Saint Konstantine The New Martyr

St. KonstantineA kindly neighbor woman, who was a devout Christian, took him to a local church where she bathed his eyes and body with holy water from a sacred font, and prayed for his recovery.  When they left the church, his eyesight was restored and he was in perfect health. 

His father died at a young age and his mother remarried but the stepfather was abusive and the young boy soon left home taking his three siblings with him.  The children settled in Smyrna and lived among the Christians there.  They operated a vegetable stall to support themselves.  Because of his healing at the church in Mytilene he wanted to know more about Christianity and visited the local bishop to receive instruction in the faith.  His interest in Christianity led him to the monastic community of Mt. Athos where he met St. Gregory V, the exiled Patriarch of Constantinople.  St. Gregory took an interest in him and continued his instruction while he attended services and studied the lives of the saints.  He was soon baptized and accepted the name Konstantine.  Having spent time in prayer and fasting and after further spiritual direction from St. Gregory, he venerated the relics of the saints kept at Mount Athos and decided to return to Smyrna to have his siblings baptized as Christians. 

In route home, a fellow Turk recognized Konstantine and discovered that he had converted to the Christian faith.   The Turk denounced Konstantine to the authorities who had him arrested and brought before the magistrate.  Konstantine confessed that he was a follower of Christ and a convert to the faith.  The authorities had him imprisoned for apostasy from Islam and subjected him to severe tortures.  Being brought before the magistrate again, Konstantine made the sign of the Cross before the tribunal and confessed his immovable faith in Christ.   The magistrate had him tortured again and ordered him removed to a notorious prison in Constantinople.  After suffering there for two months, Konstantine was hanged on 2 June 1819. 

By his example the persecuted Christians living under the Turkish oppression were strengthened in their faith and patiently endured increased hardship.  Within a few decades, the Church canonized the New Martyr Konstantine and fixed his feast day as the second of June. 

Through the prayers of the Holy New Martyr Konstantine, strengthen O Lord Your servants, our brothers and sisters, who are suffering at the hands of terrorists and who are persecuted for the Faith.

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