Brief Biography of Metropolitan Kirykos of Mesogaias and Lavreotikis


Metropolitan Kirykos, was born Menas Kontogiannis in 1950, in Leftkada Greece. His parents Father Thomas and Presbytera Zoe Kontogiannis instilled in him the values, teachings and zeal of the Orthodox faith. In 1949, at the GOC church of the Holy Apostles, in Leftkada, during the service, the police were sent to arrest the priest for serving on the old calendar. The women of the parish quickly formed a human wall around the priest; one of these women was Zoe Kontogiannis, who was pregnant with Menas Kontogiannis at that time. The police seeing that she was pregnant, shoved her out of the way and told her to “GET OUT OF HERE”, Zoe Kontogiannis, burning with zeal for the Orthodox church refused to abandon her faith, a second women by the name of Angela seeing that a scuffle was starting went over to offer assistance, the scuffle escalated and Angela was injured by the police, and later died from her wounds. This burning zeal for Orthodoxy that was aflame in Zoe Kontogiannis is a example of what was transferred and taught to her son Menas Kontogiannis (Metropolitan Kirykos). His earthly father, Father Thomas, taught him the importance of charity and mercy, always giving whatever he had to anyone in need, he also showed him the importance of a community within a church. Father Thomas, through his tireless efforts, built the church of the Holy Trinity, which later developed into a thriving Orthodox community. These loving Orthodox parents, by building a foundation of Orthodoxy within their son, created a spark that eventually would burst into a flame.


As a young man, while spending time at his uncle’s monastery in Larissa, Menas Kontogiannis’ love for the Orthodox Church continued to grow, and was guided and honed by his uncle the Confessor Hieromonk Kirykos.


After graduating from high school Menas Kontogiannis (Met. Kirykos), inspired by some of the Fathers of the Church such as Saint Basil the Great, decided to follow in their footsteps and traveled to Athens to study philosophy and theology, receiving a University degree in both. After receiving these degrees, aflame with zeal for our Lord Jesus Christ, he quit his position at the bank, and immediately set out in service to the Orthodox Church.


Under the mentorship of the Orthodox theologian Eleftherios Goutzides, Menas Kontogiannis quickly became one of the most loved and respected theologians of the Holy Synod. He also became a writer and editor for the official periodical of the Genuine Orthodox Church. While holding these positions, he spent countless hours in research, composed numerous theological pieces, as well as stern and informative epistles. Also during this time he played a key role in composing or contributing to various official documents of the Genuine Orthodox Church.


Archbishop Andrew, seeing the zeal of Menas Kontogiannis, desired for the respected theologian to be ordained to the priesthood. But Menas refused to be ordained unless the issue pertaining to the 1971 prayers of absolution was discussed, because much misinformation was being circulated concerning the events in Boston of 1971, falsely stating that a cheirothesia took place and not a prayer of absolution. Archbishop Andrew seeing that this showed great discretion and love for true confession of faith on the part of Menas, decided to grant the request. So in 1981 Archbishop Andreas called the council session at which all hierarchs, including Metropolitan Epiphanios of Cyprus, were present. Menas was also present at this council, and it was decreed in his presence that the events were a prayer of absolution, and in no way affected the Apostolic Succession of the Holy Synod, which was, is, and will always be the factual position of the GOC. This council put to rest the rumours and misinformation being spread about the events of 1971.


In 1982, Menas Kontogiannis was tonsured a rassophore monk, and renamed Kirykos after his confessor uncle who had passed away in 1974, he was then ordained to the deaconate and later the priesthood by the then Archbishop Andrew. Father Kirykos was then appointed to the position of chief secretary to the Holy Synod.


Between 1980 and 1995, Father Kirykos was approached several times by new calendar “theologians”, including Sakarellos, and also some old calendar theologians from the various Akakian/Florinite schisms. These people approached Father Kirykos with the intentions of getting him to assist in uniting all the old calendarists and placing them under a Patriarch or Local Church. This unification was to be based on the “cheirothesia” of 1971, the very falsehood which Father Kirykos had petitioned to the Holy Synod to clarify. Seeing first hand the evil intentions of these people, and not willing to compromise his Apostolic Succession, Confession of Faith, or the truth, Father Kirykos CATEGORICALLY REFUSED, and regarded any such assistance to this cause as blasphemous. He refused to take part in the cause for Old Calendarist Ecumenism.


