His Eminence, the Metropolitan of Italy and Exarch of the Southern Europe Gennadios (whose layman name is Tsampìcos Zervòs) was born in the island of Rhodes on July 8, 1937. |
He completed the main education in the Elementary School of his birthplace. Then, he has continued his studies in the Ecclesiastical School of Patmos and in the Theological School of Halki. In 1961, he graduated with a degree of orthodox theology.
On April 16, 1960 he was ordained deacon and chose the name of Gennadios. On April 28, 1963 he was consecrated presbyter. The Metropolitan of the Archdiocese of Austria and of the Exarchate of Italy of that time, named him General Vicar on February 12, 1967. On April 14 of the same year he received the title of Archimandrite of the Ecumenic Throne from the Ecumenic Patriarch Athenagoras. He served from 1961 to 1996 in the historic church of Ss Peter and Paul of the Greek Orthodox Brotherhood of Naples. He continued his studies in the University of Naples frequenting courses of Sociology and of Psychology, and received a doctorate in Theology at the Pontifical Theological Faculty of Southern Italy. His degree thesis was “The contribution of the Ecumenical Patriarcate for the Unity of the Christians”.
On November 26, 1970 he was elected Bishop of Cratea, with seat in Naples. This is a historic date because it mark the first presence of an orthodox bishop resident on the Italian land. From many centuries it was not possible. In the along period of his pastoral service in Italy he has distinguished itself in the spiritual and social presence. For this he was awarded the medal of Commander of the Italian Republic. This appreciation has been given for the first time to an orthodox prelate.
As a representative of the Ecumenical Patriarcate and of the Archdioceses of Austria and of Italy, he has participated to many conferences, scientific meetings and officials manifestations. As a Bishop, he has taught patristic Theology in the Theological University Institute of “San Nicola di Bari” for ten years.
As a representative of the Ecumenical Patriarcate, he has accompanied the sacred relics of the Saint Dimitrios martyr from Italy to Thessaloniki, and was awarded the Cross of Gold of Saint Dimitrios. The Commune of Rhodes presented him the Medal of Gold of the city for his notable appointment in the follow the students of Rhodes, of the Dodecaneso and the Greek students of other resident origins in Italy.
On August 26, 1996 he was elected Metropolitan of Italy. He has taken possession of the Sacred Italian Archdiocese on October 27 of the same year. After this event the commune of Rhodes have decided to give at the Metropolitan Gennadios his taller honor. The Metropolitan Gennadios participates to lectures, he writes articles and he speaks Greek, Latin, Italian and Spanish.
Nameday: November 17