Tribute to Patriarch Athenagoras A’

Patriarch Athenagoras

 

 

  Patriarch Athenagoras A’

 

 

Patriarch Athenagoras (Aristokles Spyrou was his mundane name) was born in Vassiliko village ( ex.Tsaraplana) of Pogoni on April 6, 1886 . In 1903 he studied at the Theological School of Halki time noted that Vassiliko Village was under Turkish occupation yet. He spoke Greek , Turkish , English , French , Russian , Albanian , Romanian and Spanish. From 1930 to 1948 he served as Archbishop of South & North America . His considerable work during this period was the reunification of Greek communities as well as his important charitable work mainly through the construction of churches and schools for the Greek communities in USA.In 1922 consecrated as Archimandrite of Corfu and Paxos that cared particularly for the Greek refugees from Asia Minor who arrived in Corfu and Paxos .
Ecumenical Patriarchate of ConstantinopleHe was elected Patriarch of Constantinople in 1949 (until 1972 ) and was the first Patriarch who did not possess the Turkish nationality . During his incumbency  his contributions were :

  • the rapprochement of the Orthodox -Catholic relations with his visit in 1964 to the Pope Paul VI ,in Jerusalem (relations had cut off after the Schism of 1054), that lead to the highlight of 1967 with the exchange of visits with the Pope
  • the reorganization of the Theological School of Halki, which was strengthened with new teachers and through the scientific training of the existing teachers,
  • the improvement of Greek-Turkish relations

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In 1972 with his death a 24- year period of contribution was ceased  ( the longest of any other Patriarch after the Fall of Constantinople ). Patriarch Athenagoras A’ will be remembered as visionary peacemaker Christian leader from Pogoni .

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