Dionysius I of Constantinople

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Our father among the saints Dionysios I was the Patriarch of Constantinople during the late fifteenth century after Constantinople had fallen to the Ottoman Turks. He was patriarch during two periods: from 1467 to 1471 and then from 1488 to 1490. He is commemorated on November 23.

Life

The future patriarch was born in Dimitsana in the Peloponnese. The date of his birth is not known. Having chosen a monastic life, he was tonsured a monk at the Magganon Monastery in Constantinople, under the spiritual guidance of Mark the Eugenikos, the future metropolitan of Ephesus and saint. Dionysios was ordained by St. Mark into the diaconate and the priesthood.

After the fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Turks, Dionysios was held captive by the Turks in Adrianoupolis, but was liberated through the efforts of a noble by the name of Kyritzis. After obtaining his freedom, Dionysios was consecrated to the episcopate and assigned as Metropolitan of Philippoupolis by Patriarch Gennadius II Scholarius.

In January 1467, with the influence of the step-mother of Sultan Mechmet II, a Christian named Madam Maro, he became Patriarch of Constantinople, a position he held until 1471.

Dionysios came under accusation that he had renounced his Christian faith and accepted circumcision during his captivity in Adrianoupolis. That this was false he proved before a panel of hierarchs and laymen "by showing his flesh to all the people". Having proven his point, Dionysios left the patriarchate in 1471 and entered the Monastery of Eikosifinissa in Drama.

In 1488, Dionysios was called back to become patriarch again, the position he continued to hold until he retired again in 1490. He then returned to the Monastery of Eikosifinissa where he remained until his repose in 1492.

Dionysios has been recognized as a saint and is remembered on November 23.

Succession box:
Dionysius I of Constantinople
Preceded by:
?
Metropolitan of Philippoupolis
14xx-1467
Succeeded by:
?
Preceded by:
Symeon I
Patriarch of Constantinople
1467-1471
Succeeded by:
Symeon I
Preceded by:
Nifon II
Patriarch of Constantinople
1488-1490
Succeeded by:
Maximos IV
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