The PriestMartyr Nikita

Commemorated on April 4

      The PriestMartyr Nikita, a Slav from Albania, asceticised at the end of the XVIII Century at Athos in the Russian Panteleimonov monastery, where he took monastic vows and was ordained to the dignity of priest-monk. He yearned for solitude and transferred to the skete-monastery of Saint Anna. The saint burned with a desire to serve the Lord Jesus Christ with the deed of being a confessor. In order to denounce the antagonists of Christianity, Saint Nikita went to the city of Serres. For a certain while he dwelt at the local monastery, where he readied himself for his pending deed. Then Saint Nikita fearlessly went up to the local head Mahometan and asked, that the Moslems demonstrate the correctness of their faith. In a disputation of words with the learned mullahs the saint unmasked their error and reduced them to silence. They began with threats to coerce him into an acceptance of Mahometanism, but the saint firmly confessed his faith in Christ. Then they gave him over to cruel tortures: they tightened his head with a screw-press, drove needles under his nails, and scorched him with fire while hung head downwards. The saint underwent everything with great endurance and did not cease to glorify Christ. Finally, Saint Nikita was sentenced to be strangled. The PriestMartyr Nikita died on 4 April 1808 on the evening of Great Saturday. Christians gave ransom for his body and gave it over to burial. The priest-monk of the Serres monastery Konstantios, and the local physician Nicholas, wrote on 19 February 1809 about the act of the Martyr Nikita to Russik (the Russian monastery of the GreatMartyr Panteleimon on Athos).

1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.

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