Ελληνικά για το θέμα: Μουσουλμάνοι που αγίασαν ως χριστιανοί
we have presented certain Christian saints, who converted from Islam to
Christianity, and in fact to its ancient and authentic form : Orthodoxy.
abandoning Islam, these saints were well aware that they would not gain any
glory, authority or wealth and pleasures, but would face torture and death, in
accordance with Islamic law. And yet, all of them had willingly
sacrificed their earthly lives, because they had come to realize that the true
Light and the true Life - the eternal Life - is Jesus Christ, the Son of the
Christianity speaks of God and the Son of God, it by no means implies that
there are two separate Gods; only one God exists, who is Triunal (Three in One)
- that is, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit - while the manner of unity
that exists between those three divine Persons is an inscrutable mystery for
Triunal God is revealed in the Holy Bible and in the lives of the saints
who are united with Him and who are extremely careful about the revelations
that they receive about heavenly truths - far more careful than any muslim sage
This is why
we frequently encounter cases of orthodox Christian saints who, even after
their biologial death, are known to have appeared and to have performed
miracles among people - even to Muslims. It is as though they are
miraculously invited to approach the true faith - the Orthodox Church of Jesus
Saint Tounom the Emir († 18 April 1579)
Below is the account of Monk Parthenios written
in 1846 which he received regarding the great miracle of the Holy Light
and how the plans of the Armenians were thwarted when they tried to
perform the miracle. He also speaks of the Muslim Emir Tounom who
converted to Orthodoxy upon witnessing this event.
Let me tell you about this. At the Great Gates themselves, on the left
side, stands a column made out of marble with a fissure from which the
grace, that is, the Holy Fire, came forth. This column is honored by
Orthodox as well as non-Orthodox, and even the Armenians. I would like
to write a little about this incident, how the Orthodox Eastern
Christians unanimously speak of it and the Turks themselves confirm it.
In the wall there is an inscribed marble slab, and they say that this
very incident is written on it; but we could not read it because it is
written in Syrian letters, in the Arab tongue; and I only heard about
it, but did not read it. But the incident happened something like this:
At one time when the Greeks were completely oppressed by the Turkish
yoke, some rich Armenians took it into their heads to force the Greeks
out of the Holy Sepulchre and out of the Church of the Resurrection.
They gathered a large sum of money and bribed the Ottoman Porte and all
the Jerusalem authorities, assuring the unbelievers that the Holy Fire
comes forth not simply for the sake of the Greeks, but for all
Christians, and "if we Armenians are there, we also will receive it!"
And the Turks, who are greedy for money, accepted the bribe and
therefore did as the Armenians wished, and they affirmed that only the
Armenians would be allowed to receive the Holy Fire. The Armenians
rejoiced greatly and wrote to all their lands and to their faithful,
that more of them should go on a pilgrimage. And a great multitude of
them did come.
Holy Saturday approached: the Armenians all gathered in the church, and
the Turkish army drove the poor Greeks out. Oh, what unspeakable grief
and sorrow filled the Greeks! There was only one comfort for them -- the
Grave of the Saviour, and they were being kept away from it, and the
Holy Gates were locked to them! The Armenians were inside the church and
the Orthodox were on the streets. The Armenians were rejoicing and the
Greeks were weeping. The Armenians were celebrating and the Greeks were
bitterly lamenting! The Orthodox stood opposite the Holy Gates on the
court and around them stood the Turkish army, watching so that there
would not be a fight. The Patriarch himself with all the rest stood
there with candles, hoping that they would at least receive the Fire
from the Armenians through the window. But the Lord wished to dispose
things in a different way, and to manifest His true Faith with a fiery
finger and comfort His true servants, the humble Greeks.
The time had already come when the Holy Fire issues forth, but nothing
happened. The Armenians were frightened and began to weep, and ask God
that He send them the Fire; but the Lord did not hear them. Already a
half hour had passed and more, and still no Holy Fire. The day was clear
and beautiful; the Patriarch sat to the right side. All of a sudden
there was a clap of thunder, and on the left side the middle marble
column cracked and out of the fissure a flame of fire came forth. The
Patriarch arose and lit his candles and all the Orthodox Christians lit
theirs from his. Then all rejoiced, and the Orthodox Arabs from Jordan
began to skip and cry out, "Thou art our one God, Jesus Christ; one is
our True Faith, that of the Orthodox Christians!" And they began to run
about all of Jerusalem and raise a din, and to shout all over the city.
