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Saturday, April 10, 2021

The Childhood Home of Ecumenical Patriarch Gregory V


The Holy Ethno-Hieromartyr Patriarch Gregory V, who is commemorated on April 10th in the Orthodox Church, was born in the mountain village of Dimitsana in Arcadia of the Peloponnese in 1746 to a poor family. He was baptized with the name George Angelopoulos. His father was a shepherd named John and his mother's name was Asemina. It was here that young George worked and received a basic education, until he left for Athens in 1765 at the age of 19 to pursue further education.

Today the childhood home of Patriarch Gregory V operates as the Ecclesiastical Museum of Dimitsana. The sign at the entrance reads: "In this house was born Patriarch Gregory V, hanged on April 10, 1821 in Constantinople." The house was restored by the benefactor Panagiotis Angelopoulos (1909-2001) and the museum was created based on the idea and at the urging of Metropolitan Theophilos of Gortynos and Megalopolis in 1992. The building is two-storied, of traditional architecture and is located near the central square of Dimitsana. The floors are connected by an internal stone staircase.

The exhibits of the museum include old books, vestments, icons. Worth noting are the three icons from the Church of the Taxiarches in Dimitsana, works of the Cretan School of the 17th century, the icon of John the Forerunner and the Annunciation of the Theotokos on the Iconostasis. Also on display are sacred utensils, carved crosses, incense burners, gold-embroidered vestments, as well as a frescoed sacristy. An antimension is also kept (a square cloth with the image of the Tomb of Christ, used instead of the Holy Altar or placed on it) with the signature of Patriarch Gregory V and the inscription "Gregory of Constantinople and New Rome". Other exhibits are the icon of St. George, painted in Mount Athos in 1808, which was dedicated by Gregory V to the sanctuary of St. George in Dimitsana, as well as a gold-embroidered icon with the Epitaphion of Lamentation. In the basement of the museum there is a small church in honor of Patriarch Gregory. Most of the exhibits come from the temples and monasteries of the Metropolis of Gortyna and Megalopolis, to which the museum also belongs.
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