Historical Coincidences of the Names of the Popes of Alexandria





Varghese John Thottapuzha – OCP Associate


It is interesting to note that the present Popes of the Coptic Orthodox Church and Greek Orthodox Church of Alexandria share the same names. In fact, this aspect was highlighted in a fraternal way in the congratulatory note of the latter to the former at the time of the enthronement saying, “In this historic turning point, our co-operation in mutual respect of Church leaders, is precious and pertinent for the prosperity and general reconciliation of nations. That is why even the fact that we both bear the name “Theodoros II” is an historic order towards closer understanding for the noble people of Egypt”.

However a detailed study reveals that this is not the first occasion of the coincidences of the same names but there were three other instances prior to this. The following are the three previous occasions of bearing of the same names by the two Popes:


Coptic Pope

Common Period


Greek Pope


Cosmas I (729 – 731)


729 – 731


Cosmas I (727 – 768)


Michael III (880 – 907)


880 – 903


Michael II (870 – 903)


Markos III (1166 – 1189)


1180 – 1189


Markos III (1180 – 1209)