And to this day they still do this in memory of the incident and they
jump and shout, running around the Holy Sepulchre, and they praise the
one true God, Jesus Christ, and bless the Orthodox Faith.
Beholding this wonder, the Turkish army, which was standing around on
guard, was greatly amazed and terrified. From amongst them one named
Emir, who was standing at the St. Abraham's Monastery on guard,
immediately believed in Christ and shouted, "One is the true God, Jesus
Christ; one is the true faith, that of the Orthodox Christians!" And he
jumped down to the Christians from a height of more than 35 feet. His
feet landed on the solid marble as if though on soft wax. And to this
day one can see his footprints imprinted as though in wax, although the
non-Orthodox tried to erase them. I saw them with my own eyes and felt
them with my own hands. And the column with the fissure still bears the
scorch marks. As for Emir the soldier, having jumped down, he took his
weapon and thrust it into the stone as though into soft wax, and began
to glorify Christ unceasingly. For this, the Turks beheaded him and
burned his body; the Greeks gathered up his bones, put them into a case
and took them to the Convent of the Great Panagia, where they gush forth
fragrance until this day.
The Armenians in the Holy Sepulchre received nothing and were left only
with their shame. The Pasha of Jerusalem and other Turkish authorities
were greatly displeased with them and wanted to slaughter them all, but
they feared the Sultan. They only punished them heavily: they say that
they made each one to eat dung as he left the church.
Saint John the New Martyr of Vrachori, formerly a Muslim († 1814)
St. John the New Martyr of Konitsa (Feast Day - September 23)
John was born in 1785 in a place called Konitsa,
which was populated by Albanian Muslims at the time. He was a Muslim of
Muslim parents. His father was both a dervish and a sheik. When John was
twenty years old, he also joined the order of dervishes, as there were a
few tekes (Muslim dervish monasteries) in Konitsa. He moved to the city
of Ioannina, Epeiros, but later he moved to the town of Vrachori in the
province of Aitolia, whose pasha was Haznatar Isufaravos, a friend of
his father. So the pasha made John his private dervish, where he arose
high in rank and fought in the battle of the Turks against the Russians
in the area of the Ionian Islands.
During the battle John came into contact with many Orthodox Christians
and decided to become an Orthodox Christian himself. He removed his
dervish attire and sought baptism, yet no one would baptize him out of
fear. The pasha eventually was transferred, but John did not go with
Because he was unable to be baptized in Vrachori, John went to the
island of Ithaka where he was able to be baptized and at that time was
given the name John. Returning to the mainland he married an Orthodox
woman and became a rural guard, avoiding Muslims as much as possible.
His father eventually heard of his
son's apostasy and sent two dervishes to persuade John to return to his
Muslim faith. The messengers failed due to the steadfast faith of John.
However news spread in the village that John was a former Muslim and
dervish, causing the local Muslims to bring charges against him.
Soldiers were eventually sent by
the muselimi of Vrachori to arrest John. When he was asked to identify
himself, John replied: "I am an Orthodox Christian and my name is John."
The muselimi replied: "Aren't you the young dervish, the son of the skeik of Konitsa?"
"Yes I am," answered John, "but now I am an Orthodox Christian and I will die as an Orthodox Christian."
"You were deceived by your
wife," countered the muselimi, "and changed your faith. But come to your
senses now and make a confession of your old faith and then you will
see how much you will be honored by me."
John dismissed what the muselimi said
to him and said: "Don't think, muselimi, that I will be so foolish and
dumb as to leave the holy faith of the Orthodox Christians and be
blinded again to come to the faith of Islam."
For this confession John was
sentenced to be beheaded. Before his decapitation John requested that
his hands be untied. His request was honored, so he made the sign of the
Cross and said: "Lord, remember me when You come into Your Kingdom." He
then bent his head and it was cut off. This occurred near a tree of the
Church of Saint Demetrios in Agrinio which still stands today.
The muselimi did not acknowledge
John to be either a Muslim or a Christian, thus not allowing him to be
buried in either faith's cemetery. His head and body were thus thrown
into a stream near the Church of Saint Demetrios. Influential Christians
bribed the aga who gave them permission to gather the body of the
martyr to give him a proper burial. However the aga ordered them to give
no formal service or ceremony for John, and the Christians promised to
not do so and merely buried him.
