Our Holy Father, the Martyr Damascene of Gabrovo.

Commemorated January 16 in the Orthodox Christian Menaion

From the Prologue

He lived in asceticism at Hilandar, where he became abbot. When he sought a debt due to the monastery from some Turks, they persuaded a Moslem woman to go into the house where Damascene lived. The Turks then came and found the woman, and dragged Damascene off before the judge. He was given the alternative: hanging or conversion to Islam, to which he replied decisively: 'It would be foolishness were I for temporal life to buy eternal peril.' He was hanged in 1771 in Svishtov. So Damascene sacrificed his life to save his soul. But his murderers immediately met God's punishment. They got into a boat to cross the Danube, but suddenly a storm capsized them and they drowned.

From The Prologue From Ochrid by Bishop Nikolai Velimirovich
©1985 Lazarica Press, Birmingham UK

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