The Holy New Martyr Alexander of Salonica
This martyr of Christ's was born in Salonica during the Turkish oppression. He was tricked by the Turks as a young man into accepting Islam, and at first his conscience did not trouble him for such an act, and he went on pilgrimage with some other Moslem pilgrims and became a dervish. But, living as a dervish in Salonica, he began to repent bitterly, and in his repentance the thought came to him that there was no way in which he could cleanse himself from the terrible sin of apostasy from Christ except with his own blood. So, having repented and resolved on martyrdom, he appeared before the Turks dressed as a Christian. They threw him into prison and put him to various tortures. But Alexander would only cry out: `I was born a Christian, and as a Christian I shall die!' Finally the Turks sentenced him to death, which filled the repentant Alexander with joy, realising that the sentence was a sign of God's forgiveness of his sins and acceptance of his sacrifice. He was slain by the sword in Smyrna in 1794, and was glorified in the Church both in heaven and on earth.
* 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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