Biography of His Holiness Antonios, Patriarch of the Eritrean Orthodox Church
Patriarch Antonios was born in 1927 in the town of Hemberti, to the north of Asmara in the province of Hamisien. His father was a priest and at the age of five he entered the monastery of Debre Tsige Abuna Anderias where he was educated for the service of the church, being ordained a deacon when he was twelve. Professed a monk and ordained priest in 1942, he was elected Abbot in 1955.
When the Eritrean Orthodox Tewhado Church first sought its independence, he was one of the five abbots of monasteries to be sent to Egypt to be ordained a bishop so that the church would have its own Holy Synod. He was ordained as Bishops Antonios of Hamasien-Asmara on 19 June 1994 in St. Mark’s Cathedral, Cairo, at the hands of His Holiness Shenouda III, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria.
In 2003, following the death of Abune Yacoub, second Patriarch of the Eritrean Church, he was elected Patriarch in popular elections which were unanimously endorsed by the Holy Synod. His ordination and enthronement as Patriarch took place on 23 April 2004 in Asmara, at the hands of Pope Shenouda III, assisted by Eritrean and Coptic Orthodox Metropolitans and Bishops.