Commemorated on August 16th
St Stamatios the Neomartyr
Saint Stamatios was born in the 1600s in the village of St George in Volos, Greece, during the Ottoman occupation.
At that time, Greece was oppressed and taxed excessively by the Turks. St Stamatios led a group of villagers in presenting their case against this tyranny to the Sultan in Constantinople. Most saw this as a waste of time that could end in death. St Stamatios, however, was undeterred.
The group reached Constantinople but did not go further than the outer offices of the Sultan. Those who accompanied the Saint saw it as a hopeless situation and fled but St Stamatios insisted on seeing the Sultan, producing a list of grievances to substantiate his claim of unfair treatment. As a result of St Stamatios’s persistence, he was condemned and thrown in jail for many weeks where the Turks tried to persuade him to become a Muslim. A series of tortures ensued, designed to break both his spirit and body. St Stamatios was also promised riches and a high place in society if he succumbed and became a Muslim.
Throughout all these ordeals, St Stamatios remained firm in his Orthodox Faith. As a result, the authorities demanded the death penalty. He was taken outside the great church of Agia Sophia in Constantinople. Before one of its massive doors he was beheaded on the 16th August 1688, joining the many ranks of new martyrs of our Holy Orthodox Faith.