Chrysostomos of Smyrni (1867 - August 27, 1922)

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Chrysostomos of Smyrni (1867 - August 27, 1922)

Born Chrysostomos Kalafatis, in Trigleia near Prousa in Anatolia in 1867. A patriotic Greek, he was the last Greek Orthodox Metropolitan of Smyrni.

After studying at the Theological School of Halki he served in various places, such as in Lesvos & Ephesus. By 1902 he was appointed Bishop of Drama & found himself in the middle of the Macedonian Struggle (1904-08).

Chrysostomos was influential in combating the Bulgarian Propaganda in the region at the time, by helping to unite and strengthen the Greek community in the region and establishing numerous Greek schools and other educational institutions.

In 1910 he was transferred & became Bishop of Smyrni, where again he became a beacon for the Greek community there, building educational facilities and other infrastructure as well as building numerous sporting centres for the youth of Smyrni.

When the Greek Army landed in Smyrni in 1919, it was Chrysostomos who greeted and welcomed them. But after the Asia Minor Catastrophe only 3 short years later, Bishop Chrysostomos' life was at the mercy of the Turks.

Even as everything in Smyrni was collapsing around him and in front of his eyes, he refused to flee and abandon his flock. As a result, he was apprehended by the Turks, who then proceeded to mercilessly torture him to death.

They physically beat him with sticks, they stabbed him, they ripped his beard off, they gouged his eyes out, they cut off his ears and his nose and he was then tied behind the back of a vehicle and dragged through the streets.

In 1992, Chrysostomos was declared a Martyr & Saint of the Greek Orthodox Church.