In 1902 he was [[ordination|ordained]] [[deacon]] by his uncle, [[Metropolitan]] [[Photius of Philippopolis]], who also gave him his name. He remained in the Metropolis, where he reached the diocesan rank of [[Protosyngellos]]. He was appointed the Patriarchal [[Exarch]] to Philippopolis from 1906-1914, at which point the patriarchate [[clergy]] were expelled from Bulgaria and Rumelia at the onset of World War I.
In 1915, he was elected assistant [[bishop]] of Irenopolis as assistant to his uncle, who had since been transferred to the Metropolis of Kozanis. He was elected [[Metropolitan of Philadelphia]] in 1924, and a year later he was transferred to the [[Metropolis of Derkon]]. On [[October 7]], 1929 he was elected [[Ecumenical Patriarch]] and [[enthronement|enthroned]] on the same day.
During his Patriarchate, relations were restored between Greece and Turkey (after the 1919-23 Greco-Turkish War), a great deal due to the efforts of Venizelos and Ataturk. Photius looked to end the problems that had prevailed in the Church of America for many years, by appointing [[Athenagoras I|Athenagoras]] (a future patriarch) as Archbishop of America.