In an intriguing historical account, Patriarch Maghakia Ormanian (1841-1918) sheds light on the enigmatic figure known as the “Man in the Iron Mask.” According to Ormanian, this individual was none other than Bishop Avedik Yevtogiatsi of Constantinople, a notable figure of the 18th century. The Bishop was reportedly despised by the French for his staunch opposition to missionary Jesuits.
Charles Ferriol, Marquise d’Argental, a French envoy, is said to have requested the sultan to banish Yevtogiatsi to a remote island near Syria. The sultan, however, decided to send him to Jerusalem. The plot thickens as the French allegedly corrupted the Turkish captain, diverting the ship westward to Sicily. Once in Sicilian territory, the bishop was captured by French forces and incarcerated within the walls of an Inquisition prison.
Bishop Yevtogiatsi’s ordeal did not end there; he was subsequently transferred to the island of Mount Michel in France and then to the infamous Bastille. His life came to a somber end in 1711. In a final gesture that adds a layer of solemnity to his story, Yevtogiatsi was laid to rest in the Church of St. Sulpice in Paris, marking the end of his turbulent journey. This narrative, as presented by Ormanian, offers a compelling alternative to the theories surrounding the identity of the legendary “Man in the Iron Mask.”