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AGIOS DEMETRIOS, the Great Martyr and Myrovletes (myrrh-emitting),
was born in Thessalonica, Greece in 260 A.D. His parents were
illustrious he was adorned with enduring virtues of prudence,
sweetness, humility, justice, and with every noble comeliness of the
soul. All these were like precious stones which shone on the crown
which he wore, and this crown was the faith in Christ.

In those days, Diocletian reigned in Rome, and he had appointed
as caesar another hard-hearted and bloodthirsty general named
Maximian. Demetrios was appointed ruler of all the troups in all
Thesaalia. When Maximian returned from a certain war, he gathered
the officers of Thessalonica in order to offer sacrifice to the idols.
Then Demetrios revealed that he was a Christian, and did not accept
gods made of hands and stones.
Maximian went into a rage and ordered that Demetrios be tried and
imprisoned in a bath. While in jail, the common people ran with
mourning to hear Demetrios teach the people of Christ. A young man,
Nestor, also went every day and heard his teaching.

During those days, Maximian rejoiced at watching brave men fought in
the stadium. Lyaeus, a beastly man, brass-knuckled, an idolator and
blasphemer, brought from some barbarous nation was a favorite to
win. He boasted that he had the strength of Ares, the pagan god of
war. Because no one else dared wrestle with Lyaeus, Nestor went to
the prison and besought St. Demetrios to bless him to defeat and put
to shame Maximian and their religion.
Agios Demetrios prayed and made the sign of the Cross over Nestor,
and immediately Nestor ran to the stadium and wrestled with that
fierce giant, and he threw him down, and slew him crying out “By the
power of the God of Demetrios!” This engraged Maximian and upon
learning that Nestor was a Christian and that St. Demetrios had “whosoever will
blessed him, he ordered the soldiers to have them put to death.
Nestor was martyred in the stadium, and Demetrious at only 36 years
old was pierced in the side in prison and beheaded the next day. save his life
shall lose it:
and whosoever
will lose his
life for my sake
shall find it.”
Gospel of St. Matthew 16:25
Ἀπολυτίκιον (Festal Hymn)
Μέγαν εὕρατο
ἐv τοῖς κιvδύvοις,
σὲ ὑπέρμαχοv,
ἡ οἰκουμένη,
Ἀθλοφόρε τὰ ἔθνη τροπούμενον.
Ὡς οὖν Λυαίου καθεῖλες
τὴν ἔπαρσιν, ἐν τῷ σταδίῳ
θαῤῥύvας τὸν Νέστορα, οὕτως
Ἅγιε, Μεγαλομάρτυς Δημήτριε,
Χριστὸν τὸν Θεὸν ἱκέτευε,
δωρήσασθαι ἡμῖν
τὸ μέγα ἔλεος.

Great Martyr –
ο Μεγαλομάρτυρας

holy relics –
τα αγια λείψανα