Saint Athanasius III Patellarios, the Patriarch of Constantinople who lived in Galati for 11 years between 1642-1653, was celebrated Wednesday by Romanians.
Two churches in Galati dedicated to St Athanasius had the joy of receiving the visit of Archbishop Casian of Lower Danube on the feast day of the holy Patriarch of Constantinople, May 2, 2018.
On the eve of the feast, a reliquary containing a particle of St Athanasius Patellarios’ relics were carried in procession to Sts Nicholas and Athanasius church in the centre of Galati city.
The relics were carried the next day to the wooden church of St Athanasius Patellarios, where the Archbishop presided over the festive Divine Liturgy in the presence of many believers.
The particle of the Saint’s holy relics belongs to the Archdiocese’s heritage.
The incorrupt relics of Patriarch Saint Athanasius are kept at the Annunciation Metropolitan Cathedral in Kharkov with the saint resting in a sitting position on the hierarchical throne.
Saint Athanasius Patellarios the Patriarch of Constantinople
Succeeding to the patriarchal throne of Constantinople after Patriarch Cyril Lucaris (d. 1638), St Athanasius Patellarios was original from Crete and had a short and very troubled patriarchal ministry due to the Ottoman oppression.
In 1634 he was elected Patriarch of Constantinople but was deposed after only forty days.
Being forced to collect funds to pay the debts that the Patriarchate had to the Ottoman court, St Athanasius went to Moldavia, where he was offered support from Ruler Prince Vasile Lupu.
He was appointed to St Nicholas monastery in Galati, where he served for 11 years until he returned to the patriarchal throne of Constantinople in 1654. He remained only fifteen days since he was not acceptable to the Turks and Catholics.
On his way back to Galati, he fell ill and stayed at the Transfiguration Monastery in Lubensk, Ukraine, where he fell asleep in the Lord on April 5, 1654.
The new church located in the centre of the Romanian city of Galati was built on the foundation of the old monastery where Saint Athanasius Patellarios served.
The Romanian Orthodox Church proclaimed the general devotion of St Athanasios in Romania on May 3, 2009.
Photography courtesy of the Lower Danube Archdiocese