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October 26, 2016

Synaxarion of the Holy and Glorious Great Martyr Demetrios of Thessaloniki

On the twenty-sixth of this month [October], we commemorate the holy and most-glorious Great Martyr and Wonderworker Demetrios the Myrrhgusher.


Lances, my Christ, pierced through Demetrios,
Emulating the passions of your lance-pierced side.
On the twenty-sixth spears pierced the side of Demetrios.

Saint Demetrios lived during the reigns of Emperors Diocletian (284-305) and Maximian (286-305), was from the city of Thessaloniki, pious from the beginning by his parents, and a teacher of the faith of Christ. When Maximian went to Thessaloniki, then this great Demetrios was captured and put in prison, because he openly proclaimed piety and faith in Christ.

The emperor boasted concerning one man, whose name was Lyaios, who exceeded others in his great physical stature and bravery, and because he tried to persuade the people of Thessaloniki to enter the stadium in order to fight him. For this reason a young man who was a Christian by faith, whose name was Nestor, went to Saint Demetrios who was in prison, and said to him: "Servant of God, I want to fight Lyaios. Wherefore supplicate the Lord on my behalf." The Saint sealed his forehead and said: "Lyaios you will conquer, and for Christ you will be martyred." Nestor was encouraged and strengthened in his soul by the words of the Saint, and immediately jumped into the stadium. And fighting Lyaios, he killed him. Thus he overthrew his pride, as well as the boasting of the emperor.

The emperor was therefore shamed, so he grieved as well as became enraged. Having heard that Saint Demetrios urged Nestor towards this, soldiers were sent to him, having ordered them to pierce the Saint with lances in prison, because he was the cause of the slaughter of Lyaios. When this took place, immediately the great Demetrios delivered his holy soul into the hands of God. He performed many amazing miracles and healings after his death. After this the emperor ordered for Saint Nestor to be decapitated.

Thus the death of Saint Demetrios took place in this manner, and his dead relic was cast to the ground. Some Christians went and took it up, and buried him in the earth. A servant of the Saint whose name was Louppos, that stood beside him when he received a blessed death for Christ, took the blood of the Martyr on the Saint's tunic, as well as the ring of the Saint, and anointing it with his blood, he worked many great miracles through it, so that the entire city of Thessaloniki was filled with the fame of these miracles. It was therefore not possible for the envy of the devil to withstand this, nor for the emperor to not learn about it. For this reason the good servant Louppos was captured and immediately murdered, becoming also a Martyr of Jesus Christ.

Apolytikion in the Third Tone
The world has found in you a great champion in time of peril, as you emerged the victor in routing the nations. For as you brought to naught the boasts of Lyaios, imparting courage to Nestor in the stadium, in like manner, holy one, Great Martyr Demetrios, invoke Christ God for us, that He may grant us His great mercy.

Kontakion in the Second Tone
God, who gave you invincible power and with care kept your city invulnerable, royally clothed the Church in purple with the streams of your blood, for you are her strength, O Demetrios.

Protect your servants O athlete, those who piously sing your praises myrrhgushing Martyr, and save us from dangers and all other harm, thrice-blessed Demetrios through your entreaties.