Icon of SS Demetrios and Nestor – S237

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Saint Demetrios was born in  a.d. 270 in Salonika, now Thessalonika in Greece, then part of the Roman Empire.  His father was the military governor of the city, and a secret Christian.  When his father died, Saint Demetrios, a brave and vigorous soldier, was named the military governor in his father’s place by the Emperor Maximian.  When the emperor asked him to return to Salonika and persecute Christians, Saint Demetrios went in the city and proclaimed his faith, turning many to the Lord.  For this he was imprisoned.

The young man Nestor came to Saint Demetrios while he was in prison and asked a blessing to fight single-handedly in the arena a giant Vandal gladiator named Lyaeus, who had been killing Christians before the multitudes. Lyaeus was the Emperor Maximian’s favorite gladiator, and fed his blood lust for innocent Christian blood.  With Saint Demetrius’ blessing, Saint Nestor went out against Lyaeus like David against Goliath, made the Sign of the Cross and said, “O God of Demetrios, help me!”  Lyaeus was killed.  The emperor had Saint Nestor beheaded, and Saint Demetrios run through with spears.  They both went to Heaven in a.d. 306.

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