Rare footage of the martyred Metropolitan Chrysostomos of Smyrna appeared online on the YouTube channel “Bahriye” earlier this week.
The footage begins with shots of Smyrna and the surrounding area, and the holy Hieromartyr is seen around the 1:25 minute mark.
St. Chrysostomos (1867-1922+) was brutally martyred during Turkish atrocities against Greek Orthodox people in pogroms committed between September 9 and 11, 1922.
Biography of St. Chrysostomos from Mystagogy:
The ethnomartyr Chrysostomos Kalaphatis was born in Triglia along the Marmara Sea in 1867. The parents of Chrysostomos were Nikolaos Kalaphatis and Kalliopi Lemonidos. The couple had eight children, four boys and four girls. There survived from the boys the firstborn Evgenios (born in 1865) and Chrysostomos. Evgenios stood by his younger brother throughout the duration of his turbulent life and eventually followed him in martyrdom. Nikolaos Kalaphatis had knowledge of Ottoman law and represented his fellow citizens in the Turkish courts. He even loved ecclesiastical music and was familiar with the common, which is why he was chosen for eldership of the municipality. His wife Kalliopi was a pious woman. She dedicated Chrysostomos to the Panagia on the day of Theophany in 1868, when the Metropolitan of Prousas visited Triglia. The Kalaphatis couple, despite their moderate income situation, carefully raised their children. The first teachers of Chrysostomos in Triglia were Archimandrite and later Metropolitan Ioannikios for ecclesiastical matters, Gazis for Greek, Christophoros Moumouzis for Turkish, Nikolaos Hatzichrysafis for French and Papa-Theodosis for ecclesiastical music.
Chrysostomos studied at Halki Theological School (1884 – 1891) and served as Archdeacon to Metropolitan Constantine Valiadis of Mytilene, who became Ecumenical Patriarch Constantine V (1897). He served then as chancellor of the Great Church and in 1902 he was ordained by Patriarch Joachim III as the Metropolitan of Drama (1902 – 1910). His struggles against Bulgarian propaganda and his stimulation of national feelings annoyed the Sublime Porte, who demanded of the Patriarchate his immediate withdrawal (1907). It was a bitter separation from his flock and he retired to Triglia in the hopes of returning to the Metropolis of Drama, which was made possible in 1908 with the adoption of the new Turkish constitution. The enthusiastic reception accorded to him by the people of Drama was associated with the exacerbation of the national struggle, which is why the Sublime Porte saw him as a threat to public order. He was withdrawn again from the Metropolis of Drama (January 20, 1909) and retired again to Triglia until he was transferred to the Metropolis of Smyrna (March 11, 1910).
At the Metropolis of Smyrna he continued his national struggle, organizing a multi-municipal rally denouncing the violence of the Bulgarians in Macedonia against the Greeks, the support of Turkish authorities to Bulgarian propaganda, and the general oppression of the Sublime Porte against the Greeks of the Ottoman state. The Turkish authorities of the area were alarmed and succeeded in removing him from the Metropolis of Smyrna (1914), to which he returned after the Armistice of Mudros (1918). During the Greek administration of Smyrna (1919 – 1922), he served as an undeniable ethnarch of the Greeks of Asia Minor and the inspired leader of the “Asia Minor Defense” for the creation of an autonomous state in the event of losing the Greek army. But the collapse of the Asia Minor front (August 1922) disappointed the ambitious Metropolitan, who denounced the plans of the Great Powers to remove the Greek element from Asia Minor. The Turkish invasion of Smyrna was the test of his national vision. He refused to abandon his people, despite the pressure of the consuls of England and France. On August 27, 1922 he was arrested by the Turkish commandant of the city, Nureddin Pasha, following the Divine Liturgy in the Church of Saint Photini, and surrendered to an angry Turkish mob. After being horrifically tortured he achieved martyrdom. The exponent of national aspirations was the most tragic symbol of the activities of the Nation. His two volume work On the Church and his articles in the periodicals Ekklesiastiki Aletheia and Ieros Polykarpos and all his preaching activities highlight the ethnomartyr Hierarch as a sublime spiritual figure.
At the martyrdom of the Metropolitan there were twenty French Marines in attendance, whose reaction was described by the French writer René Puaux (La mort de Smyrne , Paris 1922):
“A French patrol numbering twenty men, whom I accompanied, together with another militiaman, started at once for the Metropolis, to ask Mgr. Chrysostomos to seek refuge at the Sacre-Coaur or at the French Consulate-General. Mgr. Chrysostomos declined this offer; being a shepherd he said he had to stay with his flock. The patrol was just going away when a carriage with an officer and two Turkish soldiers with fixed bayonets, stopped in front of the Metropolis. The officer walked up to the Metropolitan and ordered him to go along with him to the Army Commander, Nureddin Pasha. When I saw them taking the Metropolitan away, I advised the patrol to follow the carriage. We came in front of the Great Barracks where Nureddin Pasha was staying. The Metropolitan was taken up into his presence by the accompanying officer. Ten minutes later, he walked down the stairs. At the same moment Nureddin Pasha came on to the balcony of the building and speaking to some ten or fifteen hundred Moslems, assembled in the square, declared that he was ‘giving the Metropolitan unto them’ and added: ‘If he has done good to you, do good to him; if he has done harm to you, do harm to him.’ The mob took possession of Mgr. Chrysostomos and carried him away.
A little further on, in front of the shop of an Italian hairdresser, named Ismail, and an Italian protege, they stopped and the Metropolitan was slipped into a white hairdresser’s overall. Then 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 his nose and ears off.
It is to be noted that the French patrol watched the scene up to that moment. The men were beside themselves and were trembling with indignation and wished to interfere, but, acting in conformity with orders received, the officer forbade them to move at the point of the revolver.
Afterwards we lost sight of the Metropolitan. They dealt him a final blow further on.”
Mr. Rene Puaux’s narrative was confirmed by a member of the French Chamber of Deputies, Mr. Edouard Soulier, at the sitting of the 27th of October. Mr. Soulier said that “the Greek Metropolitan was taken into the Turkish district, quartered there and thrown to the dogs.