of Saint Mark the Evangelist of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria. He is the head of The Holy Synod of the Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria.
A graduate of Cairo University and the Coptic Orthodox Seminary, Nazeer Gayed became a monk under the name Fr. Antonios the Syrian after joining the Syrian Monastery of the Ever-Virgin Mary the Theotokos, where he was later elevated to the Priesthood.
Pope Cyril VI summoned Fr. Antonios to the patriarchate where he consecrated him General Bishop for Christian Education and as Dean of the Coptic Orthodox Theological Seminary, whereupon he assumed the name Shenouda, which was the name of a Coptic Saint and two previous Popes: Shenouda I (859-880) and Shenouda II (1047–1077).
He has served as Pope of Alexandria since 14 November 1971, presiding over a worldwide expansion of the Coptic Orthodox Church. During his papacy, Pope Shenouda III has appointed the first-ever bishops to preside over North American dioceses that now contain over two hundred parishes (200 in the USA and 23 in Canada and 1 in Mexico), up from four in 1971, as well as the first bishops in Australia and the first Coptic Churches and bishops in South America.
He is known for his commitment to ecumenism (Christian unity) and has, since the 1970s, advocated inter-denominational Christian dialogue. He devotes his writings, teachings and actions to spread and propagate for the rules of understanding, peace, dialogue and forgiveness.