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Constantine Hagarit

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In the midst of this Constantine heard something from the [[Gospel]] that impacted him tremendously and prompted him to turn to Christ and seek Holy [[Baptism]]. The Smyrnaean Christians, however, did not dare to baptize him since they were forbidden to proselytize by law and would have been killed together with Constantine if it had been discovered that they helped a Muslim [[convert]] to Christianity. Because of this the Smyrnaeans sent Constantine to Mt. Athos to be baptized by the [[monk]]s there. On the Holy Mountain the Saint visited four [[monastery|monasteries]] seeking to be baptized and was refused Holy Baptism by all of them. He was on the verge of despair when the [[abbot]] of the [[Iviron Monastery (Athos)|Iviron monastery]], Gregory V, agreed to baptize him personally. It was during his chrismation that the Turkish Saint was given the name Constantine .
For some time after his baptism Constantine lived on Mt. Athos under the spiritual supervision of the elder Gabriel in the Kausokalivit MonasterySkete of Kafsokalyvia. Having lived under the direction of the elder, Constantine sought and received the blessing of the Athonite elders to proclaim the Gospel to his sister in Magnesia (in western Anatolia). This was not to be, for on his way to Magnesia Constantine was arrested and brought before a Turkish judge, before whom he confirmed his renunciation of Islam and declared his faith in Christ. The Saint was consequently beaten and imprisoned while the judge waited for the arrival of the Pasha of Machsonisia.
Although upon his arrival the pasha promised Constantine wealth and honor if he would return to [[Islam]], the Saint refused his offers and reaffirmed his confession of Christ and his commitment to the Christian Faith.

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