Thus John the former Muslim
sacrificed his life for the love of Jesus Christ in Vrachori, Vellas,
Epiros on September 23, in the year 1814. Many years later a child would
hear voices coming from the tree trunk where the martyrdom took place,
and this occurred daily until Priests came and did a Sanctification
The holy skull and relics of Saint John were brought to the Holy Monastery of Prousou in Evrytania,
and they are still kept there today. His relics were confirmed to be
his in 1974. There is a small chapel dedicated to Saint John near the
tree of his martyrdom where his feast is celebrated annually with a transfer of his relics for a few days. This chapel was established on 26 October 1983.
Two Turkish Saints (from here)
ST AHMED THE CALLIGRAPHER
The holy New Martyr Ahmed was born in the seventeenth century to a
Muslim family in Constantinople. By profession he was a copyist in the
Great Archives. In accordance with Ottoman law, since he did not have a
wife, he had a slave instead, a Russian woman. Another captive from
Russia lived together with her, an old woman, also a slave. Both these
women were very pious.
On feast days the old woman would go to church. Taking the blessed bread
or antidoron, she would give it to the young woman to eat. The old
woman would also bring her holy water to drink. Whenever this occurred
and Ahmed was close to her, he would smell a beautiful and indescribable
fragrance coming out of her mouth. He would ask her what she was eating
to make her mouth smell so fragrant. Not realizing what was happening,
the slave would say that she was not eating anything. However, he
persisted in asking. Eventually she told him that she was eating the
bread which had been blessed by the priests, which the old woman brought
her whenever she returned from church.
On hearing this, Ahmed was filled with longing to see the Orthodox
church and how Orthodox received this blessed bread. Therefore he
summoned a priest and told him to prepare a secret place for him, so
that he could go when the Patriarch was serving the Liturgy. When the
appointed day arrived, dressed as an Orthodox, he went to the
Patriarchate and followed the Divine Liturgy. While he was in church, he
saw the Patriarch shining with light and lifted off the floor, as he
came out of the altar and through the holy doors to bless the people. As
he blessed, rays of light came from his finger tips, but though the
rays fell on the heads of all the Orthodox, they did not fall on Ahmed's
head. This happened two or three times and each time Ahmed saw the same
thing. Thus, Ahmed came to the faith. Without hesitation he sent for
the priest, who gave him rebirth through baptism. Ahmed remained a
secret Orthodox for some time, concealing his baptismal name, which is
why it has not come down to us.
However, one day Ahmed and certain noblemen were eating together.
Afterwards they sat talking and smoking, as is the Muslim custom. In the
course of the conversation they began to discuss what the greatest
thing in the world. Each gave his opinion. The first guest said that the
greatest thing in the world was for a man to have wisdom. The second
maintained that woman was the greatest thing in the world. And yet a
third said that the greatest thing in the world, and by far the most
delightful, was good food - for was this not the food of the righteous
Then it was Ahmed's turn. They all turned to him, asking him for his
opinion on this matter. Filled with holy zeal, Ahmed cried out that the
greatest thing of all was the Faith of the Orthodox. And confessing
himself to be a Christian, he boldly censured the falseness and
deception of the Muslims. At first, on hearing this the Muslims were
aghast. Then, filled with unspeakable rage, they fell on the holy martyr
and dragged him to a judge, so that he could be sentenced to death. He
was beheaded, receiving the crown of martyrdom on the orders of the
ruler on 3 May 1682.
Holy Martyr Ahmed, pray to God for us!
SCHEMAMONK NICHOLAS OF THE OPTINA
Yusuf Ogly was born in Asia Minor in 1827 or 1828. He became a pasha and
a general in the Turkish guards. During the war between the Turks and
the Russians, he commanded the Turkish army. The Turks were fanatics and
tortured the Russian prisoners. The pasha would watch these tortures
and, amazed at the steadfastness of the Christians, he would question
the soldiers as to why they were dying so joyfully. He decided to become
better acquainted with the Orthodox faith.
In 1874 he secretly summoned an Orthodox priest, was baptized and tried
to leave for Persia. When the Turks learned of his betrayal of Islam,
they caught him and carved crosses in the skin of his chest and back and
broke his bones. The pasha lost consciousness. Thinking that he was
dead, the Turks threw him to dogs to be torn apart. But God preserved
him. He regained consciousness, thanking God, Whom he loved with his
whole heart. Passing Russian merchants picked Yusuf up. He told them
that thieves had fallen on him, robbed him and beaten him. Out of
compassion, the merchants took him to the Caucasus and gave him to a
woman so that he could be taken care of. Yusuf recovered, but was
unrecognizable. He was a bent-over old man, who walked with a stick,
dressed poorly, but had a rich soul, endowed with spiritual power.
