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April 24, 2019

Holy New Martyr Nicholas at Magnesia (+ 1776)

St. Nicholas who was martyred in Magnesia (Feast Day - April 24)


Seeking Nicholas found marriage,
Finding one incorrupt in the heavens by his beating.

The Holy New Martyr Nicholas lived with his father Hatzi-Kanellos in Yayakoy, who was an overseer and superintendent of the country estates and flocks of Agha Kara-Osmanoglu, and was very much honored by the Turks. When Nicholas was twenty-two, he was betrothed to an upright woman, and their wedding date was set for Thomas Sunday in the year 1776.

It came about that Nicholas had to travel to Magnesia for business purposes, and being invested with the authority of the Turkish agha, he donned a red fez, which Turks did not allow Christians to wear in that part of Anatolia. Christians were only permitted to wear the white fez. For this reason he was brought before the Turkish judge in Magnesia.

When the judge asked Nicholas why he wore the Turkish fez not permitted to Christians, and if by doing so he was interested in embracing Islam, Nicholas responded: "God forbid, may it never be that I deny my faith. I wear this fez with your permission, because my father works in your own service." For this response, the judge ordered his attendants to strike Nicholas with a few slight corrective blows, not wanting them to strike hard, in order to persuade him to embrace Islam.

Nicholas gladly received the beating, standing firm in his Orthodox faith. Continuing to affirm his faith in Christ, the judge ordered his attendants to beat Nicholas harder and harder. Even promises of many gifts and high rank would not persuade him, nor thoughts of leaving behind loving relatives and his beloved fiance deterred him. Instead he stood valiantly, urging the judge to kill him if he must, but by no means would he renounce his Christian faith.

This enraged the judge, and he ordered Nicholas to be severely beaten, and he was thrown in prison half-dead. After three days the blessed Nicholas surrendered his soul to the Lord, and received the radiant crown of martyrdom on April 24, 1776. (It should be noted, other sources say he was martyred in 1769 or 1796, but both of these are wrong, as well as the error of St. Nikodemos the Hagiorite in his New Martyrology for calling Nicholas by the name George.)