Gregory III of Constantinople

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Gregory III Melissinou (Mammas) was Patriarch of Constantinople in the mid fifteenth century. Having attended the abortive Ferrara-Florence Council at which he favored re-union with Rome, his tenure as patriarch was stormy and ended when he was forced to flee to Rome.


Little is known of his early life. Even his birth name is not clear. He became a monk in 1420. In 1437, he became spiritual father (pneumatikos) to emperor John VIII Palaiologos. He participated in the preliminary negotiations with Rome at the Council of Basle and later accompanied Patriarch Joseph II to Florence. He was active in the theological discussions during the council sessions. Since he favored re-union with Rome, Melissinou was constantly opposed by Abp. Mark of Ephesus. Also, at Florence, he, with Bp. Irakleia Antonius, represented Philotheus, the Patriarch of Alexandria.

After the death of Patr. Metrophones II in 1443, he succeeded him as Gregory III, surnamed Mammas. As he continued to favor re-union with Rome he was under continuing pressures in Constantinople. In 1450, he was forced to leave Constantinople and flee to Rome. Upon reaching Rome in August 1451, Gregory was warmly welcomed by Pope Nicholas V.

Gregory III died in 1459 and, despite all the efforts by Pope Nicholas to help, Gregory was not able to recover the patriarchal throne in Constantinople.

Succession box:
Gregory III of Constantinople
Preceded by:
Metrophanes II
Patriarch of Constantinople
Succeeded by:
Athanasius II
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