Saint of the Day ~ October 8

SAINT DEMETRIUS OF THESSALONICA (3rd century-c.306), deacon and martyr

Today, the Church honors Saint Demetrius of Thessalonica, a Roman soldier turned deacon who became a martyr for his Christian faith.

As with many saints from the early centuries of Christianity, written accounts of their lives can oftentimes be sparse. Such is the case with a man by the name of Demetrius, who was born in the 3rd century in the city of Thessalonica, a metropolis in the country of Macedonia. He was born to a wealthy, noble family and raised as a Christian.

In his adult years, he first became a soldier of the Roman army, and was later secretly ordained a deacon of the Church, due to the Christian persecutions at the time.

In the year 290, Demetrius became the Duke of Thessaly under the Roman emperor Maximian. It was after this time that he was found to be a Christian, and was subsequently arrested and imprisoned.

About the year 306, after refusing to apostatize [deny] his faith in Christ, Demetrius received the martyr’s crown by being speared to death in the city of Sirmium (in modern Serbia). As years progressed after his death, the stories of his life became quite popular, even into the Middle Ages. Over 200 churches in the Balkans are known to have been dedicated to him by bearing his name.

His remains are said to still be interred in a monastery on Mount Athos, in the Greek portion of Macedonia.

We commemorate his feastday on October 8.

(From aquinasandmore.com, saints.sqpn.com, saintsoftheday108.blogspot.com, newadvent.org and macedonian-heritage.gr/Athos)

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PRAYER

(The following prayer is from the Roman Breviary from the Commons for One Martyr)

“All-powerful, Ever-living God, You gave Saint Demetrius the courage to witness to the Gospel of Christ, even to the point of giving his life for it. By his prayers, help us to endure all suffering for love of You and to seek You with all our hearts, for You alone are the Source of life.

“Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.”

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