Holy New Martyr Theocharis

In the year 1740 Sultan Ahmed and Ibrahim Pasha, the governor of Asia Minor, a decree was issued that Christian boys should be placed in concentration camps. The orphan Theocharis was among them. On a certain day, however, the judge of Neapolis (Nevsehir) in Cappadocia, saw Theocharis in the camp, he liked him, and brought him home to care for his animals.

Theocharis’s piety and comeliness prompted the judge to suggest that he become his son-in-law, after first becoming a Moslem. Theocharis answered courageously, “My master, I was born a Christian, and I cannot deny the faith of my Savior and of my fathers.” The Ottoman judge considered the answer to be offensive and threatened him with torture, and then he sentenced him to death by starvation. Theocharis went to church to confess and to partake of the spotless Mysteries, and then returned to his master. When he repeated his refusal and confessed his faith, they threw him into prison without food for many days. He was nourished by prayer, however and did not feel hunger; he was satisfied with a little water once in a while. When the judge repeated his offer to let him marry his daughter, Theocharis firmly refused. Then, after frightful torture, they took him an hour’s journey from the city of Neapolis, where he was stoned and then hanged at noon on a white poplar tree on August 20, 1740.

In 1923, the right hand of St. Theocharis was brought to Thessaloniki and was placed in the Church of St. Katherine, where it remains today.