Neomartyr Anthony the Athenian

Anthony and his Christian parents lived in poverty. Unable to bear his parents’ suffereing, Anthony hired himself out to an Albanian Turk and gave all his earnings to his parents. Later, he was sold into slavery six times to progressively crueler masters, each one attempting to convert Anthony to the Moslem faith. Finally, Anthony was sold at a great price to an Orthodox Christian who took him to live in Constantinople where he gratefully served him. One day, Anthony had a dream that a beautiful woman promised to help and strengthen him, telling not to fear and she covered him with her veil.  He awoke and concluded that martyrdom awaited him. That day, his former Moslem master slandered Anthony saying that he had escaped his service and abandoned the Moslem faith. Anthony was beaten by the crowd and taken to court, but the judge believed Anthony. Hoping to save him from the angry mobs, the judge imprisoned him for a time. The Muslims eventually paid for Anthony’s release and gave him the ultimatum to accep their belief or lose his head. Remembering the words of Jesus not to deny Him before men, Anthony ran to his execution with a joyous countenance and commended his spirit to the Lord.

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May God grant us the courage to live for Him, to not deny Him even when the whole world around us seems to have. And may God have mercy on the soul of Neomartyr Anthony and reserve a place for him beside His glorious throne!

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