ΒOSTON – The eminent photographer of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, Nikos Manginas, has died at the age of 68 after being infected with the coronavirus. The deceased was one of the closest and most intimate collaborators of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew throughout his thirty-year Patriarchate. He accompanied the Patriarch on all his travels around the world and captured all the photographs with his camera lens, from the meetings of the Ecumenical Patriarch with the Bishop of the Elder Rome, the Pope, heads of state, synods and meetings including the Holy and Great Council on Crete in the summer of 2016, theological and ecclesiastical conferences, to Sunday and daily services at the Ecumenical Patriarchate, in parishes of the Archdiocese of Constantinople, in neighboring Metropolises, and at the Theological School of Halki.
The National Herald had contacted the late Nikos Manginas on Thursday, April 8, with a request to send us a high-resolution photo of the late Metropolitan Konstantinos, Geron of Nikaia, and as always, he responded immediately with great eagerness. This photo was published in Greek Edition of The National Herald on the weekend of April 10 and 11. Nikos had informed us that he had recently been given the first dose of the Chinese vaccine, which is available in Constantinople, but before the vaccine could take effect, he was probably infected by the coronavirus within the Ecumenical Patriarchate, as several clergy and laity have tested positive lately, including a hierarch. He also told The National Herald that he went to the hospital, but the doctors examined him and determined that there was no reason for him to be hospitalized, as there were no rooms available because there is a large outbreak in Constantinople. Rather, he was placed in quarantine at home.
Nikos was living inside the Ecumenical Patriarchate, where his death took place; he died in his sleep on the morning of Saturday, April 10. One of the clerks of the Ecumenical Patriarchate found him dead when he delivered his breakfast. At that time, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew was presiding on the Throne in the Patriarchal Church of Saint George at the Phanar, in memory of the martyrdom of Ecumenical Patriarch Gregorios V, when the clerk approached him and told him that Nikos Manginas had been found dead in his room, and asked for instructions on what to do. The Police were immediately notified and the Sanitary Service received the body of the unfortunate Nikos for examination. The general disinfection of the premises of the Ecumenical Patriarchate began after that. At the end of the Divine Liturgy, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew offered a Trisagion for the repose of his soul.
His Funeral Service was held at his family’s grave in the Sisli Transfiguration Cemetery.
The deceased was born in Constantinople, graduated from the Zografeion Lyceum, and from a young age, during the time of Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras, was engaged in photographic work and he created a very rich photographic archive for the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
Manginas has no close relatives; his brother passed away a few years ago in Canada and he has only cousins in Constantinople.
TNH has learned that he had some problems with his lungs, while two years ago he had pericarditis, which contributed to the worsening of his condition by the coronavirus.
His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America, made the following statement to TNH about “my last conversation with everyone’s beloved Nikos Manginas.” The Archbishop said:
“I was informed that he had contracted the virus, and I called him to wish him a quick recovery. His voice was visibly distressed, low, tired. He told me that he had tried to fly to Athens for a medical examination, but did not catch the plane, so he had to go to the doctors in Istanbul, where he was diagnosed as positive for the virus. Already on the Sunday of Orthodoxy, when I saw him in the city, it seemed that his health had deteriorated. After all, he never took care of himself. His only concern was our Ecumenical Patriarchate, our Omogenia, our Ecumenical Patriarch. Everything else was secondary to him. Manginas was a cosmopolitan ‘Papadiamantis’ type, a noble old-fashioned Constantinopolitan, a gentleman.
“The city held him. She did not let him go. It was as if he never left our city. No matter how many years he lived in Athens, in the end the land of his birth called him again to return. Now he must be delivered to this land, where all our fathers are. Isn’t that what we all want? When the time comes, to be in the land of our fathers, the one that was nourished with our dreams, pain, joys, expectations and hopes.
“Your memory is eternal, our dear Manginas, or ‘Nikaki,’ as I used to call you in the dialect of Istanbul. We will always remember you.”
Protopresbyter of the Ecumenical Throne Father Alexander Karloutsos, a close associate and for many years a dear friend of the late Nikos Manginas, stated to TNH:
“Our souls are in pain with the sad announcement of the passing of Nikos Manginas, the devoted spiritual son of our Ecumenical Patriarch, who captured with his camera many of the greatest moments in the history of our Church.
“We are comforted by the fact that he passed away on the day of the martyrdom of the Ecumenical Patriarch Gregory V in witness to our Faith and our Cultural Heritage. The fact that Archbishop Iakovos passed away the same day years ago testifies that the heart of the late Nikos Manginas has always been with Hellenism and Orthodoxy. We will always remember him as the young child who never grew up. As Lakis Vigas said, “our boy who never got old.” May his memory be eternal.”