The New Martyr Athanasios from Limnos

The New Martyr Athanasios from Limnos


He was born on the island of Limnos, and, as a young man, went to the Holy Mountain, where he was placed under obedience to an Elder of the Great Lavra. During the Greek revolution, he was taken prisoner, carried off to Egypt and enslaved to a Muslim potentate, who circumcised him and married him off to a Christian woman, who was also a prisoner.

After dramatic spiritual experiences- ‘the great Saint Athanasios appeared to him two or three times- his wife agreed to a ‘a God-pleasing settlement’ and he ‘receiving zeal upon divine zeal’ returned to the Holy Mountain, where ‘he cleansed himself through extreme asceticism and much humility’. He lived in the kelli of Saint Anthony at Karyes, on the site where today the Skete of Saint Andrew stands. After he’d been re-chrismated and had had confession he left to go to his home island, living ‘in a devout and God-pleasing manner’.

He was arrested there by the Muslims and, after being tortured, was drowned in the Hellespont.

His memory is not recorded in the Lives of the Saints. His short Life is recorded in a codex of the Athonite monastery of Saint Panteleimon. He is honoured with other saints from the island of Limnos on the second Saturday of the month of July. A service in their honour was written by Hieromonk Athanasios from the Holy Monastery of Simonos Petras. He is honoured with the rest of the Holy Athonite Fathers.





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Pemptousia and OCN have entered a strategic partnership to bring Orthodoxy Worldwide. Greek philosophers from Ionia considered held that there were four elements or essences (ousies) in nature: earth, water, fire and air. Aristotle added ether to this foursome, which would make it the fifth (pempto) essence, pemptousia, or quintessence. The incarnation of God the Word found fertile ground in man’s proclivity to beauty, to goodness, to truth and to the eternal. Orthodoxy has not functioned as some religion or sect. It was not the movement of the human spirit towards God but the revelation of the true God, Jesus Christ, to man. A basic precept of Orthodoxy is that of the person ­– the personhood of God and of man. Orthodoxy is not a religious philosophy or way of thinking but revelation and life standing on the foundations of divine experience; it is the transcendence of the created and the intimacy of the Uncreated. Orthodox theology is drawn to genuine beauty; it is the theology of the One “fairer than the sons of men”. So in "Pemptousia", we just want to declare this "fifth essence", the divine beaut in our life. Please note, not all Pemptousia articles have bylines. If the author is known, he or she is listed in the article above.