On This Day September 10, 1922: The Martyrdom of Metropolitan Chrysostomos of Smyrna


The Turkish army had already begun its sack of Smyrna and tens of thousands of Christian Greeks and Armenians, as well as other Europeans were fleeing their homes as fires were being set and homes were being sacked.

Born Chrysostomos Kalafatis, he became the beloved head of the Greek Orthodox Church in Smyrna in 1919 and faithfully served the Greek Orthodox Christian population of the city and surrounding areas.

On September 10, 1922 two Turkish soldiers escorted Chrysostomos from his office at the Cathedral and delivered him to the Turkish commander-in-chief, Nurredin Pasha, who then decided to hand him over to a mob of Turks waiting in a courtyard outside, having seen the Greek Orthodox prelate brought in earlier in the day.

From the balcony Nurredin shouted to the crowd below to deal with the Archbishop in any manner they choose.

According to French soldiers who witnessed the lynching but were under strict orders from their commanding officer not to intervene.

“They began to beat him with their fists and sticks and to spit on his face. They riddled him with stabs. They tore his beard off, they gouged his eyes out, they cut off his nose and ears.”

Chrysostomos was then dragged around the city and he died soon after.

He was declared a martyr and a saint of the Greek Orthodox Church by the Holy Synod of the Church of Greece on 4 November 1992.


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