Saint Demetrius the Myroblytis
Celebration date: 26/10/2021
Saint Demetrius was born around 280 – 284 AD. and was martyred under the emperors Diocletian and Maximian in 303 AD. or 305 AD or (most likely) 306 AD.
Dimitrios was the scion of an aristocratic family in Thessaloniki. He soon rose through the ranks of the Roman army resulting in the rank of centurion at the age of 22. As an officer in the Roman army under the command of the Tetrarch (and then emperor) Galerius Maximian, when Diocletian was emperor, he became a Christian and was imprisoned in Thessaloniki in 303 AD, because he ignored the decree of the emperor Diocletian “rejecting Christianity ». In fact, a little earlier he had founded a circle of young people to study the Holy Bible.
In the prison was also a young Christian Nestor (see October 27), who would face in a duel the terrible gladiator of the time Lyaeus. The young Christian before the duel visited Demetrius and asked for his help. Saint Demetrius granted him his wish and the result was Nestor defeating Lyaeus and incurring the wrath of the emperor. It was then ordered that both Nestor and Demetrius be put to death.
The authors of eulogies of Saint Demetrius, Efstathios of Thessaloniki, Grigorios Palamas and Demetrius Chrysoloras, mention that the body of the Saint was buried in the place of martyrdom, and the tomb was turned into a deep well that gushed forth myrrh, hence the nickname of Myrovlitos.
In Byzantine icons as well as in modern iconography, Saint Demetrius is shown several times as a rider on a red horse (as opposed to the white horse of Saint George) treading on the infidel Lyaios.
Today, Saint Demetrius is honored as the patron saint of Thessaloniki.
One of the many miracles of the Saint is the following. In 1823 AD the Turks who were barricaded in the Acropolis of Athens were preparing their ammunition to hit with their cannons, the Greeks who were in the temple of Saint Demetrius, but Saint Demetrius performed his miracle to save the Christians and the gunpowder exploded in the hands of the Turks destroying part of the Parthenon monument. In order to remember this miracle, the church has been called Agios Dimitrios Lumbardiaris since then, from the lubarda, that is, the cannon of the Turks that was destroyed.