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Wednesday, December 08, 2004

St. Angelis of Chios, the New Martyr

Angelis was a devout Christian from Argos in the Peloponnese who was in practice as a physician at Kusadashi near Ephesus at the beginning of the 19th century. One day he entered into a discussion about the faith with a French traveller, whose insolent impiety made him so angry that he challenged him to a duel, in which he would show the blasphemer the strength that the true faith gives to Christians by confronting him armed with no more than a stick. When they met that night the Frank, seeing the holy daring of the servant of God, was seized with fear and took to his heals, leaving Angelis victorious. After this incident, Angelis decided to give up his profession and all worldly care, and to keep to his house in order to devote himself to the service of God.

But on Lazarus Saturday 1813, the very man who had decarled himself ready to shed his blood for the Name of Christ, denied the faith of his fathers for no clear reason and became a Muslim on his own initiative. He was driven out of the city of Nauplion soon after and exiled to Chios, where he came to his senses and decided to repent; and, weeping abundantly, he called to his aid all the Holy Martyrs and Confessors. From then on, his sole aim was to find an opportunity of making amends for his apostasy by shedding his blood. He rushed into a Turkish custom-house and loudly professed himself to be a Christian convert from Islam before all the soldiers and officials, who treated him with great brutality before handing him over at the fortress, where he was beheaded on December 3, 1813.

(From The Synaxarion, by Hieromonk Makarios of Simonos Petra)


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Rejoice, O Virgin Mother of God, Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the Fruit of thy womb, for thou hast born the Savior of our souls.