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Archons

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The '''Archons of the Order of St. Andrew''' are prominent and influential [[laity|laymen]] of the [[Ecumenical Patriarchate]], usually also major financial supporters of the patriarchate, honored by the Ecumenical Patriarch. The organization was founded on the [[Sunday of Orthodoxy]], [[March 10]], 1966, by Ecumenical Patriarch [[Athenagoras I (Spyrou) of Constantinople|Athenagoras I]].
The titles which the officers of the Order bear are from the Byzantine imperial period and were customarily given to government and patriarchal officials.[http://www.archons.org/archons/offikion.asp] The titles (referred to as
''offikia'') are in themselves honorary and have no canonical or ecclesiastical standing, but those who bear them are often persons of enormous influence in the life of the Church of Constantinople.
The Archons customarily meet annually on the Sunday of Orthodoxy or they may also meet on [[November 30]], which is the [[feast day]] of their [[patron saint]], the [[Apostle Andrew]]. Besides their organizational meetings, the Archons also make an annual [[pilgrimage]] to the [[Phanar]] in Istanbul (Constantinople) to meet with the Ecumenical Patriarch, often meeting with Turkish government officials while there, as well.
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