Cosmas I of Alexandria

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Cosmas I of Alexandria was the Patriarch of the Church of Alexandria from 727 to 768. He came to the throne as Patriarch of Alexandria after it had been vacant for many decades and the church had fallen into decay.


Little is known of the early life of Cosmas. He was appointed to the throne of the Church of Alexandria after a period of coadjutoration of the Patriarchal Throne that was caused by Arab control of Egypt and at the time emperor Leo III the Isaurian of Constantinople, an iconoclast, attempted to improve the living conditions of Christians in Egypt. After Cosmas' appointment as patriarch Leo sent him to Caliph Hisham with rich gifts to plead for improved living conditions of the Christians in Egypt and for return of churches confiscated from them by the Arabs, and even those taken by the Copts.

Upon his arrival in Alexandria, Cosmas found himself faced with a situation worse than he had thought as the persecution of the Orthodox community had left it with only one church. Though not a man known for his breadth of learning, Cosmas did his utmost to reorganize the Patriarchate of Alexandria and obtain return of Orthodox churches. He managed to achieve a great deal for the Church of Alexandria, including the return to the Patriarchate of many of churches that the Copts had seized. By his efforts, and those of his successors, much was gained in the cause of peace in the Church of St. Mark that resulted in the Patriarchate regaining some of its former prestige.

Patr. Cosmas followed in the foot steps of many patriarchs of Alexandria who were practicing physicians and helped the unprotected Christians of Egypt in their hardships.

Succession box:
Cosmas I of Alexandria
Preceded by:
Peter VI
Patriarch of Alexandria
Succeeded by:
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