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Chrysostomos Papasarantopoulos

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[[Image:Ieromonaxos chrysostomos papasarantopoulos.jpg|right|thumb|Missionary Archimandrite Chrysostomos Papasarantopoulos.]]Rev. [[Archimandrite]] '''Chrysostomos Papasarantopoulos''' (1900Greek: ''' ''Χρυσόστομος Παπασαραντόπουλος'' ''', 1903-1972) was a pioneering [[missionary ]] who laboured to spread the [[One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church|Orthodox faith]] in [[Archdiocese of Kampala and All Uganda|Uganda]], [[Archdiocese of Kenya|Kenya]], [[Archdiocese of Mwanza|Tanzania]], and [[Archdiocese of Central Africa|Congo]].
==LifeGreece 1903-1960=====Childhood years===Rev. Archimandrite Chrysostomos Papasarantopoulos was born Christos Papasarantopoulos in 1903 in Vasilitsi, [[w:Messenia|Messenia]], Greece in 1900 to Theodoros Papasarantopoulos and Stavroula Trigourea (''afterwards [[Nun]] Sebastiani''), the seventh child of the family. He was born into a devout Christian home, and from childhood he devoted his life to Christ. Although At the age of 10 he had not had very much education in lost his early lifefather, Father Chrysostomos became a [[monk]] and a [[priest]].<ref name=MAKARIOS>[[Makarios (Tillyrides) of Kenya]]. ''Sermon at a Memorial Service for the Pioneer Missionary Rev. Archimandrite Chrysostomos Papasarantopoulos, at the Church of St. Paul, Kagira, 29 December, 1993.'' '''Adventures was forced to leave school in the Unseen, Volume 1.''' Orthodox Research Institute, 2004. pp.115-119order to work.</ref>
During the At 15 years 1920-1929 Archimandrite Chrysostomos stayed of age he left his family home in secret and went to settle at the Holy Monastery of Gardikiou (Moni Gardikiou), in Messenia.<ref>[http[w://www.mmess.gr/gardikiou.php?lang=en Holy Metropolis of MesseniaKoroni|Koroni]] [[monastery]]in order to pursue his longing for the spiritual life; however he soon left this monastery since his relatives would visit him and beg him to return to the family. Holy Monastery of Gardikiou.</ref>
After many years of faithful service in his native countryAfterwards, he experienced a strong leadingwent to Kalamata, a true "Macedonian Callto the then well-known Hermitage of Panagoulakis (Holy Monastery of the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary),"<ref group="note">Acts 16Hermitage of Panagoulakis in Kalamata, Greece (Greek:6-10Ιερά Μονή Ευαγγελισμού της Θεοτόκου Παναγουλάκη). This monastery is currently [[Old Calendarist]] and not in communion with the [[Church of Greece]].</ref> to go as known for its strict [[asceticism]]; here he became a [[missionarymonk]] to Africa. Troubled by his lack The excesses of education, and believing he would be of greater value to the [[LordIgumen]] as a missionary there and the very strict lifestyle of that Hermitage overcame him and left him with a degree, Father Chrysostomos went to University at the age of 55, graduating when he was 60 (i.epermanent health problem. in 1960).<ref name=MAKARIOS/>
He then came to Kenya===Later years===During the years 1920-1929 Archimandrite Chrysostomos stayed at the Holy Monastery of Gardikiou (Moni Gardikiou), in Messenia.<ref>[http://www.mmess.gr/gardikiou.php?lang=en Holy Metropolis of Messenia]. Holy Monastery of Gardikiou. Learning a new language at that age </ref> On [[May 4|May 4th]] 1926 he was not easy[[Ordination|ordained]] into the [[Presbyter|priesthood]], but within and was appointed as the Igumen of that monastery.At some point he [[Tonsure|tonsured]] his mother as a year of arriving in Kenya, Father [[Nun]]. For several years he served the surrounding villages as the officiating [[priest]]. During this period Fr. Chrysostomos could preach in found time to complete his school studies (via [[w:Swahili