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This article is about the 4th-century Orthodox saint. For the other saint of the same name, see Pope Demetrius I of Alexandria. For the Crusader king of Thessaloniki, see Demetrius of Montferrat.

Saint Demetrius (or Demetrios) of Thessaloniki (Greek:Ἅγιος Δημήτριος τῆς Θεσσαλονίκης, Hágios Dēmḗtrios tēs Thessaloníkēs), also known as the Holy Great-Martyr Demetrius the Myroblyte (meaning 'the Myrrh-Gusher' or 'Myrrh-Streamer'; 3rd century – 306), was a Christian martyr of the early 4th century AD.

Saint
Demetrius of Thessaloniki
12th-century mosaic depicting Saint Demetrius, from the Golden-Roofed Monastery in Kyiv
Great-Martyr, Myroblyte
Born270
Thessaloniki, Roman Empire
Died306 (or 305)
Thessaloniki, Roman Empire
Venerated in
Major shrineHagios Demetrios, Thessaloniki
Feast26 October and on All-Saints of Salonica (aka Thessalonica and Thessaloniki), on 3rd Sunday of Pascha (Sunday of the Myrrh-bearing Women),(Orthodox Churches) 9 April & 8 October (Roman Catholic Church)
Attributesdepicted wearing the armour of a Roman soldier, usually carrying a spear, often seated on a red horse
PatronageThessaloniki, Siberia, Sremska Mitrovica, Kosovska Mitrovica; soldiers; Crusades (in Roman Catholic tradition); agriculture, peasants and shepherds (in the Greek countryside during Middle Ages); construction workers in Bulgaria

During the Middle Ages, he came to be revered as one of the most important Orthodox military saints, often paired with Saint George of Lydda. His feast day is 26 October for Eastern Orthodox Christians, which falls on 8 November [NS] for those following the old calendar. In the Roman Catholic church he is most commonly called "Demetrius of Sermium" and his memorial falls on 8 October.

Contents

St Demetrius of Salonica, 18th century, Walters Art Museum

The earliest written accounts of his life were compiled in the 9th century, although there are earlier images of him, and the 7th-century Miracles of Saint Demetrius collection. According to these early accounts, Demetrius was born to pious Christian parents in Thessaloniki, Macedonia in 270.

According to the hagiographies, Demetrius was a young man of senatorial family who became proconsul of the Thessalonica district. He was run through with spears in around 306 AD in Thessaloniki, during the Christian persecutions of Galerian, which matches his depiction in the 7th century mosaics.

Relics of Saint Demetrius at the Hagios Demetrios Basilica in Thessaloniki

Most historical scholars follow the hypothesis put forward by Bollandist Hippolyte Delehaye (1859–1941), that his veneration was transferred from Sirmium when Thessaloniki replaced it as the main military base in the area in 441/442 AD. His very large church in Thessaloniki, the Hagios Demetrios, dates from the mid-5th century. Thessaloniki remained a centre of his veneration, and he is the patron saint of the city.

After the growth of his veneration as saint, the city of Thessaloniki suffered repeated attacks and sieges from the Slavic peoples who moved into the Balkans, and Demetrius was credited with many miraculous interventions to defend the city. Hence later traditions about Demetrius regard him as a soldier in the Roman army, and he came to be regarded as an important military martyr. Unsurprisingly, he was extremely popular in the Middle Ages. Disputes between Bohemond I of Antioch and Alexios I Komnenos appear to have resulted in Demetrius being appropriated as patron saint of crusading.

Demetrius was also venerated as patron of agriculture, peasants and shepherds in the Greek countryside during the Middle Ages. According to historian Hans Kloft, he had inherited this role from the pagan goddess Demeter. After the demise of the Eleusinian Mysteries, Demeter's cult, in the 4th century, the Greek rural population had gradually transferred her rites and roles onto the Christian saint Demetrius.

Most scholars still believe that for four centuries after his death, Demetrius had no physical relics, and in their place an unusual empty shrine called the "ciborium" was built inside Hagios Demetrios. What were purported to be his remains subsequently appeared in Thessaloniki, but the local archbishop John, who compiled the first book of the Miracles ca. 610, was publicly dismissive of their authenticity. The relics were assumed to be genuine after they started emitting a liquid and strong-scented myrrh. This gave Demeterius the epithet Myroblyte.

