In the Metropolis of Smyrna he continued his national struggles, he organized an all-city rally to denounce the violence of the Bulgarians in Macedonia against the Greeks, supported by the Turkish authorities to the Bulgarian propaganda and general oppression of Sublime Porte against the Greeks of the Ottoman state. The Turkish authorities of the area were alarmed and cast him again from the Metropolis of Smyrna (1914), from which he returned after leaving for Moundrou (1918). During the Greek administration of Smyrna (1919-1922), he functioned as undisputed ethnarch of the Greeks of Asia Minor and the inspired leader of the “Asia Minor Defense" to create an autonomous state in the event of defeat of the Greek army. But the collapse of the Asia Minor front (August 1922) disappointed the ambitious Bishop, who objected to the plans of the Great Powers to remove the Greek presence from Asia Minor. The invasion of the Turks in Smyrna was the test of national vision. He refused to abandon his people, despite pressure from the consuls of England and France. On August 27, 1922 he was arrested by the Turkish commandant of the city Nourentin Pasha, after the end of the Divine Liturgy in the church of St. Photini, and was delivered to the angry Turkish mob. After horrible torture he found a martyric death. The spokesperson of the national aspirations became the symbol of the most tragic atrocities against the nation. His two-volume work On the Church, his articles in magazines Church Truth and Holy Polycarp, and his whole of preaching activities reveal this wonderful spiritual person of the ethnomartyr Hierarch.
The following is a (quite prophetic) quote from St. Chrysostom's statement at his consecration as Metropolitan of Drama in 1902:
"Ζητώ μεγάλον Σταυρόν, επί του οποίου θα δοκιμάσω την ευχαρίστησιν, καθηλούμενος και μη έχω έτερον τι να δώσω προς σωτηρίαν της ημετέρας λατρευτής πατρίδος, να δώσω το αίμα μου. Ούτως εννοώ το έπ' εμοί την ζωήν και την αρχιερωσίνην"... "...και η μίτρα, έλεγε, την οποίαν αι άγιαι χείρες σου εναπέθεσαν επί της κεφαλής μου, εάν πέπρωται, να απολέση ποτέ την λαμπηδόνα των λίθων της θα μεταβληθεί εις ακάνθινον στέφανον μάρτυρος ιεράρχου"
"I seek a great Cross, upon which I will put my pleasure to trial, I am called and I don’t have anything else of my own to give towards the salvation of our worshiping homeland, other than to give my blood. Thus I perceive of my life and the arch-priesthood...and the miter, which your holy hands placed upon my head, if it is called for, may the radiance of its stones never be destroyed; it will be converted to the crown of thorns of martyrdom of a hierarch."
The following is an actual account of the brutal lyching of St. Chrysostom:
"According to the French observers,...'The mob took possession of Metropolitan Chrysostom and carried him away,...a little further on, in front of an Italian hairdresser named Ismail...they stopped and the Metropolitan was slipped into a white hairdresser's overall. 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.' The French soldiers were disgusted by what they saw and wished to intervene, but their commanding officer was under orders to remain strictly neutral. At the point of a revolver, he forbade his men from saving the metropolitan's life. Chrysostom was dragged into a backstreet in the Iki Cheshmeli district, where he eventually died from his terrible wounds." Milton, Giles. Paradise Lost: Smyrna 1922: The Destruction of Islam's City of Tolerance. Hodder & Stoughton Ltd., London, 2008. pp.268-269.
I also heard somewhere that St. Chrysostom was ultimately dragged to and martyred at the place where St. Polycarp the Hieromartyr and the first Bishop of Smyrna also gave his life for Christ. Thus the beginning and end of Christ's Church in Smyrna were sealed with the precious blood of their shepherds.
Τιθείς ψυχήν Χρυσόστομος ομού συμμύσταις,
λαού και στρατού τε απαρχή προσηνέχθη.
Πρωτομάρτυς Χρυσόστομος αποφράδι ετύθη.
Συνάθλων πληθύος επομένης τω πότμω.
Μέγαν μάρτυρα η Εκκλησία, μέγαν ήρωα το έθνος σύμπαν, τον της Σμύρνης υμνούμεν Χρυσόστομον. Kαι γάρ γενναίως αθλήσας υπέμεινεν υπέρ πατρίδος και πίστεως θάνατον. Ιεράρχου τε υπόδειγμα εαυτον ανέδειξε τον στέφανον λαβών τον αμαράντινον.
For the Paraklesis service to the Saint in Greek, see: http://voutsinasilias.blogspot.com/2010/09/blog-post_15.html. For the full service to St. Chrysostom and his fellow new martyrs of Asia Minor, see: http://voutsinasilias.blogspot.com/2010/09/blog-post_29.html.
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