He succeeded in crossing from the Caucasus to Odessa and until 1891
lived much in Kazan, but also went on pilgrimages to the holy places of
Russia. Once, setting out for Moscow, he found himself in Optina, which
he had heard of through the fame of the Optina Elder Ambrose. He liked
it very much there, but unexpectedly fell ill and was placed in the
monastery infirmary. As he spoke very poor Russian, he asked if anyone
spoke French. The French-speaking Elder Barsanuphius, who himself had
been a colonel in the Russian Army and had served in Kazan before
becoming a monk, was summoned to confess the sick pilgrim.
The Turk recounted his life to the Elder, but forbade him to reveal his
secret while he was alive. During his illness he was tonsured under the
name Nicholas, taking the schema. However, he recovered and settled in
the Skete. Once, taking a walk with him, he suddenly said: 'Father, can
you hear the angelic music?... It's a great happiness to hear it'. The
Elder heard nothing and Fr Nicholas, in his simplicity, was amazed at
his deafness. Indeed, this simple monk was carried up to heaven during
his earthly life. He saw the abodes of Paradise and heard heavenly
music. This we know of from the following event.
Fr Nicholas was always shy and silent, a sickly man who avoided
everyone, although the monks all somehow involuntarily loved him. He
never went to anyone's cell, even in the daytime, let alone at night.
One night, however, he came to Elder Barsanuphius' cell. According to Fr
Barsanuphius, another Elder, Fr Anatoly, had already summoned him and
warned him: 'Did you know that in our Skete, by the great mercy of God,
we have our own St Andrew the Fool for Christ? Yes, we have such a man
here who, whether in the body or out of the body - God knows - was, even
during his life, taken up into the heavenly habitations. This is our
Turk. I will bless him to come to your cell, and you question him
thoroughly, and write down, from his words, what you learn from him.
Only keep all this secret until his death'.
So the servant of God came to Fr Barsanuphius as an obedience. In his
broken Russian he revealed his tale of the heavenly dwelling-places
which had been shown to him by his Guardian Angel. The Elder's heart
trembled from the superhuman flood of the ineffable joy of triumphant,
fulfilled hope. The discourse poured from Fr Nicholas' lips and his face
shone and shone, until it began to glow with some kind of extraordinary
inward light. The Elder was awestruck and terrified and, in an
unearthly way, joyful.
According to Elder Barsanuphius, everything that Fr Nicholas told him
can be found in the Life of St Andrew the Fool for Christ. For the
Elder, the only thing that was important was the sight of Fr Nicholas'
infinite exultation and the glory which was imprinted on his glowing
face. Only a true seer of mysteries could speak like that. With a voice
breaking from indescribable excitement, from time to time he could only
beg him to continue, not to fall silent...Fr Nicholas finally ended,
merely adding with a radiant, blessed smile:
|The Saints of the Optina (from here)|
'Well, what else do you want to know...what else is there to learn? The
time will come and you'll see for yourself. What else could I tell you -
or how could I tell you? There are just no words in human language with
which to convey what goes on there. You know, there were colours I saw
there that don't even exist on earth. How can I convey all that to you?
Well, listen to what I'll tell you: you know, after all, what good music
is. Let's say I've heard something, and as soon as I've heard it, it
resounds in my ears, it sings in my heart...and I continue to hear it.
But you haven't heard it. How then -with what words - could I tell you
about it, so that by my words you could hear it and delight in it with
me? You just can't....In the same way, what I saw there is impossible to
convey to man....The fact that this is the way it is, should be enough
Schemamonk Nicholas reposed at Optina three months later, two years
after first going there. This was on 18 August 1893 and he was aged
sixty-five. Only after his death did Fr Anatoly reveal to the monks what
sort of man he had been, saying: 'Don't think that this was a mere
mortal; a mere mortal is not given such mercy from God. Fr Nicholas was a
martyr for the name of Christ and for confessing His holy name. When he
was being washed after his repose, his whole body was seen to be lined
with terrible scars. In his homeland, in Turkey, they had sliced his
flesh with thongs as a result of his conversion to Christ, trying to
force him to renounce Him. He did not renounce Him, and with God's help
escaped further sufferings from the hands of his torturers. Elder
Ambrose of Optina, whom Nicholas had found due to his fame throughout
Russia, sent him to us, to Optina'.
