Born in Samalut, Egypt, in 1935, Naguib was raised in a devout Catholic family and entered a minor seminary in Cairo at the age of nine.
As a seminarian, he was sent to study in Rome at the Pontifical Urban University in 1955 before he was ordained a priest in the Coptic Catholic Church at the age of 25.
More than 10% of Egyptians are Copts, which makes them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East, with a population of approximately 10 million. The majority of the country’s Christians belong to the Coptic Orthodox Church.
The Coptic Catholic Church is one of the 23 Eastern Catholic Churches in communion with Rome. The pope established the Catholic Patriarchate of Alexandria in 1824.
Naguib returned to Rome for further studies in 1962, earning licentiates in theology and Scripture. He went on to teach Scripture at the Maadi seminary in Egypt for more than 10 years, before he was elected in 1977 as the bishop of Minya, an area south of Cairo.
Naguib opened new schools for religious education in Egypt and introduced reforms. He was elected Patriarch of Alexandria of the Copts in 2006 and was the head of the synod of the Coptic Catholic Church.
Naguib served as relator general in the Special Assembly for the Middle East of the Synod of Bishops in 2010. Benedict XVI made him a cardinal in November 2010.
He participated in the conclave that elected Pope Francis shortly after he retired as the Patriarch of Alexandria after suffering a stroke in 2011.
The College of Cardinals is now made up of 119 cardinal electors and 92 cardinals who cannot vote in a conclave because they are over the age of 80.
The date and details of Cardinal Naguib’s funeral have yet to be announced.