Friday, March 20, 2015

Holy New Martyr Myron the Tailor of Heraklion, Crete (+ 1793)

St. Myron of Heraklion (Feast Day - March 20)

Myron was born into a pious Orthodox Christian family in Mega Kastro (present day Heraklion), headed by his father whose name was Demetrios. Myron was a sober and serious young man who earned his living by working as a tailor.

Myron's habits and demeanor were such that he became the envy of the Muslims, who also thought he was extremely handsome. Therefore a number of Muslims set out to find a way to cause him to abandon Orthodox Christianity and accept Islam.

One day the Muslims found a young boy and convinced him to declare that Myron had molested him. This charge gave the Muslims the excuse they needed to apprehend and bring Myron before the kadi. Their concocted story was repeated before the kadi who asked Myron if the charge against him were true. Myron immediately answered it was false because he was not guilty of molesting the young Muslim boy. The Muslims present however shouted at the top of their voices that the charges were true and that Myron deserved to die.

The kadi then said to Myron he had two choices: convert and save his life or remain an Orthodox Christian and suffer death. Myron replied that he was unwilling ever to deny his faith and the name of Christ. On the contrary he was ready to receive as much punishment as they would inflict on him for the love of Christ. He was born an Orthodox Christian and he was ready to die as an Orthodox Christian.

Hearing this response, the kadi ordered Myron beaten and placed in jail. When he was brought back for the second interrogation, the same witnesses came forward and repeated their charges and demanded his punishment. Meanwhile the kadi began flattering Myron, promising him many rewards and honors if he converted, but also a very painful death if he refused. Others present asked Myron to take pity on his youth and beauty and invited him to come over to Islam and live a happy and glorious life.

Myron's response to this was that he would never change his faith and he would die as an Orthodox Christian. Seeing his resolve, the kadi immediately sentenced Myron to death.

On the way to his execution, which was to take place outside of the city, Myron greeted all the Orthodox Christians he met and said to them, "Brethren, forgive me and God will forgive you." Among those following along the way was Myron's father whose tears overwhelmed him. So when they reached the place of execution, Myron asked and was given permission to go to his father. He fell at his father's feet and began kissing them, consoling him and asking him for his paternal blessing. Myron then turned to the executioners and told them to complete their task. Myron's death followed swiftly by hanging.

As he remained on the scaffold, a heavenly light was seen bathing Myron's body.

Thus Myron the Tailor from Mega Kastro, Crete sacrificed his life for the love of Jesus Christ in his home city on March 20, in the year 1793.

From Witnesses For Christ: Orthodox Christian Neomartyrs of the Ottoman Period 1437-1860, by Nomikos Michael Vaporis, pp. 216-217.

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