December 3, 2018

Holy New Hieromartyr Gabriel II, Patriarch of Constantinople (+ 1659)

St. Gabriel the Hieromartyr, Patriarch of Constantinople (Feast Day - December 3)


Gabriel the New received a double crown,
As a hierarch and athlete of the Lord.

Gabriel was elected Metropolitan of Ganos and Chora on 23 March 1648 for a first term which lasted until 26 November 1651, and again in 1654. After the execution of Parthenios III he was appointed as the new Ecumenical Patriarch on 23 April 1657 with the support of the Greek Orthodox nobility. However the Holy Synod considered him uneducated and unsuitable for the throne, and deposed him seven days later, on 30 April 1657.

After his deposition, besides his diocese of Ganos, he was given the position of administrator (proedros) of the vacant Metropolitan See of Prousa (Bursa). Here he was accused by the Jewish community to have baptized a Muslim, even if actually the baptized was a Jew and not a Muslim. He was also charged with maintaining good relations with the Russians, at the time at war with the Ottoman Empire.

Sultan Mehmed IV was in those days in Prousa, and his Grand Vizier Mehmed Koprulu imprisoned Gabriel, and promised him freedom and honor in exchange for conversion to Islam. Gabriel refused and was tortured and finally hanged on 3 December 1659. He was buried at the Monastery of Kamariotissa in Halki.