He was born in 1874 and baptized as Dimitrios Maniatis. After finishing elementary education he attended the Zariphios School in Philippopolis. He studied Theology at the University of Athens and Philosophy at the University of Munich. He spoke Greek, Turkish, French, German and Bulgarian.In 1902 he was named deacon. He remained in the Metropolis of Philippopolis where he reached the rank of protosynkellos. Then was named Patriarchal Exarch of Philippopolis for the period 1906-1914.
On 7 October 1929 was elected Ecumenical Patriarch and assigned to his post on the same day. During his Patriarchy the relations between Greece and Turkey improved thanks to the political actions of Eleftherios Venizelos and Kemal Ataturk. The patriarch Photios II died on 29 December 1935.