Gabriel, who was to occupy for a little time the patriarchal throne as Gabriel II was born in the first half of the 17th century. He came to the fore as the metropolitan of Ganos and Chora on March 23, 1648. When Parthenios III (1656-1657) died and the patriarchal throne was left vacant, Gabriel ascended the throne towards mid-April 1657 supported by the secular notables. As he was an «ἀνὴρ γραμμάτων ἀδαὴς» (uneducated man), according to Komninos Ypsilantis,1 he was not accepted by the prelates and, after having being a Patriarch for only a few days, the Holy Synod dethroned him at the end of the same month. He then became metropolitan of Prousa, where he served until December 3, 1659, when he was beheaded by the Ottoman authorities.
According to tradition, he was executed because he Christened a Jew of Bursa (Prousa), an event that incurred the enmity of the Jews. The latter little by little turned the Great Vezir Köprülü Mehmed paşa against him (supporting that Gabriel had allegedly christened a Muslim) and managed to try and sentence him to death.2 Apart from that, he was accused of maintaining secret relations with Russia, with which the Ottoman state was at war at the time.3 His dead body was buried in the yard of the monastery of Theotokos Kamariotissa on the island of Chalki.4 Because of the way he was killed, Gabriel II was proclaimed a hieromartyr. His memory is celebrated on December 3.
1. Κομνηνός Υψηλάντης, Α., Πολιτικών και Εκκλησιαστικών... Τα Μετά την Άλωσιν, Γ. Αφθονίδης, (ed) (Constantinople 1870) p. 159.
2. Κομνηνός Υψηλάντης, Α., Πολιτικών και Εκκλησιαστικών... Τα Μετά την Άλωσιν, Γ. Αφθονίδης, (ed) (Constantinople 1870) p. 160.
3. Μέρτζιος, Κ.Δ., Πατριαρχικά ήτοι Ανέκδοτοι Πληροφορίαι σχετικαί προς τους Πατριάρχας Κωνσταντινουπόλεως από του 1556-1702 (Athens 1951) p. 81.
4. Schlumberger, G., Les Iles des Princes (Paris 1884) p. 122.