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His All Holiness Joseph II was the Patriarch of Constantinople from 1416 to 1439. He was member of the delegation from the Eastern Church to the Council of Florence in 1439. He, as well as Emperor John VIII Palaiologus, was a supporter of the re-union of the Eastern and Western Churches. He died during the council.
Born in 1360, the son of Tsar Ivan Shishman of Bulgaria, Joseph first appeared in history when he became a monk on Mount Athos. In 1393, he was elected Metropolitan of Ephesus in western Asia Minor. He was elected Patriarch of Constantinople on May 21, 1416.
As patriarch he is known mainly for leading the clerical party from Constantinople to the Council of Florence in 1439. Initially, he wanted the council to be held in Constantinople, but under pressure from Emperor John and being weak and aged, he capitulated and the council was held in Florence. The party from the east was large. The group consisted in addition to the Eastern Emperor John VIII, of 23 metropolitan bishops and delegates from Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem, as well as many scholars and theologians.
Patr. Joseph was very old and ailing and took only a small part in the proceedings of the council. Two months into the council, on June 10, 1439, he was found dead in his room, with a testament allegedly written by him that accepted all that the Roman Catholic Church confessed, written two days before a request by the Pope was made.
Joseph II was buried the Dominican convent Church of Santa Maria Novella in Florence.
|Metropolitan of Ephesus|
|Patriarch of Constantinople|