History of the Institution

Aim of the foundation

The Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, aiming to promote the study and research of Patristics, Christian Literature in general, Patristic Theology and their neighbouring Theological disciplines and considering this aim as an obligation proceeded to the foundation of the Patriarchal Institute of Patristic Studies in Thessalonica because it believed that the research and study of the writings of the Church Fathers would offer great benefit to the entire plenitude of the Church and to the international scientific community and would further reinforce the emerging turn of the Christian world to the sources of doctrines and values of Eastern Christianity.

The Patriarchal Institute of Patristic Studies was founded in 1965 by the ever-remembered Patriarch Athenagoras and constitutes a Theological-Scientific Institution of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. Its foundation is shown in the Patriarchal and Synodic Tomos of 1965, as well as the Sigillian Tomos of July 19th, 1989, with which Articles 3 and 5 of the founding Patriarchal and Synodal Decree were altered. The Institute started its operation in January 1968. On August 2nd, 2013 it acquired full legal status and since October 22nd, 2013, it operates as Civil Non-Profit Organization.


Its first priority is to complete photographing the manuscripts of Mt. Athos (the Holy Mountain) and photographing manuscripts from other monastic establishments and libraries, the collection of manuscript miniatures in slides, to continue publishing the scientific journal “Legacy”, the publication of a series of theological essays and scholars, liturgical texts and manuals of church music and the organization of conferences, lectures and courses in collaboration with scientific institutions and research programs.


For the accomplishment of this manifold project and to meet its needs, the Foundation relies almost entirely on the financial support from official bodies and individuals, as well as donations from its friends.