Aggelis the Physician
The Physician Neomartyr St. Aggelis was originally from Argos. He was a devout Christian and a physician practicing in New Ephesus in Asia Minor. He had the admiration and respect of everyone. His compassion to the sick and suffering revealed his spiritual thirst to achieve Christian Perfection. As it is reported St Aggelis had some personal eccentricities.
In working toward perfection St. Aggelis he had many unusual struggles due to his unconventional nature. On one occasion he actually challenged an atheist Frenchman to a duel when the Frenchman began slandering the Saint during a discussion on Christian Faith. St. Aggelis went to his spiritual father for confession and to receive a blessing for the upcoming contest. His confessor urged him to withdraw from the duel but due to St. Aggelis’ persistence felt compelled to give St. Aggelis this blessing. St. Aggelis went into all night prayer and after receiving communion proceeded to the designated dueling site. At the last moment the atheist Frenchman lost his nerve and fled the scene.
From that moment on the eccentric tendencies of St. Aggelis became hard for people to comprehend. He gave up his profession and withdrew to his home. He stopped speaking to people with the exception of two close friends. He confided to them that his path would be one of Martyrdom.
On the Saturday of Lazarus 1813 without explanation St. Aggelis announced he would become a Muslim. By his expressions towards the Turkish Muslims it was obvious that he could easily return to Orthodoxy.
It was not uncommon for the Saint to use harsh language and angrily threaten the non-Christian citizens. The authorities, in order to avoid civil disturbances from such actions, sent him to the island of Chios. In Chios, he was commonly found in Orthodox Churches weeping. The Saint would ask his fellow Christians to pray on his behalf that God may give an end to St. Aggelis’s struggles.
In Chios St. Aggelis met and would associate with a man of some spiritual advancement. St. Aggelis would enter into a spiritual state and when his companion would ask to share his spiritual knowledge, St. Aggelis would change the subject matter.
Living on Chios for 6 months St. Aggelis shaved his beard and went to the local customs office. The customs workers asked the Saint the purpose of such an act only to be answered, “while I was a Turk I had my beard. Now that I am once again a Christian, I have shaven.”
The authorities naturally attempted to have St. Aggelis reconsider his faith. When he did not he was incarcerated and tortured.
Having failed to convince St. Aggelis to denounce Christianity the Turkish authorities took him to a place called “Small Mountain” (Βουνάκι) and beheaded him on December 3rd. His body was tossed into the sea at a depth of 25 leagues. Despite the efforts of the faithful to recover the Saint’s Relics they were never found.
From the Religious and Ethical Encyclopedia (Θρησκευτική και Ηθική Εγκυκλοπαίδεια), Volume 1,166-167