May 3, 2015

Holy Six Virgin Martyrs of Geroplatonos in Halkidiki (+ 1854)

Holy Six Virgin Martyrs of Geroplatonos in Halkidiki (Feast Day - First Sunday of May)

In April of 1854 the Greek Revolution manifested in Halkidiki led by Captain Tsamis Karatasos. In Kavrolaka 65 Turks were killed while only 1 Greek from Vlachomichali was killed. Despite this success, the Revolution failed and on April 22nd thirty Greek notables of Polygyros were massacred. Destruction and further massacres extended throughout Halkidiki. When the Turks arrived in Geroplatonos, they destroyed the Church of Saint Demetrios, which is why in that church today all the icons date to 1858.

Also in Geroplatanos, seven girls were locked inside the mill of Tsamis. The Turks surrounded them and asked them to change their religion. Six remained steadfast and confessed their faith in Christ. The Turks had these six burned alive. According to sources, the seventh girl, though she married a Turk, lived and died as a Christian. Traces of the fire can still be seen in the mill today.

Their martyrdom through fire has placed them among the chorus of New Martyrs, and they are examples of faith and a good confession. Just as a candle melts when it illuminates, so they melted in the furnace of fire and illuminate us. They are a six-branched candelabra that burned with the fire of faith, illuminated us and refined their faith as gold in the fire. Their burning illuminates us and enriches us.

They are particularly honored in the Church of Saint Demetrios in Geroplatonos of Halkidiki on the first Sunday of May. We do not know the first names of these girls, but their last names are known, and they are: Mizouli, Karakasi, Lemoni, Tsami, Paschou and Nestora.

Rejoice, six illustrious maidens of Geroplatonos, who were mercilessly burned in the village mill for your faith in Christ, and for your all-white garment of virginity.