February 16, 2022

Holy New Hieromartyr Deacon Who Is Anonymous

Holy New Hieromartyr Deacon Who Is Anonymous (Feast Day - February 16)

You mocked the Immaculate Mysteries, Deacon of Vitsa,
As a Martyr you entered the heavens.

The glorious, new hieromartyr of Christ, and anonymous Deacon, was a teacher of sacred letters, who came from Vitsa of Zagori. He served as a Deacon in the Church of Saint Marina in Ioannina, in the neighborhood of Kalou Cesme (Kaloutsiani). Having been deceived by the devil, he apostatized from the Orthodox faith and embraced Islam.

One day, on a certain Islamic feast, as he was making merry with some of his fellow Muslims, this former Deacon decided to joke around with his friends and took on his former role as a Deacon to mock the Immaculate Mysteries of Christ. When he cried out, "With the fear of God, faith and love, cdraw near!", suddenly and in a wondrous manner real blood began to flow from the make-believe chalice he was holding, and it showered him as well as those around him.

Diakonovitsa in the mid-1970's (photo at top of the page is an older version of the same place)

When the Deacon saw this miracle, he returned to the Christian faith and with boldness confessed Christ as the true God and Savior of the world. The unbelievers had him arrested and he was made to endure vicious tortures in order to get him to return to Islam, but seeing that he was firm in his faith, he was given over to be martyred. His martyrdom took place beyond the fountain of Kalou Cesme, where since that time the place became known as "Diakonovitsa", named after the Deacon of Vitsa.