languageHomeschooling|SwahiliHomeschooling]]. Although no longer young), Father Chrysostomos displayed an energy, which a man half his age might have enviedand undertook to learn the French language. He launched himself into a continual round After the disestablishement of the Monastery of Gardikiou (due to lack of evangelizingpersonnel), teaching and preachingFr. He had Chrysostomos transferred to the qualities, which should be [[Metochion]] of the hallmark Holy Monastery of every priest: zealVoulkano, dedicationChrysokellaria, self-sacrifice, devotion to duty and, above all, holinessnear [[w:Koroni|Koroni]].<ref namegroup=MAKARIOS"note">(Greek: Παλαιά Ιερά Μονή Βουλκάνου). This Byzantine monastery dates from the year 725 A.D. according to tradition.</ref>
For 10 years, Father Chrysostomos laboured in Kenya, Uganda He then came to Athens and Tanzaniajoined the Holy Monastery of the Bodiless Powers (Petraki), but all the time <ref group="note">(Greek: [http://www.monipetraki.gr/ Ιεράς Μονής Ασωμάτων - Πετράκη])</ref> where his spiritual vision main duty was fixed on another territorythat of father [[Confession|confessor]] for people of all ages and walks of life, where becoming well respected and loved. In the flag years of Orthodoxy had not at that time been raised: the country which is today called the Democratic Republic of Congo.occupation<ref group="note">Previously called ''Zaire''Second World War, and the ensuing [[w:Greek Civil War|Greek Civil War]].</ref> In 1970 Father Fr. Chrysostomos went to live in Congo [[w:Edessa, Greece|Edessa]] where he served as the General Hierarchical [[Vicar]] and [[Protosyngellos]]. Subsequently he was transferred to begin a new mission there[[w:Kozani|Kozani]], staying there for two yearsThessaloniki, and Athens, that iswhere he received his Secondary School Diploma. Eventually he returned again to the Monastery of the Bodiless Powers (Petraki) in Athens, for from where he determined to enroll in the University of Athens Theological School. At the remainder age of 55, in 1958, he finally received his lifetheological degree which he had so greatly desired.
TodayDuring the course of his studies in Athens he came into contact with certain colleagues of African descent, who may have inspired him towards his forthcoming mission. The African students at the University were from Uganda, much progress has been made and represented the first native Orthodox Christians from Uganda to be formally educated in evangelizing Congothe Orthodox faith. One of these fellow students, and there is a [[Archdiocese Theodoros (Nankyamas) of Central AfricaKampala|Metropolitan Theodore (Nankyamas)]], would later play a prominent role and become one of the first Orthodox Church in Kinshasa[[bishop]]s in East Africa. Father Chrysostomos was the pioneerAnother, who laid the foundationsDemetrios Mumbale, on which would become the superstructure first Orthodox physician and founder of Orthodoxy an Orthodox medical clinic in Congo was raised upUganda. Kenya is not a small country, but Congo is more than four times the size of Kenya. Father Chrysostomos was always on the move, travelling widely in that huge country<ref name=VERONIS>Fr. His life was a continuous round of travelling, preaching, [[Baptism|baptizingAlexander Veronis]], planting churches and celebrating the ([[Divine LiturgyOrthodox Christian Mission Center|OCMC]]). ''[http://books.google.ca/books?id=W1QiVpBKfhYC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false Orthodox Concepts of Evangelism and Mission].'' In: Paul Wesley Chilcote, & Laceye C. Warner (Eds.). '''The greatest desire Study of Evangelism: Exploring a Missional Practice of his heart was to spread Orthodoxy to Congothe Church'''. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2008. pp.279-294.)