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Egypt's Coptic Christians mourn the death of Pope Shenouda III

Gianluigi Guercia / AFP - Getty Images

The dead body of Pope Shenouda III, the spiritual leader of the Middle East's largest Christian minority, sits dressed in formal robes on a wooden throne at the Saint Mark's Coptic Cathedral in Cairo's al-Abbassiya district, for the people to bid farewell to him on March 19, 2012.

Tens of thousands of Egyptian Christians converged on Saint Mark's Coptic Cathedral in Cairo to bid farewell to Pope Shenouda III, who died on March 16 at the age of 88 after a long illness, Agence France-Presse reports. 

Based on his wishes, Pope Shenouda will be buried on Tuesday at St. Bishoy monastery in Wadi Natrun in the Nile Delta, where he spent his time in exile after a dispute with late president Anwar Sadat. 

His death set in motion the process to elect a new patriarch for the Middle East's largest Christian community. 

Gianluigi Guercia / AFP - Getty Images

Christian Copts push to enter Saint Mark's Coptic Cathedral in Cairo on March 19, 2012 where tens of thousands bade farewell to Pope Shenouda III.

Gianluigi Guercia / AFP - Getty Images

Coptic nuns mourn the death of Pope Shenouda III in Saint Mark's Coptic Cathedral on March 19, 2012.

Gianluigi Guercia / AFP - Getty Images

Copts wait in line to enter Saint Mark's Coptic Cathedral on March 19, 2012.

See more pictures of the mourning on PhotoBlog.