Archdiocese of Pelusium

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The Holy Archdiocese of Pelusium and Augustamnica Prima and the Meridian is a diocese under the jurisdiction of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria and All Africa. Its territory includes the parishes and missions located in the areas of Port Said, Mansoura, Damietta, and El Qantara.

History

Pelusium was an ancient and fortified port city marking the beginning of the eastern Nile Delta. For this reason, the city was attacked many times during the Egyptian antiquity by Romans and Persians alike. By the 1st century, the city was already part of the Roman Empire, and Saint Mark's preaching probably reached the region. Saint Epimachus of Pelusium is the first recorded saint from Pelusium, martyred during the Persecution of Decius (249–251).

Its first known bishop was Kallinicos during the Great Persecution of Diocletian (284–305), although it is not known if he was elected by the excommunicated Melitius of Lycopolis (in that case he could not be listed as bishop) or adopted Melitius' arianist heresy later on his episcopacy. Melitius' heresy consisted on his opposition to Saint Peter I's (300–311) readmission of lapsed Christians (who offered sacrifices to the idols when threatened by the Persecution) after some years of repentance. Melitius sided with Arius, but later had his excommunication lifted by Saint Alexander (313–328).

His successor, Dorotheus, was present in the First Ecumenical Council in 325. Mark was exiled together with Saint Athanasius (328–373) in 335 by the Aryans for opposing their heresy. The Aryans replaced him with the heretical Pancratius, who was present in the Second Council of Sirmium in 351. Pancratius was probably the first Archbishop of Pelusium, since the city was made capital of Augustamnica Prima in 347. Ammon lived during the times of Saint John Chrysostom (398–404) and Eusebius the heretic seems to have been a Nestorian.

The much-celebrated Saint Isidore of Pelusium flourished in the fifth century as a great Pelusian ascetic and a defender of Orthodoxy against Nestorianism. An Amonathus is also recorded in the synaxaries as being a venerable saint from Pelusium. The last known bishop before the Islamic invasion that would occur 100 years later was George, a disciple of Saint Sabbas under Patriarch Zoilus (541–551). The city was later taken by the Miaphysites. The city was destroyed after the Great Schism by the Latin Church, and the see of Pelusium remained a titular diocese.

The modern Archdiocese of Pelusium was founded in 1908 together with the archdioceses of Ptolemais, Aksum, Leontopolis and Nubia. It's first archbishop, Polyevktos, was ordained in 1914. Its seat is located in the Islamic city of Port Said, the nearest inhabited land from Pelusium, thirty kilometers northwest.

Ruling bishops

Ancient bishops
  • Kallinikos I (fl. 313)
  • Dorotheus (fl. 325)
  • Mark (fl. 335)
  • Pancratius (fl. 351)
  • Ammon (fl. 397)
  • Eusebius (fl. 431)
  • George (fl. 551)

(suppressed in the 7th century following the Islamic conquest of Egypt)

Modern bishops
  • Amphilochios (Kappos) 1861–1902

(vacant)

  • Polyevktos (Kyriakidis) 1914–1931
  • Parthenios (Daniilidis) 1931–1964

(vacant)

  • Barnabas (Fotaras) 1968–1993

(vacant)

Source