On Thursday, June 1, the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago, the Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Chicago, and the Hellenic Society of Constantinople hosted the 42nd Annual Commemoration of the Fall of Constantinople at Saints Peter and Paul Greek Orthodox Church in Glenview, Illinois.
This year’s guest speaker was Archon Dr. Alexandros K. Kyrou, Associate Professor of History and Director of the Program in East European and Russian Studies at Salem State University in Salem, Massachusetts. His presentation, titled “Destruction, Enslavement and Survival: The First Days After the Fall of Constantinople, 1453,” offered insights into the Turkish and Greek perspective of what happened the days and weeks after the Fall.
The lecture was preceded by a video presentation on the Greek Lamentation for the Fall of Constantinople by Nektaria Karantzi and culminated with a Trisagion Service in memory of those who were murdered during the siege.
Professor Kyrou is the Director of the Program in East European and Russian Studies at Salem State University in Salem, Massachusetts. He teaches on the Balkans, Byzantium and the Ottoman Empire. Dr. Kyrou completed his Ph.D. in East European History at Indiana University and is an alumnus of Indiana University’s Russian and East European Institute.
Esteemed guests included His Eminence Metropolitan Nathanael of Chicago, His Grace Neophytos Kongai, Bishop of Nyeri and Mount Kenya, Chicago area priests and Archons.
A special thank you to Reverend Father Richard Demetrius Andrews, the members of the Saints Peter and Paul parish council and the parish of Saints Peter and Paul Greek Orthodox Church for hosting this year’s annual event.
The annual Commemoration of the Fall of Constantinople remembers and raises awareness on the conquest of Constantinople, which occurred on May 29, 1453. This event marked the end of the Byzantine Empire, which had lasted for 1500 years, and was also the day that Hagia Sophia in Constantinople was converted from a Christian Orthodox Church into a mosque.
The Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago consists of 58 parishes and two monasteries in Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin as well as central Missouri. The general offices of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago are located in Lombard, Illinois.
The Order of Saint Andrew the Apostle is comprised of Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate who have been honored for their outstanding service to the Orthodox Church by having a Patriarchal title, or “offikion,” bestowed upon them by Hi All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew. Those upon whom this title of the Mother Church has been conferred are known as “Archons of the Great Church of Christ,” and the titles are personally conferred by the Exarch of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in America. The Order’s fundamental goal and mission is to promote the religious freedom, well-being and advancement of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, which is headquartered in Istanbul, Turkey.
The Hellenic Society of Constantinople in Chicago was founded in 1939 by a small group of immigrant Romoii, the proud name for Greeks from Istanbul, who fled their homeland of Constantinople by the forced exchange of populations following the Treaty of Lausanne in 1923. The society’s current president is Hellena K. Chrones.
Archon Alexandros K. Kyrou, Ph.D., was invested as an Archon of the Order of St. Andrew the Apostle in 2022 and conferred with the offikion Hypomnematografos. He is the Director of the Program in East European and Russian Studies at Salem State University in Salem, Massachusetts. Dr. Kyrou completed his Ph.D. in East European History at Indiana University and is an alumnus of Indiana University’s Russian and East European Institute.