Neophytos of Chios
Little is known of the early life of Neophytos. He came from the island of Chios, but was educated by Jesuits in Damascus. He was the nephew of Patriarch Euthymius IV of Chios who preceded him as patriarch. Neophytos was appointed vicar in Aleppo during the reign of Patr. Macarius III Zaim and in 1672 was appointed bishop of Hama.
After the death of Patr. Macarius III in 1672, his nephew, Constantine Zaim was elected patriarch with the support of the governor of Damascus and was consecrated bishop with the name of Cyril III. The election of Cyril III was contested by local bishops and by Dositheos, the patriarch of Jerusalem, contending that his election was null because Cyril III, who was twenty, was not of legal age to be appointed bishop.
Those who opposed Cyril III supported Neophytos of Chios as patriarch. In 1673, Cyril III traveled to Constantinople where he obtained a firman in his favor from the Ottoman sultan and an appointment to the throne of patriarch of Antioch by Patr. Dionysius IV of Constantinople.
Patr. Neophytos was not recognized as their patriarch by all the faithfuls of the Church Antioch. This situation split the Patriarchate of Antioch into two factions. Each side alternatively succeeded of obtaining the favor of the Sublime Porte through financial renumeration. Cyril was officially recognized three times and Neophytos twice over the next nine years. In 1682, Neophytos of Chios decided to retire because of his heavy debts, leaving Cyril III Zaim as the only claimant to the Antiochian throne.
Neophytos also retired from the see of Hama but was appointed bishop of Latakia, with the title of honorary patriarch. Neophytos reposed in 1686.
Neophytos of Chios
|Bishop of Hama
Macarius III (Zaim)
|Patriarch of Antioch
Cyril III Zaim
|Bishop of Latakia