November 12, 2021

Holy New Martyr Mark of Kleisoura (+ 1598)

Holy New Martyr Mark Markoulis was from Kleisoura in Kastoria and lived in the 16th century. Sources for his life do not exist and the only information we have about him comes from a manuscript of a priest from Kastoria named Papa-Argyris, the original of which is now lost. There we are informed that his father's name was Peter and we are told about his martyrdom.

He was arrested by the Ottomans and brought to Argos Orestiko, where he endured torture for refusing to deny his faith in Christ and become a Muslim. Finally, he was executed by hanging and his lifeless body was cast into the Haliacmon River in 1598. According to a local tradition, the execution of the Saint took place on the plane tree which is next to the Church of Saint Paraskevi in Argos Orestiko.

A church in Kastoria dedicated to Saint Mark the Evangelist is believed to have been built in honor of this New Martyr after his martyrdom, but was named after the Evangelist in order to not incur the wrath of the Turks.

The first celebration of his memory took place locally in 2012 and it was established at that time that his annual commemoration would take place on November 12th. He was officially canonized by the Ecumenical Patriarchate on February 12, 2020.