Sunday, December 20, 2009

St. John the New Martyr of Thasos

St. John the New Martyr of Thasos was martyred in Constantinople in December 20th 1652. (icon taken from:

"The Saint was from the town of Maries of Thasos. At the age of 14 some of his fellow countrymen brought him to Constantinople, where he was led to some Christian in Galata to learn to be a tailor.

One day his mentor sent him to a Jewish trader to buy thread. It appears that he either disagreed with the trader over the price or tried to laugh at him. At that time the Hotza was calling from the minaret for the noon-time prayer. Then the Jewish trader took advantage of the opportunity and began to cry out to the Hotza and to the other Turks:

-"Don’t you hear this kid that is cursing your faith and your pilgrimage?"

As soon as the Turks heard this they believed the Jew, and they seized the youth John, beat him mercilessly and took him to Beziri, where they testified that he cursed their faith. The Saint swore that he was slandered by the Jew. Beziri, as soon as he saw that he was dealing with a child, felt sorry and told him:

-"Come and become a Turk, that your life be sweetened and that I may have you close to me, to honor you and make you rich."

He tried with these promises and flatteries to distance him from Christ. However the blessed child responded: "I would never deny my sweetest Jesus Christ, even if you inflict on me a thousand tortures, or even if you granted me your whole kingdom."

Then Beziri ordered that they behead him. They led him to the agora, there where the fur workshops were, in front of the bath, across from the fountain and delivered him to the executioner. He kneeled and, wishing to scare him, swung the sword and hit him on the neck, cutting him ever so little. Seeing in the end that the Saint was accepting death with great joy, without quivering at all, he swung the sword with strength and beheaded him.

Thus the 14-year-old John from Thasos, the tailor, received the crown of martyrdom."
(amateur translation of Greek text from:

St. John the New Martyr of Thasos (icon taken from:

Apolytikion for a Martyr in the Fourth Tone
Thy Martyr, O Lord, in his courageous contest for Thee received the prize of the crowns of incorruption and life from Thee, our immortal God. For since he possessed Thy strength, he cast down the tyrants and wholly destroyed the demons' strengthless presumption. O Christ God, by his prayers, save our souls, since Thou art merciful.

Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us! Amen!

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