</ref> In the event, and after many years of faithful service in thishis native country, he was marvellously successfulexperienced a strong leading, a true "Macedonian Call,"<ref group="note">Acts 16:6-10. He was </ref> to go as a perfectly humble man, full of the [[Holy Spiritmissionary]]to Africa.<ref name=MAKARIOS>[[Makarios (Tillyrides) of Kenya]]. ''Sermon at a Memorial Service for the Pioneer Missionary Rev. Archimandrite Chrysostomos Papasarantopoulos, at the Church of St. Paul, Kagira, 29 December, 1993.'' '''Adventures in the Unseen, Volume 1.''' Orthodox Research Institute, 2004. pp.115-119.</ref>
==Africa 1960-1972=====Uganda===At the age of 57 Fr. Chrysostomos decided to go on his mission to Africa, venturing forth in full confidence that the God who called him would also provide for his needs and support.<ref name=VERONIS/>. The archbishop at that time, as well as his acquaintances, tried to discourage him on the pretext of his advanced age and state of health. However during a trip to the [[Holy Land]], he met the Patriarch of Alexandria [[Christophoros II of Alexandria|Christophoros II]] from whom he obtained the blessing,<ref group="note">Formal ecclesiastical permission to undertake an action is referred to as a "blessing". The blessing may be bestowed by a bishop or priest, or by one's own spiritual father.</ref> thus resolving to continue the mission.  In 1960 Archimandrite Chrysostomos Papasarantopoulos went to [[w:Kampala|Kampala]], Uganda, where he worked for ten years before moving to Zaire to begin a new mission there.<ref>Stephen Hayes. ''[http://www.orthodoxytz.com/OrthodoxMission.asp Orthodox Mission in Tropical Africa].'' '''Missionalia''' (Journal of the Southern African Missiological Society)., citing:<br>:Lemopoulos, George (ed). ''You shall be my witnesses.'' Tertios: Katerini, Greece. 1993. p.67.</ref> Through correspondence he also encouraged others to become involved in mission, among them the present Bishop [[Makarios (Tillyrides) of Kenya|Makarios of Riruta]], Kenya. At that time the help of external missionaries in East Africa was greatly needed. After years of repression by the British colonial regime<ref group="note">The [[w:Uganda Protectorate|British Protectorate of Uganda]] was a protectorate of the British Empire from 1894 to 1962.</ref> and the disingenuous propaganda of the [[Roman Catholic Church|Roman Catholic]] and Protestant missionaries who supported it, the Orthodox Church was in a perilous state.<ref>Stephen Hayes. ''[http://www.orthodoxytz.com/OrthodoxMission.asp Orthodox Mission in Tropical Africa].'' '''Missionalia''' (Journal of the Southern African Missiological Society)., citing:<br>:[[Brotherhood of Theologians Zoe|Zoe Brotherhood]] (ed.). ''A Sign of God: Orthodoxy 1964.'' Athens: Zoe, 1964. p.384.</ref> Father Chrysostomos wrote about the first difficulties he encountered:<blockquote>"...(there are) neither homes, nor churches, nor clergy.[...] the few Greek families here live miles away from each other. Likewise the Black Orthodox are also scattered in tens and hundreds of miles in the four [[w:Cardinal direction|cardinal directions]]..."</blockquote> He began an extensive correspondence program, writing to friends, relatives and acquaintances who might be able to help in any way. Thus he slowly started to receive aid from Greece, Europe and America in the form of packages of clothing, cheques, utensils and other items. In another letter he wrote: <blockquote>"...by the end of March 1961 the inauguration and opening of the small church of our mission was completed...I have not yet learned the (Bantu) language of [[w:Luganda|Luganda]], however I have learned [[w:Swahili language|Swahili]] to a considerable extent. I speak it together mixed with English, and I am understood fairly well."