Sunday of the New Martyrs of the Turkish Yoke,
19 June / 2 July 2006
Other Saints, from mission-center.com
Saint martyr Constantin Hagarit, † 1819, (2/15 June).
Constantin was born in a poor muslim family. It there was turk. We do not know his
moslem name. He was brought up without father, he grew with his sister and brother.
He was living in Smirna and working in a market place as a verdure peddler. While
working it was often happened to him to visit of the metropolitans house. And there he
met some Christians and Christianity. By the way he found some friends amongst Christians.
In contact with them he studied greek language.
Once upon a time the young muslim has heard something from Gospel and these words have
produced extraordinary impression on him. And then he made decision to become Christian.
However local Christians, in fear of their lives, did not dare to baptize him and sent
him on Athos.
On Athos our hero visited four monasteries and everywhere was refused. And he was about
to despair completely. Finally residing in holy monastery of Iviron patriarch Grigory V
agreed to baptize him and personally made it. In christening he was named Constantin.
For some time he lived on Athos, in Kausokalivit monastery under the spiritual
supervision of elder Gabriel. After a while, by his own intention and also being blessed
by the elders, saint Constantin tripped in Magnisia in order to convert his sister into
Christianity. However he was not fated there to see his sister. On the way in one of the
the ports he was come to find out of the one official. There he was arrested and summoned
to the judge. Before judge he confirmed that he had been a moslem, and proclaimed that he
came to believe in Christ.
Constantin was battered and concluded in a dungeon. Judge in
the interim causes pasha of Machsonisia for analysis of its deal. Arrived pasha offered
martyr to return in islam, promising in this case many wealth and honours for him.
Constantin refused and once again professed Christian faith. Hereon he was put to the
standard torture (heel wallops), but then, as even this did not bring the expected result,
he was sent to a volunteer-executioner, "specialist" on tortures on Christians.
But also suffering the most fastidious excruciations he kept the faith. Hereon pasha sent
him in Istanbul for further court.
There the saint martyr for some time inhered on penal servitude, then - heel wallops
once again, tortures & captivity into a dungeon. In the dungeon a Christian priest
visited him, and, seing such young age of the confessor, spoke that local Christians can
ransom him. Constantin refused, saying that he is ready to martyrdom, he had been said by
Theotokos in vision which about. The next day he was called to the judge once again and,
as persevered in his "retreat", he was sentenced to hanging. Execution was
carried into effect June 2, 1819.
Saint martyr Abu of Tbilisi, † 790 (8/21 January).
Highborn Arab, born in Baghdad, Abu was a sincere faithful moslem and, according to his
biography, "excellent connoisseur of mohammedan books" - Quran and Law. We do
not know, why ca. 775 he had fled from home to distant Georgia (emirate of Tbilisi),
together with only just rescued ruler by Kartli Nerses as one of his attendants. This
blast was rather a tribute to his youth.
On arrival to Georgia, Abu, how the author his life reports, still a moslem, "has
deserved love and respect of the whole people". Probably this young Arab was a person
of scientific habit of mind: he studies Georgian language and proceeds to the serious
study of Bible and Christianity on the whole. He attends the Divine Liturgy, perceives its
meaning. He talks with educated Christians. All this gradually convicts Abu to decision to
embrace the christianity as a single true religion. It is very important for us that in
his converting both heart and mind were participating.
For the time being Abu, like Achmed, does not declare himself a Christian. At this time
political circumstances change and newly deposed Nerses with 300 servitiors leave Kartli
and set off to Chazaria.
There Abu accepts baptism.
Meantime Stephen, a nephew of Nerses, was elected in Kartli as ruler, pleading to
caliph for his uncle's return. Nerses (and Abu) return to Georgia. For three years he
openly professes and preaches about Christ in Arabic quarters of Tbilisi and nobody does
not venture to cause him ills. However hostility to "apostate" amongst influent
muslims relentlessly rises.
In december 785 the saint first was arrested and thrown in dungeon. After several days,
on solicitation of ruler Stephen, he was freed. However the saint was not free for a long
time. His foes inform kadi that Abu was born moslem and already later converted in
christianity, so on this base they asked repeatedly for his arrest. Having heard about
this delation, some Christians alert saint beforehand, and offered to escape, but the
saint peacefully answered to that:
- I am ready for Christ, not only to torments, but also to death. - and with glad face,
he make advances sent for him posse from judge.
