Athanasius of Attalia

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The holy, glorious and right-victorious Neomartyr Athanasius of Attalia lived in Smyrna in the 17th century. His feast day is celebrated on January 7.

Martyrdom

He was a poor and simple man, but was rich in faith. One day he was inadvertently involved in a religious dispute with a Turk. The Turk was educated and adroit with words, but Athanasius strove with all his might to uphold the truth of the Christian faith and its superiority over Islam. Finally, they parted.

On the next day, Athanasius was summoned to trial and met the Turk as his accuser. The judge called on Athanasius to repudiate Orthodoxy and accept Islam as he had given the impression of declaring to his companion of the previous day that he, Athanasius, said: "I would die a thousand deaths before I would deny the Faith of Christ!"

For this he was condemned to death and beheaded in the year 1700. His holy relics were buried in the Church of St. Paraskeva in Smyrna.

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