</blockquote> Learning a new language at that age was not easy, but within a year of arriving in Africa, Father Chrysostomos could preach in [[w:Swahili language|Swahili]]. He provided [[Catechumen|catechesis]], he taught, and performed the [[Divine Liturgy]], and [[Baptism|baptized]] numerous of the [[w:Indigenous peoples|Indigenous peoples]]. In addition, he prepared others for the mission, guiding them towards the priesthood. In 1963 Father Chrysostomos became the spiritual founder of the missionary society ''"The Friends of Uganda,"'' which continues its mission today from the city of Thessaloniki.<ref group="note">This Society has as its goal the moral and material support of the Orthodox External Mission all over the world. It started off its activities under the name of ''' ''“The Friends of Uganda”'' ''' (First Period: 1963-1971), later continued its course under the name of ''' ''“Greek Fellowship of Orthodox External Mission”'' ''' (Second Period: 1972-1978), and since 1979 (Third Period), it has been functioning under the name ''' ''“Brotherhood of Orthodox External Mission of Thessalonica”'' ''' (Greek: [http://www.greekorthodoxchurch.org/ierapostoli/first_text.html ΑΔΕΛΦΟΤΗΤΑ ΟΡΘΟΔΟΞΟΥ ΕΞΩΤΕΡΙΚΗΣ ΙΕΡΑΠΟΣΤΟΛΗΣ ΘΕΣΣΑΛΟΝΙΚΗ]). At present it publishes the quarterly magazine ''“External Mission.”'' (George P. Liacopulos. ''[http://books.google.ca/books?id=xxY3gfmzdwwC&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false Church and Society: Orthodox Christian Perspectives, Past Experiences, and Modern Challenges]''. Somerset Hall Press, 2007. 498pp. p. 260.)</ref> ===Kenya, Tanzania, Congo===He then expanded the mission to neighbouring Kenya<ref group="note">Kenya's post-colonial history started when it became independent on 12 December 1963.</ref> and Tanzania (Tanganyika). In [[w:Nairobi|Nairobi]] he created another missionary station, stating "the work (of mission) is progressing, Orthodoxy is expanding." He also completed a translation of the [[Divine Liturgy]] and various [[Prayer|Prayers]] into Swahili.  Although he made constant appeals for assistance in his correspondence to Greece, inviting others to join the mission, he received no response. Although no longer young, Father Chrysostomos displayed an energy, which a man half his age might have envied. He launched himself into a continual round of evangelizing, teaching and preaching. He had the qualities, which should be the hallmark of every priest: zeal, dedication, self-sacrifice, devotion to duty and, above all, holiness.<ref name=MAKARIOS/> For 10 years, Father Chrysostomos laboured in Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania, but all the time his spiritual vision was fixed on another territory, where the flag of Orthodoxy had not at that time been raised: the country which is today called the Democratic Republic of Congo.<ref group="note">Called ''Zaire'' from 1971-1997.</ref>  In 1970 Father Chrysostomos went to live in Congo to begin a new mission there, staying there for two years, that is, for the remainder of his life. Here he met with an even greater response from the Indigenous population, however he was beset by an enormous lack of material assistance and helpers to assist him. One month before his death, he wrote a letter saying:<blockquote>"I love the Africans and am fully convinced that the Lord has brought me here. I hope to use the few remaining days of my old age preaching and teaching here. The place I am now located in is a large city (Kananga) of 50,000 people near the central part of the Congo. The people are eager to learn about Orthodox Christianity. But I am old and alone and my capacities are now limited. I don't know how I'll manage, but the Lord Jesus will show me, as He always has in the past. Remember me in your prayers."