Demetrios the Neomartyr

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Demetrios the Neomartyr was born in the small village near the city of Tripoli, in Arcadia area of the Peloponnesos. At the early nineteenth century the Turks had firmly controlled this area for more than three centuries.

Being a teenager, Demetrios was apprenticed to a Turkish contractor, who convinced him to a refuse Christ and to accept Islam for the good life. Demetrios even changed his name and became Mehmet.

But, fortunately, his father found Demetrios after several months and draw the boy away from the muslim environment, and returned him to the Christ once again. The young Christian made many prayer for forgiveness, after which he became very contrite. Leaving Tripoli, Demetrios made his way to the island of Chios where he hoped to show his sincere repentance.

At Chios he was admitted to a monastery in which he want to cleanse himself of his shameful act, and to serve the Savior with all his heart and soul. Many monks heard his confessions and were deeply moved by the young man's sincere remorse, so they let him remain amongst them. Finally he was tonsured a monk after the proper training. Wishing to console Demetrios, the abbot reminded him the story of Peter's denial of Christ, after which Apostle Peter repented and became a saint.

Demetrios carried himself in the manner of the highest ascetic rules, but he was troubled by an unfulfilled wish to make an act which would completely expiate his sin. He thought the right way would be to return to the place of his fall and there to confess his belief in Christ before those who were witnesses of his acceptance of Islam. The abbot tried to dissuade him by citing the decision of David to preach the word of God for all his days rather than sacrifice himself in an untimely death. But Demetrios felt in his heart the necessity to faced the Turks of Tripolis.

And he returned to avow openly his fidelity to Jesus and for this he was executed as the turncoat from islam. The holy relics of this brave new martyr, who gave his life for Christ on April 14 lie in the Church of Saint Demetrios in Tripoli, Greece.

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