15th-century icon of St Demetrius (Russian State Museum, Saint Petersburg)

In the Russian Orthodox Church, the Saturday before the Feast of Saint Demetrius is a memorial day commemorating the soldiers who fell in the Battle of Kulikovo (1380), under the leadership of Demetrius of the Don. This day is known as Demetrius Saturday. Demetrius was a patron saint of the Rurik dynasty from the late 11th century on. Izyaslav I of Kiev (whose Christian name was Dimitry) founded the first East Slavic monastery dedicated to this saint.

The Bulgarian Orthodox Church and the Romanian Orthodox Church revere Demetrius on 26 October (Димитровден Dimitrovden in Bulgarian); meanwhile the Serbian Orthodox Church and Macedonian Orthodox Church (Ohrid) and the Coptic Church have a feast on 8 November (called Митровдан in Serbian and Митровден in Macedonian).

The names Dimitry (Russian), Dimitar (Bulgarian), Mitri (short form of Dimitri in Lebanon) are in common use.

Byzantine icon of the 10th century (Metropolitan Museum of Art)
Modern Bulgarian icon of Demetrius spearing the gladiator Lyaeus, who is dressed in rather Turkish style (1824).

The hagiographic cycles of the Great Martyr Demetrius of Thessaloniki include depictions of scenes from his life and his posthumous miracles. Demetrius was initially depicted in icons and mosaics as a young man in patterned robes with the distinctive tablion of the senatorial class across his chest. Miraculous military interventions were attributed to him during several attacks on Thessaloniki, and he gradually became thought of as a soldier: a Constantinopolitan ivory of the late 10th century shows him as an infantry soldier (Metropolitan Museum of Art). But an icon of the late 11th century in Saint Catherine's Monastery on Mount Sinai shows him as before, still a civilian. In Byzantine icons he is depicted in military dress, either standing or riding a horse.

Another Sinai icon, of the Crusader period and painted by a French artist working in the Holy Land in the second half of the 12th century, shows what then became the most common depiction. Demetrius, bearded, rather older, and on a red horse, rides together with George, unbearded and on a white horse. Both are dressed as cavalrymen. Also, while George is often shown spearing a dragon, Demetrius is depicted spearing the gladiator Lyaeus (Λυαίος Lyaíos), who according to story was responsible for killing many Christians. Lyaeus is commonly depicted below Demetrius and lying supine, having already been defeated; Lyaeus is traditionally drawn much smaller than Demetrius. In traditional hagiography, Demetrius did not directly kill Lyaeus, but rather through his prayers the gladiator was defeated by Demetrius' disciple, Nestor.

A modern Greek iconographic convention depicts Demetrius with the Great White Tower in the background. The anachronistic White Tower acts as a symbolic depiction of the city of Thessaloniki, despite having been built in the 16th century, centuries after his life, and the exact architecture of the older tower that stood at the same site in earlier times is unknown. Again, iconography often depicts saints holding a church or protecting a city.

According to hagiographic legend, as retold by Dimitry of Rostov in particular, Demetrius appeared in 1207 in the camp of tsar Kaloyan of Bulgaria, piercing the king with a lance and so killing him. This scene, known asЧудо о погибели царя Калояна ("the miracle of the destruction of tsar Kaloyan") became a popular element in the iconography of Demetrius. He is shown on horseback piercing the king with his spear, paralleling the iconography (and often shown alongside) of Saint George and the Dragon.

In 1962 the life and martyrdom of Demetrius became the subject of a 90-minute oratorio by Greek composer Nicolas Astrinidis. Three parts of the work were premiered at the first Demetria Festival in Thessaloniki on 26 October 1962. The entire oratorio was premiered in 1966 and received subsequent performances in 1985 (Thessaloniki) and in 1993 (Bucharest). All performances have been recorded.

