November 4, 2018

The Only Church Dedicated to the Holy Emperor John Vatatzes

The first and only church dedicated to the so-called "Six-Fingered King", Holy Emperor John Vatatzes the Merciful (1193-1254), was consecrated on November 3, 2010 in Didymoteicho of Thrace, which was the birthplace of Saint John. Saint John ruled as second Emperor of Nicaea after the Crusaders took Constantinople in 1204, and he helped keep alive the spirit of Romiosini during these turbulent times, looking forward towards the recapturing of Constantinople. Until 1924 Saint John was primarily honored in Smyrna, but in more recent years his veneration increased at the place of his birth in Didymoteicho. With this church, pilgrims come from all over to venerate him. One unique feature of this church, is that it has no iconostasis.