At the request and with the blessing of the Synod he traveled to Cyprus, Canada, the United States, Russia and other countries to help develop the Orthodox communities in these countries and under his guidance they were all able to flourish into thriving communities. The GOC Catacomb Church of Russia was also placed under his pastoral care by the Holy Synod.


Through his tireless efforts he helped to build or restore numerous churches in various GOC communities throughout the world, unselfishly giving himself to the needs of his spiritual children. In 1990, he began building St. Catherines in Koropi, Greece which, after his consecration to Metropolitan, would serve as his residence.


In 1995, he was tonsured as a great-schema monk, and was then consecrated a Bishop. He was enthroned in a beautiful ceremony which corresponded with the inauguration of St. Catherines Cathedral, in the presence of the Holy Synod and a vast number of laymen. Father Kyrikos was now Metropolitan Kyrikos of Mesogaias and Lavreotikis.


In 1998, Metropolitan Kirykos traveled for the first time to Stavropol. When he arrived, he was amazed to be welcomed by the ringing of church-bells. This amazed him because he had not told anyone that he was planning to go there. Metropolitan Kirykos keeps his travel plans a complete secret, and arrives whenever he arrives. Originally he did not even plan to go to Stavropol. He simply decided at the last minute, since he was in Voronezh, to travel down to Stavropol to venerate the relics of Theodosius the Confessor (a Catacomb saint who reposed in 1948). He wished to venerate his relics because he had read the life of this elder, and admired him. When Metropolitan Kirykos asked why the bells were ringing, the people replied that they did not know he was arriving, and they are not even sure who rang the bells. No one admitted to ringing them. It was as if they were ringing on their own, to show their joy that a True Orthodox bishop was visiting Stavropol for the first time since the repose of the catacomb bishops.

Almost immediately, a very old nun approached the Metropolitan and handed to him an omophorion and an epignation, and "traveling antimins." When Metropolitan Kirykos asked why she was giving these to him, the nun replied that in 1948, a few days before St. Theodosius the Confessor reposed, he asked her to take his vestments and antimins and place them in a certain box in the cellar, and to not let anyone know where they are. St. Theodosius then told her that in exactly 50 years a Greek bishop will arrive with the sounding of bells, and that she (the nun) is to then go down into the cellar, find the vestments and antimins, and give them to the Greek bishop. St. Theodosius then reposed three days later.


The day Metropolitan Kirykos arrived in Stavropol was on the very date St. Theodosius had commanded the nun to hide the relics (the same date, 50 years later). Three days after Metropolitan Kirykos’ arrival, was the commemoration of the repose of Blessed Theodosius. The Metropolitan went to the cemetery and served a memorial service over his tomb. He served the memorial/moleben whilst wearing St. Theodosius’ own vestments.

Metropolitan Kirykos now always wears these vestments and uses the "traveling antimensia" whenever he is serving abroad. He also takes with him the relics of St. Matthew of Bresthena, and sometimes those of St. Catherine the New Martyr. He also takes holy chrism with him, which he has from three sources: a) chrism blessed by the Ecumenical Patriarchate in 1912; b) chrism blessed by Patriarch Tikhon and the Russian Synod in 1925; c) chrism blessed by Archbishop Agathangelos and the Matthewite Synod in 1959.


Metropolitan Kirykos’ humility and dedication to the Orthodox Church and his spiritual children is shown through his actions. In 2004, after hearing of the death of one of his spiritual children in Canada, he traveled half way around the world within 48 hours in order to perform the burial service.


Metropolitan Kirykos from the beginning was and is a confessor for the struggle of the Orthodox Church. As mentioned earlier he has contributed greatly to the writings and formulations of numerous articles, encyclicals and epistles about the ecclesiology of the Genuine Orthodox Church on all matters of faith including the 1924 schism of the new calendarists, the Florinite schism of 1937 and the 1971 events as well as old calendar ecumenism.


Metropolitan Kirykos remains staunch in his Orthodox Confession, which is the Ecclesiology of the Genuine Orthodox Church as was preserved under the Zealot Confessor Fathers, and was protected and delivered through Saint Matthew the New Confessor, and the successor Genuine Orthodox Bishops, who are the true successors to the Holy Apostles, through the Orthodox cheirotonias of 1935, 1948, 1995 and 2008.



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