Thursday, January 21, 2010

St. Neophytos the Great Martyr of Nicea

Icon of Saints celebrated on January 21st: Sts. Neophytos, Maximos the Confessor and Agne (taken from:

St. Neophytos the Great Martyr of Nicea - Commemorated on January 21

"The Holy Martyr Neophytus, a native of the city of Nicea in Bithynia, was raised by his parents in strict Christian piety. For his virtue, temperance and unceasing prayer, it pleased God to glorify St Neophytus with the gift of wonderworking, while the saint was still just a child!

Like Moses, the holy youth brought forth water from a stone of the city wall and gave this water to those who were thirsty. In answer to the prayer of St Neophytus' mother, asking that God's will concerning her son might be revealed to her, a white dove miraculously appeared and told of the path he would follow. The saint was led forth from his parental home by this dove and brought to a cave on Mt. Olympus, which served as a lion's den. It is said that he chased the lion from the cave so that he could live there himself. The saint remained there from the age of nine until he was fifteen, leaving it only once to bury his parents and distribute their substance to the poor.

During the persecution by Diocletian (284-305), he went to Nicea and boldly began to denounce the impiety of the pagan faith. The enraged persecutors suspended the saint from a tree, they whipped him with ox thongs, and scraped his body with iron claws. Then they threw him into a red-hot oven, but the holy martyr remained unharmed, spending three days and three nights in it. The torturers, not knowing what else to do with him, decided to kill him. One of the pagans ran him through with a sword (some say it was a spear), and the saint departed to the Lord at the age of sixteen."
(taken from:

St. Neophytos the Great Martyr (taken from:

Apolytikion 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.

Kontakion in the Fourth Tone
Thou didst shine forth from the mount like unto lightning and didst glorify Christ God in thy martyric pains and death, O thou Great Martyr Neophytos. Wherefore, thou hast now received the unfading crown.

Απολυτίκιο. Ήχος πλ. α’. Τον συνάναρχον Λόγον.
Εκ σπάργανων επλήσθης της θείας χάριτος, ώσπερ νεόφυτοι έρνος χαριτωθείς την ψυχήν, και θαυμάτων αυτουργός ξένων γενόμενος, ηνδρανάθησας στερρώς, δι’ αγώνων Ιερών, Νεόφυτε Αθλοφόρε. Αλλά μη παύση πρεσβεύων, ελεηθήναι τας ψυχάς ημών.

Another Apolytikion in the Plagal of the First Tone (amateur translation)
From swaddling clothes full of divine grace, as a newly-planted shoot full of grace in soul, and becoming a worker of strange wonders, you proved yourself steadfast through Sacred struggles, O Champion Neophytos. But cease not to intercede for mercy on our souls.

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

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