The Holy [[martyr]]
‘‘‘Abu of Tbilisi’’’ was a well born muslim arab who accompanied the Georgian ruler Kartli Nerses when he returned to Georgia from Bagdad about the year 775. His interest in Christianity grew such that he became a Christian and suffered martyrdom. In Georgian transliteration his name is Abo. The martyr Abu is remembered on [[January 8]]
Abu was born in Bagdad. According to his biography he was an "excellent connoisseur of mohammedan books" that is the Qur’an and Law. There is no information concerning his reasoning for leaving his home in Bagdad to travel to distant Georgia, the Emirate of Tibilisi, nor why he was an attendant to the released Georgian ruler Kartli Nerses.
At the time of his decision, Georgia was subjected to political changed. Thus, like Achmed Kalfa, he did not declare himself a Christian, but was among the 300 attendants who accompanied the deposed Nerses in his exile to Chazaria. There Abu accepted [[baptism]].
Abu’s appearance before the judge followed the established proceedings. He was offered cash awards and good career positions, that he spurned. After these unsuccessful proceeding, Abu was shackled and thrown into a dungeon to await his martyrdom. While waiting ABu presented an amazing example of his veneration and humility before God. He took the opportunity to sell his property through his friends, with the some of the proceeds to benefit his own cellmates. He asked that the money also be used for incense, candles, and benedictions for churches with a request that his memory be remembered in their prayers.
On the day of his martyrdom, Abu asked to receive Holy Communion. This was recognized and in the third hour he was visited by a [[priest]]. After Communion Abu was led across the city to his execution site. After he saying his prayers, the executioner began his duty by three time using the dull side of the sword in an attempt to induce fear in Abu and that he would return to islam. Not being successful, the executioner then took his full strokes, this was on [[January 6]], 786.