July 9, 2017

Synaxarion of the Holy New Martyr Michael Paknanas the Gardner of Athens

On the 9th of this month [July], we commemorate the Holy New Martyr Michael Paknanas, the Athenian and Gardner, who was perfected by the sword in the year 1771.


Divine Michael was not dismayed as he was beheaded,
For he eagerly accepted it on behalf of Christ.

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Why O sword-bearer do you little by little against the neck,
Behead Michael? For he was not dismayed by the sword.
On the ninth Michael was unyielding as his neck was cut by the sword.

He had his beginning in the city of Athens, in his eighteenth year of age he struggled, he was pious and God-fearing, and his surname was Paknanas. By trade he was a gardener, by which he provided for life's needs, for he lived on little and was poor. One day, as he came to the gates of the city, those who were entrusted with guarding it, were moved by envy, and accosted him, saying that he was smuggling weapons to the armatoloi, and having slandered him, they shut him bound in prison, although the blessed one was simple and harmless and guileless. He underwent various torments because he would not deny the name of the Savior, remaining firm and steadfast in his good confession, in a superhuman and auspicious manner. Neither the flower of his youth, nor the rage of the tyrants, nor all good attachments could bring him to deny his beloved Christ. After thirty days he was removed from prison, and standing before the adversaries, he confessed again that he was a Christian. When they saw that they could not change his mind, that he disdained all things and there was nothing suspicious, they sentenced him to death. After he was beheaded at the neck by a sword, he ascended bearing a crown into the heavens, being adorned with the crown of martyrdom, for he struggled well in the contest till the end.

Apolytikion in the First Tone
In these latter years you trampled on treacherous insolence with good courage, blessed one, confessing Jesus, and with the stream of your blood, Michael, you sanctified the land of Athens and became an example to all the pious, who cry out with faith: Glory to Your Maker and God, glory to Him Who crowned you, glory to Him Who granted us a firm guide in you.

Kontakion in the Fourth Tone
Adorned with a pious character, you accomplished martyrdom, in the divine arena Michael, and from the hands of the Lord of all, you received the crown of the contest.

Rejoice revered boast of Athens, divinely-minded Michael, Neomartyr of Jesus, who ever beseeches, on behalf of those who celebrate, your divine memory, and praise you.