Journals from the Life of Pope Cyril VI
Pope Cyril VI was born as Azer Youssef Atta in Damanhour, Egypt, into a Coptic Orthodox middle-class family, the son of a deacon. He resigned from a civil service position to become a monk in July 1927 (Paoni–Epip 1643). He passed his probationary period and, on 24 February 1928 (21 Meshir 1644), took his monastic vows at the Paromeos Monastery, assuming the name of Father Mina el-Baramosy (Father Mina of the Paromeos Monastery). He was also known as Father Mina the Elder.
After helping to resolve a conflict between the abbot of El Baramous monastery and some of its elder monks, he requested from Pope John XIX of Alexandria to live in one of the windmills built in Old Cairo during the reign of Muhammad Ali of Egypt. He spent the start of his time in the windmill with no doors or a roof out of love for solitude. He was then pressured by the priests and an "Archon" (lay-leader) of a nearby church to renovate the windmill in order to be a more suitable environment to live. The ground floor served as a place for Fr Mina to live and the upper level he placed a sanctuary with an altar to pray daily liturgies in. He stayed in the windmill for some time before his relocation to the Monastery of Saint Samuel the Confessor. After his death, a church was built around the windmill.
In 1944 he was nominated to become the abbot of the Monastery of Saint Samuel the Confessor and played a vital role in building a centre for the monastery in El Zawra, renovating the ancient churches of the monastery and building new monk cells.
In 1947 (1663-1664), Father Mina built the Church of Saint Mina in Cairo. He also used to pray in the Church of the Holy Virgin in Babylon El-Darag before assuming the papacy.