Ancient Greek History

Orthodox Saint Demetrius History and Name Day Information

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Saints are import to Orthodox Christians because they played an important role in Christianity. They serve as examples as to how Christians should live their lives. As a result, many are named after these saints and they celebrate their name days each year. Demetrius, also known as Demetrius of Thessaloniki, is one of these saints. His feast day is on October 26th of each year. Here’s more information about Saint Demetrius:

Saint Demetrius Was Born in Macedon

Demetrius is one of those saints who was alive long after Christ walked the earth. He was born sometime before the 300’s AD but in Macedon. We don’t know the exact date of his birth, but we do know that he was martyred in 306 AD. At the time, Macedon was considered a Roman province and during the early days of the Christian church, the Romans were still pagans. It wasn’t until Emperor Constantine came into power that the Romans eventually converted to Christianity. He came to power just six hears after Demetrius was martyred and sometime after that, the Romans all became Christians.

The thing that made his life particularly difficult is that Demetrius came from a family of nobles, which meant that his family followed the pagan religion of the Romans. Demetrius, however, became a Christian and he began encouraging other people to convert to Christianity. Despite this, however, he became a successful member of the Roman Empire but while he was a soldier, he encouraged others to join him in believing that Christ is the Messiah.

Demetrius is Martyred

When the emperor at the time, Maximiam, came to Macedon, he organized some games as part of his visit. These games were religious in nature, and Demetrius denounced them. This was considered a crime, and Maximiam had him thrown into prison. In prison he met another young Christian by the name of Nestor. Demetrius asked Nestor to bless him so that he could fight a pagan champion, Lyaios, in battle. Demetrius won this battle, and the emperor once again had I’m thrown into prison. During this time, the emperor had him put to death. He was empaled, and later on, his servant Lupus was beheaded. Nestor also lost his life. They were buried close to each other. Over 400 years later in the 7th Century AD, people witnessed that Demetrius’s grave started to smell of myrrh, which is interesting because there is no record of anyone dousing the tomb with the fragrance. He is no longer buried there and his remains are instead located at the Orthodox Christian Church of Saint Demetrius located nearby.

Saint Demetrius’s name day is on October 26th of each year. He is one of those saints who has a special place in the history of the Orthodox Christian Church. Check the Name Day page for more information about other Orthodox Christian name days.

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This post was written by GreekBoston.com

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