April 8, 2019

Holy New Martyr John Koulikas (+ 1564)

St. John Koulikas (Feast Day - April 8)


How can I pass over Koulikas in silence,
Who died on iron hooks for the Lord?

John the New Martyr was a blessed soul and possessed profound wisdom and zeal. One day he became interested in the religion of Hagarenes, not out of any desire to convert but simple inquisitiveness. The Turks, being jealous of him, willfully misconstrued his intention and buffeted him. They took him to the judge and falsely testified that he had insulted their religion. The judge demanded John's renunciation of Christ in order to release him, but the martyr answered with great freedom of speech, "May God never permit that I should deny my Lord Jesus Christ, even if you subject me to ten thousand deaths!" Then the judge ordered that John be cast into prison and impaled on iron hooks. In this manner, he received the crown of martyrdom in the year 1564.*


* The account of his martyrdom is taken from St. Nikodemos the Hagiorite, who lists his martyrdom as taking place on April 8, 1564, but in other places he is commemorated on April 18th.