On Friday, the 29th of May 2020, the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America and Saint Photios National Shrine will present the Shrine’s inaugural Commemoration of the Fall of Constantinople.
The online version of this event is presented for all the faithful in place of a planned event at the Saint Photios Shrine that had to be cancelled in light of the current pandemic.
The video presentation is hosted by Bishop Demetrios of Mokissos, the Hierarchal Proistamenos of the Shrine, and is entitled Haghia Sophia—the Jewel of Byzantium. Focusing on the historic Church of the Holy Wisdom, for centuries the cathedral of the imperial capital, the presentation also features a musical presentation by the eminent Greek recording artist Petros Gaitanos.
The annual commemoration of the Fall of Constantinople is not only a remembrance of the fall of the capital of the Roman Empire on the 29th of May 1453, by the Ottomans who finally took the “Queen of Cities” established by Saint Constantine the Great some eleven centuries earlier. It is also a celebration of Byzantine culture and the Hellenic culture that sprang from this pivotal event in world history.
Bishop Demetrios of Mokissos was appointed Hierarch Proistamenos of the Saint Photios Shrine in 2019. For many years he organised and produced a similar commemorative programme, unique in our Archdiocese of America when serving as Chancellor of the Holy Metropolis of Chicago.