He was brought to judge. Hereinafter all toop place according to the known scheme:
judge tries to charm him with generous money remunerations and good career possibilities,
the saint spurns them, he was shackled in shackle and again thrown in dungeon.
Throughout his martyrdom Abu shows amazing example on his veneration and humility
before Church of God. In dungeon martyr takes the first opportunity that offers through
friends on will sell his property and proceeds lay out feeds for own poor cellmates. He
asks to buy on part of the money incense and candles and benefaction on churches with
request prayer for him. At the day of the block saint asks the possibility to receive
Communion and in the third to hour him visits the priest.
He was led to the place of execution across the whole city.
After prayer saint places the head on block. The Executioner thrice knocks dull edge of
sword, hoping that he would alter his mind in fear for his life. Martyr keeps quiet.
Finally executioner slashes... january 6 786.
Information about this saint is so scarce that even his genuine name is unknown. He was
born at the end of VIII century, and lived during the first half of IX century. He was
probably an Arab, born and well-mannered in moslem family.
He distinguishes from saint Constantin, Achmed and Abu with one very essential
circumstance: he was a soldier of moslem army and took part in the march on Nikopolis
under Michail II (820-829). He was fighting with Christians and killing Christians. For
muslims such war is not merely a war, and such warrior is not merely a warrior. Death in
Jihad is "single mystery of islam", giving moslem assured way to paradise.
Religious ardour of such warriors was very high.
Verily, to convert such "warrior of islam" something extraordinary should
Near Dragomest the moslem army has suffered a defeat and many soldiers perished. Our
hero had had a narrow escape, was hiding in vineyard. Probably, when he dare to come out
of coverture, retreating army has left already much far off. He remained alone on enemy's
territory and was occupied in that his contemporaries have named brigandage, and we now
name guerrilla war. Hitch-hiking, he robs and kills the solitaries of
wayfarers-Christians, not entering in contact with anybody from the local inhabitants and
terrorizing the whole county.
Being in Etolia's limits, Barbarian comes into a church, intending to kill the priest.
The Liturgy goes on. A priest named John serves. The Barbarian waits when the service
is through to do what he's conceived without witnesses. But suddenly he sees the Angels,
in all brilliance of greatness in their co-serving with the priest, whom he intends to
kill. Feeling an awe and gazing a highwayman falls on laps, and after the service he
confesses and asks to baptize him. Father John fulfils his request.
Having become a Christian, the saint goes to the mountains and conducts in solitude
several years, in fasting and prayers and avoiding contacts with local inhabitants. As
form of penance the saint wears the chains on his neck, hands and legs.
Once upon a time late at night huntsmans, stopped on place to sleep, took the saint for
beast, when he grabbled in high herb, and archered him. Subsequently the remains of St.
Barbarian were moved to church and at one time they began to amply give off fragrance
chrism, from which multiple healings occurred.
Saint Barbarian (former gangster), † 830s (3/16 May).
Saint martyrs Petr and Stefan of Kazan, † 1555 (24
They were Tatars, both were baptized in 1552, after the capture of Kazan by the czar
Ioann the Terrible.
Saint Stefan. Among all the saints described above he is distinguished by the age in
which he came to Christ - he became a Christian in old age.
It happened as follows. When he had arrived from Moscow to the Kazan priest Timothy, he
was visited once by an elder
Tatar who said:
- for 30 years my legs ached so I could not firmly stand on them. When the Moscow's
Tsar took power here, and we knew the Christian God, I began thinking: great is the God in
Which Christians do believe. If He can give health to my legs, I shall believe in Him and
baptize. And suddenly my legs started to recover. Now I came to fulfil the promise.
Please, baptize me.
- Your compatriots will try to alienate you from the Christian faith. - the priest said
- They won't alienate me. - had answered the elder and have wrested a shred from its
beard, havong torn it to shreds, - Even though they will tear me apart, how I have torn to
shreds my hair - and then I'll not abdicate God.
And he was baptized with name Stefan.
Approximately at the same time Peter took a baptism too. The circumstances of his
converting are unknown.
After the withdrawal of the troops from Kazan, an armed insurrection had broken out.
