April 24, 2015

Holy New Martyr Doukas the Tailor from Mytilene (+ 1564)

St. Doukas the Tailor (Feast Day - April 24)


Doukas the Tailor was entirely skinned,
Sewing for himself a brilliant garment.

Doukas was a young and handsome man from Mytilene who had quite a successful trade as a tailor in Constantinople. In fact, he had a rather elite clientele sewing for a number of very high placed Muslim officials. Because of this he frequently visited the houses of his Muslim customers.

In one such home, the lady of the house fell in love with him. She made advances towards Doukas who, realizing the danger involved, chose to ignore them. But one day, the Muslim woman visited him in his workshop and said to him, "Young man, listen to me, come to my house as before and don't be afraid. My husband is with the army; he may or may not come back. Now if you wish to deny your faith, I will marry you. If my husband does return, you will still occupy the first place in my palace. But if you do not wish to become a Muslim, stay an Orthodox Christian. Just come and do as I say." However, her final words were, "If you don't come, know you will lose your life."

But Doukas, like another chaste Joseph, loved God and paid no attention to her threats. She would send him messages, but Doukas made no reply. This made her angry, and she wished him dead. Finally she lodged official charges against him with the vizier saying, "I have a tailor who sews clothes for my palace, and I sent for him to come so that I could give him some clothes to sew. He came and spoke to me using improper and unseemly language which I am embarrassed to repeat. This is why I had him beaten, and then he left."

The vizier promised to do as she wished, knowing that she was the wife of a high ranking official. He asked what she wished done with Doukas. She answered that she wanted him converted to the Muslim faith or be thrown on a bed of iron spikes.

In the beginning, the vizier sent a sumbashi to bring Doukas before him. Initially the vizier tried through the use of flattery and promises to cause Doukas to abandon Christ for the faith of Muhammad, but Doukas would not hear of it. Then Doukas was warned that it was either conversion or the bed of spikes. But even the prospect of such a horrible death did not move Doukas. He was consequently sentenced to death.

Doukas was first skinned alive and tortured, and after throwing his skin into the sea, they threw him on a bed of iron spikes which brought upon his death.

This took place on April 24, 1564 in Constantinople, when Doukas the tailor showed his divine eros as a martyr of the Christian faith.