<ref name=VERONIS/></blockquote> [[File:Chrysostomos Papasarantopoulos - gravesite.png|right|thumb|Archimandrite Chrysostomos' gravesite in Kanaga.]]===Death===Undaunted, Father Chrysostomos continued his labours until his death . On December 13, 1972 while travelling from [[w:Kananga|Kananga]] to [[w:Lubumbashi|Lubumbashi]] he was overcome by profuse nose-bleeding. He returned to Kananga, celebrated the [[Divine Liturgy]] on [[December 23Nativity|23 Christmas Day]], and ultimately fell asleep in the Lord on [[December29]], 1972.<ref group="note">A very close co-worker with Father Chrysostomos Papasarantopoulos in East Africa had been a Greek Archimandrite named [[Athanasios Anthidis]], who offeried his mission work there for many years. On Christmas 1980, Father Athanasios traveled to India to begin a systematic Orthodox Mission in the rural area of Arambah, in West Bengal. After he passed away in 1990, he was suceeded a year later by priest-monk Fr. [[Ignatios (Sennis) of Madagascar|Ignatios Sennis]], who came to Calcutta to continue the mission. (''[http://www.cs.ust.hk/faculty/dimitris/metro/DEC98.html Censer], Dec. 1998'')</ref> By July 1973 he was succeeded in the missionary echelon of Kananga by his old friend and partner, the Archimandrite [[Chariton (Pneumatikakis)]] (1908-1998).<ref name=ENORIA>{{el icon}} ''[http://www.agiosandreas.gr/news/ierapostoli/papasarantopoulos.html Ο πρώτος Έλληνας Ιεραπόστολος της Αφρικής μακαριστός π. Χρυσόστομος Παπασαραντόπουλος].'' Ενορια Άγιου Ανδρέα Παγγαιου. Retrieved: 2013-04-19.</ref> On [[December 29]], 1985 the [[Metropolis of Messenia]] erected a bust of Father Chrysostom in his honor.<ref name=ENORIA/> And on December 29, 1987 the [[w:Academy of Athens (modern)|Academy of Athens]] posthumously awarded him the silver medal of honor.<ref name=ENORIA/> ==Legacy==Father Chrysostomos opened the road for modern Orthodox missionary activity in Africa. He started out at 57 years of age all by himself without any aid, and found himself in Africa preaching the [[Gospel]]. Numerous obstacles confronted him: racism, language barriers, primitive living conditions, lack of funds, limitations imposed upon him by superiors, ill health, poor diet, etc. Not one to despair easily, Fr. Chrysostomos looked upon each obstacle as a challenge and managed "with God's help," as he was accustomed to saying.<ref name=VERONIS/> After labouring for twelve years across Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania and Congo, and having learned the Swahili and French languages at a relatively old age, he fell asleep in Africa having started a huge task, which was continued with great success.  Today, much progress has been made in evangelizing Congo, and there is a [[Archdiocese of Central Africa|Metropolitan of the Orthodox Church in Kinshasa]]. Father Chrysostomos was the pioneer, who laid the foundations, on which the superstructure of Orthodoxy in Congo was raised up. Kenya is not a small country, but Congo is more than four times the size of Kenya. Father Chrysostomos was always on the move, travelling widely. His life was a continuous round of travelling, preaching, [[Baptism|baptizing]], planting churches and celebrating the [[Divine Liturgy]]. The greatest desire of his heart was to spread Orthodoxy to Congo, and in this, he was marvellously successful. He was a perfectly humble man, full of the [[Holy Spirit]], a truly [[w:altruism|altruistic]] person who remains relatively unknown even today.