The Holy Martyr Athanasius
This martyr of Christ was a poor and simple man, but was rich in faith and in wisdom through the Spirit of God. On one occasion he was inadvertently involved in a quarrel with a Turk. The Turk was educated and adroit with words, but Athanasius strove with all his might to present and uphold the truth of the Christian faith and its superiority over Islam. They then parted. On the following day, Athanasius was summoned to trial, and found the Turk standing there as his accuser. When the judge called on Athanasius to repudiate his faith and embrace Islam, as he had given the impres-sion of declaring to his companion of the previous day, Athanasius cried out: `I would die a thousand deaths before I would deny the Faith of Christ!' He was therefore condemned to death and beheaded in the year 1700. His body was buried in the Church of St Paraskeva in Smyrna, the city of his execution.
* From "The Prologue from Ochrid", by Bishop Nikolai Velimirovic - Lazarica Press - Birmingham 1985
Four Book Edition - Translated by Mother Maria - Dates based on old church calendar.
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