October 26, 2015

Holy New Martyr Joasaph the New (+ 1516)

St. Joasaph the New (Feast Day - October 26)


You combined asceticism with the contest of martyrdom, blessed one,
Receiving a double crown Joasaph.

Saint Joasaph was a monk and disciple of the Holy Patriarch Nephon II of Constantinople. Like the Holy Neomartyr Makarios, who was also a disciple of Patriarch Nephon, Joasaph also sought to give his life for Christ. Together all three went to Wallachia and Macedonia to preach the word of God to the thirsty people. According to Saint Nikodemos the Hagiorite, "he strove as much as possible to imitate the virtues and struggles of his sacred teacher." Eventually they settled in Vatopaidi Monastery on the Holy Mountain and lived there until the martyrdom of Saint Makarios in 1507.

After the martrdom of Saint Makarios, Saints Nephon and Joasaph secretly departed Vatopaidi Monastery for Dionysiou Monastery. It was at this time that Joasaph consulted with Patriarch Nephon regarding his desire to die a martyric death like Saint Makarios. Patriarch Nephon informed him that this was the will of God and that it should take place in Constantinople. Joasaph, however, waited until the holy patriarch's death in 1508 before he departed for Constantinople to fulfill his desire.

Arriving in Constantinople, Joasaph fearlessly preached the mystery of the Holy Trinity and the mystery of the Incarnation of the Son and Word of God the Father to the Muslim population. The Turks were surprised to hear him openly proclaim his Christian faith, causing many to become enraged and they seized him to bring him before the judge. After cruel tortures he was beheaded, sealing his confession with his blood. His martyrdom took place on October 26, 1516 (not 1536 as some sources falsely claim).

His memory is celebrated on October 26th, but at Vatopaidi Monastery he is honored on October 25th as well as July 10th, which is the feast of all saints of Vatopaidi.