Chrysostomos (Kalafatis) of Smyrna

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Chrysostomos of Smyrna

Metropolitan Chrysostomos (Kalafatis) of Smyrna (1867-1922) was the diocesan bishop of the city of Smyrna in Asia Minor during and following the First World War. He was murdered by a mob when the forces of the Young Turks burned the city in 1922 and sent the Greek population into exile.

He was born in Triglia of Bithynia in 1867. In 1902 he was elected Metropolitan of Drama by the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.

Drama, located in Eastern Macedonia, had a predominantly Greek population but at the time was part of the Ottoman Empire and was engulfed in the Balkan Wars. The Metropolitan worked to encourage the Greek population to build schools and churches, take back churches occupied by the Bulgarians, build athletic centres, hospitals, and nursery schools.

His actions lead to his exile on August 30, 1907 by the Turkish authorities. On May 10, 1910, he was elected Metropolitan of Smyrna. During World War I and the persecution of the Greeks of Anatolia by the Ottoman Empire, he helped members of the Greek population to take refuge in the Greek islands of the Aegean. Additionally, he served as a spokesman for the civillian population to diplomatic officials and the world press. The German ambassador in Constantinople wrote that Chrysostomos "stands to the best of living clerics". His actions result in a second exile on August 20, 1914 when he left Smyrna for Constantinople.

Following the end of the World War he returned to Smyrna. On May 2, 1919 the Greek army occupied Smyrna in accordance with the terms of the Treaty of Sèvres. Chrysostomos continued his work with the Greek population, also supporting the needs of the Turkish and Armenian populations as well.

He was notable for his charity work and for having been deeply involved in the politics of his day [1]

After the defeat of the Greek Army in Anatolia and the re-occupation of Smyrna by the Turks, Chrysostomos refused to leave Smyrna and abandon his flock. The Metropolitan was abducted by a mob incited by Nureddin Pasha, on September 9, 1922. According to eyewitness accounts, he was tied to a barber chair, cruelly tortured and put to death.

The Metropolitan is generally considered an ethnomartyr of the Orthodox Church and the Greek nation, and there have been calls for his canonization.


Wikipedia entry "Chrysostomos of Smyrna"


  1. The American Consul at Smyrna, George Horton, wrote in his book The Blight of Asia that he "was there [in Smyrna] up until the evening of September 11 1922, on which date the city was set on fire by the army of Mustapha Khemal". Horton refers to "Metropolitan Chrysostom" several times. "on one occasion I was present at an important service in the Orthodox Cathedral, to which the rep­resentative of the various powers, as well as the principal Greek authorities had been invited. The [Hellenic] High-Commissioner [for Ionia, Aristidis Stergiadis, which Horton spells Sterghiades] had given the order that the service should be strictly religious and non-politi­cal. Unfortunately, Archbishop Chrysostom (he who was later murdered by the Turks) began to introduce some politics into his sermon, a thing which he was extremely prone to do. Sterghiades, who was standing near him, interrupted, saying: "But I told you I didn’t want any of this." The archbishop flushed, choked, and breaking off his discourse abruptly, ended with, "In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, Amen," and stepped off the rostrum." [1] Marjorie Housepian (Hovsepian) Dobkin, remarks in her book, The Smyrna Affair that, "The Archbishop's murder was reported to Admiral Dumesnil aboard the French flagship."

Succession box:
Chrysostomos (Kalafatis) of Smyrna
Preceded by:
Metropolitan of Drama
Succeeded by:
Preceded by:
Metropolitan of Smyrna
Succeeded by:
see vacant
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