*HOLY NEW-MARTYR PANAGIOTES OF JERUSALEM* *April 5/18* St. Panagiotes New Martyr The holy new martyr Panagiotes, whose memory we keep on this day, was born inMessage 1 of 1 , Apr 18View Source
HOLY NEW-MARTYR PANAGIOTES OF JERUSALEM
The holy new martyr Panagiotes, whose memory we keep on this day, was born in Peloponnesus, Greece in the year 1795. He grew up, however, in Magnesia, Asia Minor where he was a slave of a Turk named Osman Effendi. He was the chief secretary of the Turkish Governor, Suleiman Pasha, who was later made Governor of Damascus, Syria. On one occasion Suleiman Pasha sent Osman to Jerusalem to deal with certain administrative matters. The blessed New-Martyr Panagiotes accompanied his master on this mission.
When the Chief Secretary concluded his assignment in Jerusalem he wished to pray at the Mosque of the Dome of the Rock that was built on the site of Solomon's Temple. The Holy New-Martyr Panagiotes went with his master to the Mosque and when Osman entered the Mosque, the blessed one entered also, holding his master's shoes. At that time, the Muslims had a law that did not allow those who were not Muslims to enter the Mosque or the surrounding area.
The Chief Secretary left for Damascus while the Saint remained in Jerusalem because Holy Week and Pascha were approaching. Another slave of Osman also remained in Jerusalem. This slave was jealous of the favourtism shown by the Chief Secretary towards Saint Panagiotes. He convinced the holy one to go with him to the Mosque one more time. Upon entering the Mosque, the jealous slave denounced the Saint as a violator of the law and that the blessed one should be punished for his blasphemy. This accusation was brought to Suleiman Pasha who was in Jerusalem at that time.
Saint Panagiotes was taken prisoner as he left the Church of the Holy Sepluchre on April 5, 1820. He was tied up and taken to the Governor who offered him the opportunity to escape the death penalty by renouncing our Saviour and becoming a Muslim.
The Holy one unwaveringly declared that he was a Christian and that he believed that Christ is the Son of the Living God. With a loud voice he proclaimed that he preferred to die a thousand times rather than deny his Faith. He also disdained all the riches which the Governor promised him, should he renounce Christ.
The Governor then ordered that the blessed one be executed. The soldiers took Saint Panagiotes towards the Monastery of Saint John the Baptist, near Saint David's gate (Jaffe Gate) http://www.biblewalks.com/Sites/StJohntheBaptist.html.
On the way the soldiers tortured the New Martyr, hoping to force him to deny our Lord. They broke one of his arms and cut of the fingers of his other arm. The Saint remained unmoved and kept repeating: I am not afraid of you. I am a Christian. Christ is Risen! He knelt down, but then hestood up shouting, Christ is Risen! The executioner began striking him with his sword lightly on his neck in order to frighten him. The saint kept repeating, I am not afraid of you. I am a Christian. Christ is Risen! The executioner then delivered the final blow and the Saint became a New-Martyr at the age of 25.
The martyrdom was witnessed by Joseph Wolff, a Jew converted to Christianity, who had become a Protestant missionary to the Jews of Palestine. He described the martyrdom in a letter in which he states that the Patriarchate paid the Turk 500 silver Groschen for the Holy Relics of Saint Panagiotes. The Saint was buried the same day in the Cemetery of Holy Sion. Later his holy relics were taken to the Monastery of Saint John the Baptist where they can be found until today.
Holy New-Martyr Panagiotes, pray for us.