<ref name=MAKARIOS/> <blockquote>As with all preachers of the [[Gospel]], the full results of Fr. Papasarantopoulos' missionary efforts in Africa will be known only to the [[Lord]] of the Church. Orthodox history teaches that like prayer, the life of "a righteous man has great power in its effect" (James 5:16). However the seemingly humble ministry of this one missionary, advanced in age before he began, has had a direct effect on the [[Orthodox Church]] in both Greece and the United States. Shortly after his departure for Africa from Athens, a new missionary movement began in Greece in 1961 called "The Inter-Orthodox Missionary Center" under the aegis of the Pan-Orthodox Youth movement [[Syndesmos]]. ...A new journal entitled ''Porefthentes (Go Ye),'' edited by [[Anastasios (Yannoulatos) of Albania|Anastasios G. Yannoulatos]] accompanied this movement. Through the writings and influence of Yannoulatos, now a bishop and professor at the University of Athens, and this new movement, interest in missions has greatly expanded in Greece over the past twenty years. Today there are at least three missionary societies in that country operating out of Athens, Thessalonike, and Patras, all of which publish journals on missions. There were no such official organizations existing in modern Greece prior to Fr. Papasarantopoulos' venture of faith in Africa. It is noteworthy that all developed almost immediately after Fr. Papasarantopoulos' correspondence from the mission field began to ignite the faith of his friends and supporters in Greece. A similar phenomenon occured in the United States.<ref name=VERONIS/></blockquote>
==See also==
* [[Orthodoxy in Africa]]
* [[Church of Alexandria|Patriarchate of Alexandria]]
* [[Archdiocese of Kampala and All Uganda]]
* [[Archdiocese of Kenya]]
* [[Archdiocese of Central Africa]]
'''Missions'''
* [[Orthodox Christian Mission Center]]
* [[Syndesmos]]
==Notes==
==Sources==
* Fr. Alexander Veronis ([[Orthodox Christian Mission Center|OCMC]]). ''[http://books.google.ca/books?id=W1QiVpBKfhYC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false Orthodox Concepts of Evangelism and Mission].'' In: Paul Wesley Chilcote, & Laceye C. Warner (Eds.). '''The Study of Evangelism: Exploring a Missional Practice of the Church'''. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2008. pp.279-294. ISBN 9780802803917
* George P. Liacopulos. ''[http://books.google.ca/books?id=xxY3gfmzdwwC&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false Church and Society: Orthodox Christian Perspectives, Past Experiences, and Modern Challenges]''. Somerset Hall Press, 2007. 498pp.
* [[Makarios (Tillyrides) of Kenya]]. ''Sermon at a Memorial Service for the Pioneer Missionary Rev. Archimandrite Chrysostomos Papasarantopoulos, at the Church of St. Paul, Kagira, 29 December, 1993.'' '''Adventures in the Unseen, Volume 1.''' Orthodox Research Institute, 2004. pp.115-119. ISBN 9780974561851
* [http://www.mmess.gr/gardikiou.php?lang=en Holy Metropolis of Messenia]. Holy Monastery of Gardikiou.
* Stephen Hayes. ''[http://www.orthodoxytz.com/OrthodoxMission.asp Orthodox Mission in Tropical Africa].'' '''Missionalia''' (Journal of the Southern African Missiological Society).
'''Greek sources'''
* [http://el.wikipedia.org/wiki/%CE%A7%CF%81%CF%85%CF%83%CF%8C%CF%83%CF%84%CE%BF%CE%BC%CE%BF%CF%82_%CE%A0%CE%B1%CF%80%CE%B1%CF%83%CE%B1%CF%81%CE%B1%CE%BD%CF%84%CF%8C%CF%80%CE%BF%CF%85%CE%BB%CE%BF%CF%82 Χρυσόστομος Παπασαραντόπουλος] at the Greek Wikipedia.
* Aναμνηστικός τόμος Ελληνικής Εταιρείας Ορθοδόξου Εξωτερικής Ιεραποστολής. ''Αρχιμανδρίτης Χρυσόστομος Παπασαραντόπουλος.'' Θεσσαλονίκη 1974. Επιμέλεια: Π.Δ.Παπαδημητρακόπουλου.
* Περιοδικό ''"Φως Εθνών".'' Ορθοδόξου Ιεραποστολής "Ο Πρωτόκλητος", τεύχος 114.
* Aρχιμ. Χαρίτων Πνευματικάκις. ''Στην Αφρική για το Χριστό ο Αρχιμανδρίτης Χρυσόστομος Παπασαρντόπουλος.''
 
==External links==
* {{el icon}} [http://ierapostoli.gr/ Πανελλήνιος Χριστιανικός Όμιλος Ορθοδόξου Ιεραποστολής] (''Orthodox Missionary Website'')
[[Category:Priests]]
[[Category:Monastics]]
[[Category:Missionaries]]
[[Category:University of Athens Theology School Graduates]]
 
[[el:Χρυσόστομος Παπασαραντόπουλος]]
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