Gregorios Lodge

No 865, United Grand Lodge of Victoria

The Origin of the Name

When looking for a suitable name for the new, Greek-oriented Lodge, the founders realised that most of the Greek organisations such as Clubs, Unions, Philanthropic Associations and so on, were name after the heroes of Ancient Greece. They thought it would be a good idea to honour one of the heroes of the Greek Independence movement in the early 1800s.

For those that are not familiar with Greek history, Greece was subjugated by the Ottoman Empire with the fall of Constantinople in 1453. It remained an occupied nation until the revolution that started in 1821 when the Greeks both inside occupied Greece and those dispersed throughout Europe, Africa and Russia, as well as the many supporters of Greek independence, were organised by a secret organisation called the “Filliki Eteria” or “Friendy Society”, which was formed in 1814 along similar lines to Freemasonry. The aim of this organisation was to develop solidarity, national pride and the spirit of freedom among the Greek people and to prepare them for the struggle for independence.

In the book “Matomena Rassa” (“Blooded Cossaks”), the author Spiros Mellas documents the lives and deaths of four clergymen who lost their lives fighting for the independence of Greece. Among them was Gregorios V, whose death had a similarity to the death of one of the prominent figures in the Masonic ritual.

Gregorios was the Patriarch of Constantinople during 1797-1798, 1806-1808 and 1818-1821. Since his enthronement as Patriarch, we worked zealously to keep alive the Greek language, to raise the standard of education, preserve Greek Orthodoxy by establishing Greek schools, churches and a printing office which published many books.

He was initiated into the “Filliki Eteria” and worked behind the scenes for many years. Suspected of being one of the conspirators of the uprising of March 25, 1821 which ultimately led to the independence of Greece, Patriarch Gregorios was arrested and tortured. On April 10, 1821 (Easter Sunday), he was hanged from the middle entrance to the Patriarchate.

One hundred years later, on April 10, 1921, the patriarch was canonised a Saint of the Greek Orthodox Church.