His Beatitude Theodoros II, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa (born Nikolaos Choreftakis) was born in Crete in 1954, where he completed his schooling. He is a graduate of the Rizarios Ecclesiastical School in Athens and holds a degree from the Theological Faculty of the Aristotelian University of Thessalonica. He also studied History of Art, Literature and Philosophy in Odessa. From 1975-1985 he served as Archdeacon and Chancellor of the Holy Metropolis of Lambis and Sfakion in Crete, where he developed significant Preaching and Philanthropic activities (hostels for needy youth, etc). From 1985-1990 he served as Patriarchal Exarch in Russia, based in Odessa during the tenure of Patriarchs Nicholas VI and Parthenios.