July 31, 2015

An Anonymous New Martyr From Crete (+ July 1811)

Holy Anonymous New Martyr of Crete (Feast Day - July 31);
Icon depicts All New Martyrs of Crete

This Saint, whose name is unknown to us, came from Crete and was born to pious parents. At the age of twenty he worked with a salary for a Turkish Aga from Crete. When he was with his boss in Alexandria of Egypt, one night the Aga asked to sleep with him, as it was a Turkish habit to sleep with both boys and women.

The Saint naturally refused, being pious and godly-minded. The Aga, being unable to control his lawless passion, tried to rape him. The Martyr resisted this with all his might and not having any other way to withstand his defiled hands, he grabbed one of the knives of the Aga, and butchered the Ishmaelite like Phineas did the Midianite.

In the morning friends and compatriots of the Aga arrested the young Cretan and brought him to the judge. He examined the case and found there was no charge against him, so he set him free.

Yet after two days he was again arrested and brought to court, where he was tortured with beatings and floggings and confessed the entire truth. Then they pressured him to change his faith and in return they would spare his life.

The Saint didn't even accept to hear about becoming a Muslim, so he continuously shouted with all his strength: "I am a Christian and a Christian I wish to die", while criticizing and ridiculing the Sodomites. They sentenced him to death by hanging, which he accepted with great joy.

His honorable relic remained hanging for two days and after they took it down they buried it in the sand.

Source: Translated by John Sanidopoulos.

Additional Information About the Anonymous New Martyr of Crete

In July of 1811, shortly after the martyrdom of the Anonymous Martyr, the Abbot of the Monastery of Saint Savvas in Alexandria gave information about this Anonymous New Martyr to Patriarch Theophilos Panostas (1764-1833), who served from 1805 to 1825. From the memorandum of Patriarch Theophilos we learn that this young man was an Orthodox Christian from Crete who was twenty years of age, the son of pious parents. However, the Abbot did not mention his name because "his limited intelligence told him that a murderer cannot be considered a saint." The Patriarch was absent at this time, and upon his return was informed of the incident. He then wrote in an epilogue of the Lexicon of Barinos that the "hanged person is both a martyr and a saint," because Moses himself had murdered the assistant of Egypt's Pharoah.

Apolytikion in Plagal of the First Tone
Let us all honor the Unknown Martyr who was born in Crete and went to Egypt to honorably earn eternal life. He steadfastly resisted the disgraceful plot of the heathen, choosing the noose and martyrdom, rather than a life of shame.

Kontakion in Plagal of the First Tone
Who has not marveled at your youth and your invincible courage, Saint and sacred offspring of Crete. Therefore Christ the Rewarder has crowned you with an incorruptible crown.

Rejoice, unknown New Martyr of Jesus, victorious unknown Saint and divine offspring of Crete. Rejoice, you who through the intercession of your divine prayers always expel the stench of the passions.