May 28, 2019

Holy New Hieromartyr Arsenios, Bishop of Beroea

St. Arsenios of Beroea (Feast Day - May 28)


Arsenios was a great shepherd of Beroea,
Eagerly he died on behalf of his flock.

Saint Arsenios was the Bishop of Beroea in Macedonia around the 15th century. He was a pious and virtuous Bishop who protected his flock in a period of Islamization when under Turkish rule, through his writings and preaching.

For this reason he was taken by the Turks and tortured. At first they would immerse him in a deep pit of water, then a Turk cut off his right hand since with it he wrote to strengthen the faith of the Christians. He was then imprisoned under harsh conditions. Despite his suffering, Bishop Arsenios continued to glorify Christ and counseled the Christians to remain firm in their faith.

Finally the Turks led him naked and barefoot, dressed only in a tunic, to a spot where the altar of a church once stood near the old Metropolitan Cathedral, and as he chanted praises to God, he bent his neck, and he was beheaded. His body was thrown to wild animals to be devoured, but they reverenced his body and would not touch it.

The clergy of Beroea then took his body and buried it at the Church of Saint Demetrios. A few days after the martyrdom of the Saint, the soldier responsible for killing him was killed in battle.

The memory of Saint Arsenios was kept annually in Beroea as their first Neomartyr, but due to the hardships of the Turkish occupation, he became forgotten, until the Greek lawyer and historian Georgios Chionides found a pamphlet with his Divine Office at the Great Meteoron Monastery in Meteora. Because of this discovery, his feast was established in 1978 by Metropolitan Paul of Beroea, and a new Divine Office was composed by the hymnographer Gerasimos Mikragiannanites. He is now annually celebrated on May 28th in the old Metropolitan Cathedral of Beroea.

Apolytikion in the Third Tone
In Beroea you were seen, as the divine president, and the support, of your flock, divinely-minded Hieromartyr Arsenios, for whom you rejoiced to struggle for, protecting everyone from tribulations, Venerable Father, do entreat Christ God, to grant us the great mercy.

Kontakion in the Fourth Tone
The renowned shepherd of Beroea, as the imitator and servant of the Savior, who gave his life on behalf of his flock, the wise Arsenios, you contested lawfully; wherefore he was glorified, with heavenly glory, and always beseeches Christ, to grant us, forgiveness of our offenses.

Rejoice divine shepherd of Beroea, who for your flock, you steadfastly contested; rejoice Hierarch, and Martyr of the Savior, the boast of Macedonia, Father Arsenios.

Georgios Chionides