July 11

From the Prologue

Nectarius was born in Vryoulla in Asia Minor. At age seventeen he was forced to embrace Islam. He had a similar fate as did St. Nicodemus. When, as a Muslim, he appeared before his mother, she cried out: "Depart from me, I know you not. I bore you as a Christian, not as a Muslim." He repented bitterly and departed for Mt. Athos and there in the Scete of Saint Anne was tonsured a monk. Deciding to suffer for Christ and, thereby to wash away his sin, he again returned to Vryoulla where he suffered martyrdom. He was beheaded for Christ by the Turks in his place of birth on July 11, 1820, at the age of twenty-one.



God loves penitents

For them, He suffered.

To repentance, He, the sinners

Even now beckons.

Olga, a penitent was,

By baptism, she was born

And from darkness the Russian people

With the Cross liberated.

And from Elbasan, Nicodemus

From Christ turned away,

Repented and returned.

And for the sin, by blood paid.

From Asia, Nectarius

A flower not yet ripened,

Out of ignorance, a Muslim became,

Saddened the angels.

Repented and sorrowed,

A brook of tears shed,

And death more than life,

Painful death, loved.

Turban removed and placed it,

Before the terrible judge

For the Honorable Cross, the head [of St. Nectarius] was taken.

Penitents, Christ loves

And will always love them.

To Christ, who is so dear

As a repentant man?

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