February 15, 2016

Holy New Martyr John the Koulakiotis (+ 1776)

St. John the Koulakiotis (Feast Day - February 15)

The Holy New Martyr John came from a village near Thessaloniki called Koulakia, now known as Halastra (or Pyrgos) and he was a teacher. For a certain period of time he went to Mount Athos, where he had a subordinate named Argyris.

When John was in Thessaloniki, during a conversation with certain Turks, an argument ensued where the Turks accused John of wanting at one time to become a Muslim. John categorically denied their claim, so they led him to the bazaar, probably the central market of the city, and they executed him without trial by hanging him. This took place on Tuesday, at 4:00 AM, on the 15th of February in 1776. After he was hung, the Turks threw his relic into the sea.

A Service in his honor was composed by Monk Gerasimos Mikragiannanitis and Archimandrite Joel Frangakis, now Bishop of Edessa.