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April 28, 2022

Holy New Hieromartyr John of Petra in Pieria (+ 1822)

There are several Saints who are not widely known in Greece. One of them is Saint John from Petra in Pieria who celebrates on April 28.

On the 27th of the month, in the Monastery of Panagia in Petra, a Solemn Vespers was celebrated in honor of the Saint. The following is a brief description of the life of the Saint:

For the holy new martyr John we do not have information about the exact date of his birth (which is probably around the end of the 18th century) and his origin.

His love for Christ led him to the historic Sacred Monastery of Petra in Olympus, where he lived virtuously with a lot of asceticism. Due to the purity of his life he was found worthy to be a priest to perform the Immaculate Mysteries.

In March 1822, Christians flocked from the area of Olympus at the invitation of the chiefs of Naoussa to help in the uprising against the Turks.

The spiritual support of the fathers of the Sacred Monastery of Petra was also necessary for this purpose. The Monastery sent, for this difficult mission, the hieromonk John, who hurried to encourage and strengthen the Christians of Naousa spiritually.

On the Thursday of Renewal Week, the Saint was doing a vigil at the Church of Saint George the Trophy-Bearer in Naousa. Fr. Demetrios Sakellarios, the spiritual father Fr. Gerasimos and two others whose names were not preserved were praying beside him.

After the consecration of the Holy Gifts, angry Turks invaded the church and slaughtered many believers, Saint John and the other four priests.

The memory of these new martyrs (the five priests and the faithful who were martyred) is celebrated on the Sunday of Thomas. In particular, the memory of Saint John is honored at the Sacred Monastery of Petra in Olympus on the Thursday of Renewal Week and in the city of Katerini on the Sunday of Paralytic.

Apolytikion in Plagal of the First Tone
The revered Hieromonk of Petra, the sons of Hagar killed with their hands as he liturgized, let us praise John of Naousa, who as a faithful lamb is among the chorus of the crowned Martyrs, with whom he intercedes, with Christ to grant unto us, both strength and divine mercy.

Kontakion in Plagal of the Fourth Tone
The brightly gifted Hieromartyr, the boast of the flock of Petra in Olympus, who while liturgizing in Naousa, the offspring of Hagar killed with their hands, so let us adorn with hymns as in white, godly John, and with longing cry out: Rejoice renowned Father.

Behold the sacred athlete, of this divine chorus let us honor, John the new, glory of the Monastery in Petra, who in Naousa was slaughtered by those who killed him with their hands.