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Raphael I of Constantinople

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Title: Raphael I of Constantinople  
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Subject: List of Ecumenical Patriarchs of Constantinople, Raphael (disambiguation), 1476 deaths, Nicetas I of Constantinople, Peter of Constantinople
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Raphael I of Constantinople

Raphael I
Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople
Church Church of Constantinople
Appointed early 1475
Term ended early 1476
Predecessor Symeon I
Successor Maximus III
Personal details
Died 1476

Raphael I (Greek: Ραφαήλ Α΄) was Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople from 1475 to 1476. He was a Serb and he is therefore sometimes considered an intruder.


Raphael was a Serbian monk. He probably was chosen and supported as Patriarch by Mara Brankovic, the stepmother of Mehmed the Conqueror.[1] Raphael was successfully appointed Patriarch in the first months of 1475[2] promising the Sultan a yearly payment of 2000 gold florins and a one-time gift of 700 gold florins.[3]

The Greek community of Constantinople had not part in his appointment and fiercely opposed him. The Metropolitan of Heraclea, who traditionally enthroned the new patriarch, refused to consecrate him, and the liturgy was celebrated by the Metropolitan of Ancyra.[4] For this reason he was not recognized as Patriarch by a large part of the Greek clergy.

The sources show an extended bias against Raphael. He is accused of not speaking properly Greek[5] and is denounced for his foreign accent and for his addiction to alcohol. It is reported that he was not able to stand during the ceremonies of the Great Friday because he was drunk.[1]

Raphael reigned for about one year, until early 1476: at the beginning of the year, when he had to pay the annual gift he had promised to the Sultan, he tried to collect it from his faithful, who denied their help.[3] Unable to pay the requested fee, he was immediately deposed and imprisoned. He died shortly after still in chains.[5]


  1. ^ a b Philippides, Marios (2011). The Siege and the Fall of Constantinople in 1453. Ashgate Pub Co. pp. 84–85.  
  2. ^ Kiminas, Demetrius (2009). The Ecumenical Patriarchate. Wildside Press LLC. p. 37.  
  3. ^ a b Vitalien, Laurent (1968). "Les premiers patriarches de Constantinople sous la domination turque (1454-1476)". Revue des études byzantines (26): 229–263(260).  (French)
  4. ^ Runciman, Steven (1985). The Great Church in captivity. Cambridge University Press. p. 194.  
  5. ^ a b "Raphael I". Ecumenical Patriarchate. Retrieved 3 August 2011. 
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