New Martyr George of Chios (1807)

Commemorated on November 26

He was born of Christian parents on Chios. As a boy he was caught stealing melons from a garden with some companions. Brought before the Turkish judge, in fear of punishment he agreed to become a Muslim with the name Ahmed. (This was common practice under the Turkokratia: a Christian brought before the courts would be offered his freedom in return for conversion to Islam. Many gave in.) He returned home, weeping and lamenting his apostasy, and his parents put him (now aged ten) in the care of a good Christian woman to strengthen him in the faith and hide him from the Turkish authorities. At the age of twenty-one he was engaged to a young woman of the town, but quarreled with her brother who, knowing George's past, went to the authorities and denounced him as an apostate from Islam. George was imprisoned and tortured, but rather than breaking him down his torments strengthened his love of Christ, and he resolved to offer up his life for Him. The priests and faithful of the town held all-night vigil, praying God to give courage to His New Martyr. At daybreak, George was led to the place of execution, saying over and over again the names of the Lord Jesus and his blessed Mother. He was shot, then beheaded, joining the ranks of the holy Martyrs.

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