The Archons of the Order of St. Andrew are prominent and influential laymen of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, Many are major financial supporters of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, honored by the Ecumenical Patriarch. Politicians, actors, heads of state, etc, have all been Archons. The organization was founded on the Sunday of Orthodoxy, March 10, 1966, by Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras I. The Archons, numbering about 800, are based in the United States, and most of their members are communicants in the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.
The titles which the officers of the Order bear are from the Byzantine imperial period and were customarily given to government and patriarchal officials. The titles (referred to as offikia) are in themselves honorary and have no canonical or ecclesiastical standing, but those who bear them are often persons of enormous influence in the life of the Church of Constantinople.
The Archons customarily meet annually on the Sunday of Orthodoxy or they may also meet on November 30, which is the feast day of their patron saint, the Apostle Andrew. Besides their organizational meetings, the Archons also make an annual pilgrimage to the Phanar in Istanbul (Constantinople) to meet with the Ecumenical Patriarch, often meeting with Turkish government officials while there, as well.
Anyone desiring information concerning the Archons and the Order of St. Andrew may contact:
Order of St. Andrew 8 East 79th Street New York, NY 10021
Official Definition of a Archon
from the Ecumenical Patriarchate
"An Archon is an honoree by His All Holiness, the Ecumenical Patriarch, for his outstanding service to the Church, and a well-known distinguished, and well-respected leader of the Greek Orthodox Community (at large).
It is by the grace of God that the Archon has been able to offer his good works and deeds of faith. Further, it is the sworn oath of the Archon to defend and promote the Greek Orthodox faith and tradition. His special concern and interest is to serve as a bulwark to protect and promote the Holy Patriarchate and its mission. He is also concerned with the human race's inalienable rights wherever and whenever they are violated - and the well-being and general welfare of the Church.
This honor, extended by the Church, carries with it grave responsibilities, deep commitments, and sincere dedication. Consequently, it is of utmost importance that this honor of obligation be bestowed upon individuals of proven Orthodox Christian character, who conform faithfully to the teachings of Christ, and the doctrines, canons, worship, discipline, and encyclicals of the Church.
Furthermore, the honoree should have demonstrated to a greater than average degree his commitment toward the stewardship of time, talent, and treasure, for the betterment of the Church; Parish-Diocese; Archdiocese; and the community as a whole, and must truly be deserving of the proclamation - AXIOS."