Patriarch Jeremias III of Constantinople
|Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople|
|Church||Church of Constantinople|
|In office||23 March 1716 – 19 Nov 1726
15 Sept 1732 – March 1733
|Previous post||Bishop of Caesarea in Cappadocia|
Jeremias was born between 1650 and 1660 in the island of Patmos, where he was ordained deacon. He served as a priest in Halki and then in the Diocese of Caesarea in Cappadocia. When his Metropolitan Cyprianus became Patriarch of Constantinople in 1707, he succeeded him as Metropolitan of Cesarea.
Jeremiah was elected Patriarch for the first time on 23 March 1716. His first patriarchate was long compared to the usual length of his office in that centuries, and Jeremias succeeded to cope with two attempts of deposition, probably sprung from his support to the Russian Empire: on 1 January 1718 the Metropolitan of Pruoza, Cyril, was elected Patriarch in his place, but Jeremias returned on the throne next 17 January, and in 1720 he was arrested and his rival, the previous Patriarch Cyril IV, reigned from 10 to 22 January, when Jeremias was re-installed. Jeremiah was finally deposed on 19 November 1726 after his clashes with the ruler of Moldova Grigore II Ghica concerning his refusal to grant divorce to Ghica's brother, and he was exiled to Mount Sinai.
In 1732 Jeremiah returned from exile and on 15 September 1732 he was appointed Patriarch for the second time, but after only a few months, in March 1733, he had to leave the throne because he suffered of hemiplegia, and he retired in Great Lavra Monastery on Mount Athos, where he died in 1735.
Asked by the Tsar Peter I of Russia about the validity of the Baptisms celebrated by Protestants, on 31 August 1718 Jeremias confirmed that, as his predecessor Cyprianus stated about the Catholic baptism, it is not necessary to re-baptize the Protestants who joined the Orthodox Church, the Chrismation being enough.
In 1720 he got the permission from the Sultan to rebuilt a new, larger and brighter Orthodox Patriarchal Cathedral of St. George, destroyed by fire some years before, at the headquarters of the Patriarchate at the Fener. He also reorganized the Monastery of the Transfiguration on the Princes' Islands, which was enriched with a collection of valuable pictures that had been donated by Peter I of Russia.
After that the Melkites of Damascus elected the pro-Westerner Cyril VI Tanas as the new Patriarch of Antioch, Jeremias declared Cyril's election to be invalid, excommunicated him, and appointed the young monk Sylvester as new Patriarch. Jeremias consecrated Sylvester as bishop in Istanbul on October 8, 1724. These events split the Melkite Church between the Melkite Greek Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church of Antioch.
Jeremias imposed austerity at the expense of the Patriarchate, thus managing to reduce debt and improve its financial situation.
- Γεννάδιος Ηλιουπόλεως, «Ο Οικουμενικός Πατριάρχης Ιερεμίας ο Γ'», Ορθοδοξία 25 (1950), σελ. 148 (Greek)
- R. Aubert (2003). "Jérémie III". Dictionnaire d'histoire et de géographie ecclésiastiques 28. Paris: Letouzey et Ané. 1001-1002. ISBN 2-7063-0210-0.
- Kiminas, Demetrius (2009). The Ecumenical Patriarchate. Wildside Press LLC. p. 41,47. ISBN 978-1-4344-5876-6.
- Μ.Γ.Βαρβούνη, Το Οικουμενικό Πατριαρχείο, εκδόσεις Χελάνδιον, Αθήνα 2006, ISBN 960-87087-5-3, σελ. 23 (Greek)
- Korolevsky, Cyril (1924). "Antioche". Dictionnaire d'histoire et de géographie ecclésiastiques 3. Paris: Letouzey et Ané. p. 647.
- on September 27 according to the Julian calendar