Avilius (Abilius in the West), also known as Milius
or Melyos served as the third Patriarch of
Alexandria (head of the church that became the
Coptic Orthodox Church and the Orthodox Church of
Alexandria) between 83 and 99.
He was enthroned
during the reign of the Roman Emperor Titus Flavius
Domitianus. He is regarded as a saint in the Coptic
Orthodox Church, which observes his feast on 1 Thout.
In the Church History of Eusebius of Caesarea, it
is recorded that, upon the death of Anianus of
Alexandria, all the suffragan bishops and priests of
his area converged in Alexandria where they
conferred with the laity about the next appointment
to the position. Having cast lots, they unanimously
voted for Avilius to succeed him, based on Avilius;
reputation for chastity and his knowledge of Christ.
He remained in that position for nineteen years and
eight months, and was buried next to the remains of
Mark the Evangelist in the Church of Bucalis in
Atiya, Aziz S. The Coptic Encyclopedia. New York:
Macmillan Publishing Co., 1991. ISBN 002897025X