Khan Shich-Ali, left as viceroy, ran to Svijazchsk, and many Russians, residing in the
city, were murdered. Having an opportunity to flee, st. Stefan decided to remain in the
city and for hardness in Christian faith was sheared asunder, his body was bestrewed, and
house was robbed.
Thorny path was waiting for St. Peter too. After the expelling of Russians, natives
have withdrawn him home: father and mother, brothers and sisters, distant relatives,
friends, familiar - all tried to compel him into renunciation from Christianity. Herewith
they named his former moslem name, on that saint martyr answered:
- In holy Baptizm I took the name Peter, so this is my name, not that you call me with.
Having seen his inflexibility, family gave him to torture. The tortures lasted several
days, but stiff, amongst most cruel torments, saint does not cease to repeat the same:
- I am a Christian.
So he died under tortures and was buried in Kazan. Soon the local veneration of saints
Peter and Stefan began among the Kazan Christians. These saints remember are recalled at
one date, albeit not acquainted there were with each other, their feat of love to Christ
had united them for eternity...
Saint martyr Abrahamy Bulgarian, † 1229 (1/13 April).
The information about his life is much more scarce. Several laconic phrases of a
chronicler - that is all that we have. St. Abrahamy was a Bulgar living at the end of XII
- beginning of XIII centuries. He was among those few rich men, who managed to reach the
Kingdom of Heaven. Abrahamy was a rich merchant. Maybe in Byzantium, or even in Russia, he
got acquainted with Christianity. As it would seem, profession of such sort does not
predispose to spiritual studies, however, Abrahamy becomes a Christian.
Not only he personally confesses, but he also proclaims the Christianity to Bulgars. In
contrast to Abu and Achmed, Abrahamy does not pass any period of secret Christianity, that
points to power of his spirit and fiery sincerity of his converting. He does not abandon
his profession, but uses it for sermon of God's Word; so each trip on sale simultaneously
becomes a mission.
In 1229 Abrahamy arrives to Volga to trade in main city of Volga's Bulgars, Bolgar
Great. His christian sermons probably draw attention to him. Having heard that he is not
Russian, and consequently not under protection of duke of Souzdal, he is arrested. He
undergoes much and long remonstrate. On all this he, as it is said in chronicle's record,
"curses Mohammed and faith of Bulgarian".
He is hung head-down, and is then
decapitated. Russian merchants, arrived with st. Abrahamy on trade, have taken his body
and buried in a christian graveyard. At his casket soon the tokens of healing began,
promoting his veneration. On march, 9, 1230 his remains were carried to Vladimir. In the
XVI century st. Abrahamy Bulgarian was venerated as a protector of Kazan, and all those
who were converted from islam.
Saint monc Serapion (Turtas) from Kozchi-lake, † 1611 (27
June/ 10 July).
Like saints Peter and Stefan, a Tatar Turtas lived in Kazan. He was borne in a noble
family, and during the taking of Kazan he was rather young. Probably he took part in
defence of his town and fought against Russians. When he was captured, he voiced a desire
to be baptized and so he was christend with a name of Sergiy. During hardships a man can
be more simply driven to a conclusion that overtakes whole his life. Having gotten
liberty, Sergiy emigrates to Russia, where for a long time he lives in house of boyar
Plesheev. Here his catechisation and making a church-goer occurs and as a result Sergiy so
candidly, so deeply, so purely has loved Lord Jesus, that he dare part with the world to
obey the highest rule of new faith.
Near the deserted lake Kozchi he had met he hermit Nifont and, charmed with his life,
began living with him. This took place in 1560. After a trial Sergiy on his request took
the monastic vows with a name Serapion. His hermit life lasted nearly 18 years.
When were going monks to Nifont and Serapion, elder Nifont has gone to Moscow, to ask
permitions to make the priory, but he died in road. Then Serapionin set to Moscow. He got
a charter from the Tsar and blessing from Metropolitan for making the priory and having
returned he made a monastery and erected temple of Theophany. The construction of priory
lasted more than 36 years. In 1608 Serapion, aggravated by old age, retired at his own
request, having assigned as hegumen his disciple Abrahamy. On June 27, 1611 saint Serapion
is passed, leaving a monastery with two churces and about a 40 moncs.
Saint Evgeny Rodionov the New Martyr of Chechnya (icon)
Orthodoxy and Islam
Orthodoxy's Worship: The Sanctification of the Entire World
Holy Neomartyr Chryse as a Model for our Lives
BEYOND THE LIMITS!
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