February 9, 2021

Holy Hieromartyr Peter of Damascus

Holy Hieromartyr Peter of Damascus (Feast Day - February 9)


Peter who rebuked those that struck him,
Died from one strike, meeting his end by the sword.

There is much confusion and debate as to who this is. It appears that this Holy Hieromartyr Peter is the same as the Holy Hieromartyr Peter of Capitolias, who is commemorated on October 4th (the image from the Menologion of Basil II above is of him). However, this Holy Hieromartyr Peter of Capitolias seems to be a combination of two other martyrs named Peter mentioned in the Chronicle of Theophanes, one being a Metropolitan of Damascus and the other being Peter of Maiouma; Maiouma is probably a mistaken translation of the name of the servant of Peter of Capitolias whose name was Qaiouma (M and Q in Arabic are very similar). To add to the confusion, many think the Metropolitan of Damascus is the Peter of Damascus who authored the neptic writings of the Philokalia, which is unlikely since he is likely to have been a Syrian monk that lived at least a few centuries later than these eighth century Saints. Because of this confusion, I think it is best to commemorate three of these four Saints separately on February 9th - Holy Martyr Peter of Maiouma, Holy Hieromartyr Peter the Metropolitan of Damascus and Venerable Peter of Damascus - leaving October 4th for Holy Hieromartyr Peter of Capitolias..