August 16

From the Prologue

Stamatius was a peasant born in Volos in Thessaly. When an inhuman Agha [Aga] collected the royal tribute from the people and greatly mistreated them, Stamatius departed for Constantinople with several of his companions to complain to the Vizir [Vizier]. By his sharp criticisms of the Agha, Stamatius offended the sultan's noblemen and they arrested him. At first, they wanted to convert him to Islam by flattery, promising him riches, glory and honor. But the martyr cried out: "My riches, glory and honor; that is my Christ." Then the Turks tortured him and finally, before the Church of the Divine Wisdom [Hagia Sophia], Stamatius was beheaded in the year 1680 A.D. That is how this soldier of Christ was crowned with the martyr's wreath.



A gentle God, Who reveals mysteries,

Wonderful mysteries, never before dreamed of,

Once by the lake, You proclaimed

That many pagan peoples

From throughout the east, to the west

With Abraham to sit at the table,

And the unbelieving sons of the Jews

To utter darkness, will be expelled

Because of their hardened heart.

The mystery You spoke and the mystery came about:

The Jews in Your face gazed,

Behind Your back, death, were preparing.

And from distant regions, Prince Abgar,

A leprous body and a wretched soul

From a false faith of paganism,

Heard of You from mouth to mouth,

Heard of Your words and miracles,

Heard of You and, in You, believed

Of Your All-pure face, saw the likeness

With tears, kissed the likeness

In both body and soul, became whole

His soul in Paradise, took up abode

With Abraham to rejoice eternally.

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