The lynching of Saint Chrysostomos of Smyrna
The subject of this biblical work is the Martyrdom of Saint Chrysostom of Smyrna. Saint Chrysostom of Smyrna (1867–1922) was a Greek from Asia Minor and served as Metropolitan of Drama – Philippi (1902–1910) and Smyrna (1910–1922). He is a Saint of the Orthodox Church and his memory is honored on the Sunday before the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. His action was intense at the ecclesiastical, social and national level, displaying an altruistic and nationally heroic attitude. His multifaceted and dynamic presence prompted the Turkish authorities to take action against him culminating in his martyrdom on 27 August 1922 (Julian calendar) in Izmir where he was shot down by the fanatical Turkish mob, on the orders of Nureddin Ibrahim Pasha who the charge of high treason.
Saint Chrysostom of Smyrna, the dominant figure in the painting, is presented in the center. Behind him Nureddin Ibrahim Pasha and to his right his executioner, Ali Aǧe. Around him the violent faces of the enraged crowd are contrasted with the stoicism of the Saint who, according to testimonies, neither shouted nor begged to stop but with his head turned to the sky whispered “Holy Father, leave them alone, for I saw what you were doing “and raising his right hand he blessed his persecutors, a fact that angered them even more.
120 cm x 300 cm
Oil on canvas
Holy Metropolis of Drama, Drama