The Turkish army had already begun its sack of Smyrna, and tens of thousands of Christian Greeks, Armenians, and other Europeans were fleeing the city as fires were being set and homes ravaged.
Born Chrysostomos Kalafatis, the metropolitan of Smyrna had become the city’s beloved head of the Greek Orthodox Church in 1919, faithfully serving its local Christian population both locally and in surrounding areas.
On September 10, 1922 two Turkish soldiers escorted Chrysostomos from his office at the cathedral and delivered him to the Turkish commander-in-chief Nurredin Pasha.
Pasha promptly handed the metropolitan over to a mob of Turks waiting in a courtyard outside, having seen the Greek Orthodox prelate brought in earlier that day.
From the balcony, Pasha shouted to the crowd below to deal with Chrysostomos in any manner they choose.
The following brief eyewitness account comes from French soldiers who witnessed the lynching, but were under strict orders from their commanding officer not to intervene.
“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 off his nose and ears.”
After the brutal lynching, the Turkish mob dragged the metropolitan around the city, where he died soon after.
On November 4, 1992 — 70 years after the incident — Chrysostomos was declared a martyr and saint of the Greek Orthodox Church by the Holy Synod of the Church of Greece.
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