  1. Russian:Димитрий Солунский (Dimitry Solunsky); Bulgarian:Димитър Солунски (Dimitar Solunski); Macedonian:Свети Димитрија Солунски (Sveti Dimitrija Solunski); Romanian: Sfântul Dumitru; Serbian:Димитрије Солунски; Albanian: Shmitri (Kosovo) and Shën Dhimitri (Albania); Ukrainian:Димитрій Солунській
  2. Greek:Ἅγιος Μεγαλομάρτυς Δημήτριος ὁ Μυροβλύτης (Hágios Megalomártys Dēmḗtrios ho Myroblýtēs)
  3. This epithet is shared with other Orthodox saints: e.g. Saint Nilus of Kynouria, Saint Barbarus.
  1. Roth (1993), p. 36.
  2. Kloft (2010), p. 25.
  3. Saint Demetrius Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral
  4. "Holy, Glorious Demetrius the Myrrh-gusher of Thessalonica". www.oca.org. Retrieved2020-09-26.
  5. Woods 2000, pp. 223–5
  6. "Museum in the Crypt of the Church of St. Demetrios", Macedonian Museums
  7. Lapina, Elizabeth (2009). "Demetrius of Thessaloniki: Patron Saint of Crusaders". Viator. 40 (2): 93–112. doi:10.1484/J.VIATOR.1.100423. ISSN 2031-0234.
  8. Cormack p. 75
  9. Kurian, George; Nelson, Thomas (2001). Nelson's Dictionary of Christianity. ISBN 9781418539818.
  10. troparia, All; saints, kontakia · All lives of. "Lives of the Saints". www.oca.org. Retrieved2020-09-26.
  11. "Russian Icons". www.iconrussia.ru. Retrieved2020-09-26.
  12. "Saint Demetrios, The Myrrh-Streamer", The Greek Orthodox Church of St. Demetrios
  13. "SAINT DEMETRIUS PILGRIMAGE CHURCH, THESSALONIKI". Μοναστήρια της Ελλάδος. 2017-01-10. Retrieved2020-09-26.
  14. "St Demetrius of Thessaloniki", Ruzhnikov
  15. Ilias Chrissochoidis, Nicolas Astrinidis: Life - Works catalog, Stanford, 2012. ISBN 1478248637
  16. Nicolas Astrinidis, Oratorio Saint Demetrios
Wikimedia Commons has media related toSaint Demetrius.
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Demetrius of Thessaloniki Article Talk Language Watch Edit 160 160 Redirected from Saint Demetrius of Thessaloniki This article is about the 4th century Orthodox saint For the other saint of the same name see Pope Demetrius I of Alexandria For the Crusader king of Thessaloniki see Demetrius of Montferrat Saint Demetrius or Demetrios of Thessaloniki Greek Ἅgios Dhmhtrios tῆs 8essalonikhs Hagios Demḗtrios tes Thessalonikes a also known as the Holy Great Martyr Demetrius the Myroblyte meaning the Myrrh Gusher or Myrrh Streamer b 3rd century 306 was a Christian martyr of the early 4th century AD Saint Demetrius of Thessaloniki12th century mosaic depicting Saint Demetrius from the Golden Roofed Monastery in KyivGreat Martyr MyroblyteBorn270 Thessaloniki Roman EmpireDied306 or 305 Thessaloniki Roman EmpireVenerated inOrthodoxyOriental OrthodoxyRoman CatholicismLutheran ChurchAnglicanismMajor shrineHagios Demetrios ThessalonikiFeast26 October and on All Saints of Salonica aka Thessalonica and Thessaloniki on 3rd Sunday of Pascha Sunday of the Myrrh bearing Women Orthodox Churches 9 April amp 8 October Roman Catholic Church Attributesdepicted wearing the armour of a Roman soldier usually carrying a spear often seated on a red horsePatronageThessaloniki Siberia Sremska Mitrovica Kosovska Mitrovica soldiers 1 Crusades in Roman Catholic tradition 1 agriculture peasants and shepherds in the Greek countryside during Middle Ages 2 construction workers in Bulgaria During the Middle Ages he came to be revered as one of the most important Orthodox military saints often paired with Saint George of Lydda His feast day is 26 October for Eastern Orthodox Christians which falls on 8 November NS for those following the old calendar In the Roman Catholic church he is most commonly called Demetrius of Sermium and his memorial falls on 8 October Contents 1 Life 2 Veneration of sainthood and celebrations 3 Iconography 4 Music 5 See also 6 Notes 7 References 8 Sources 9 External linksLife Edit St Demetrius of Salonica 18th century Walters Art Museum The earliest written accounts of his life were compiled in the 9th century although there are earlier images of him and the 7th century Miracles of Saint Demetrius collection According to these early accounts Demetrius was born to pious Christian parents in Thessaloniki Macedonia in 270 3 According to the hagiographies Demetrius was a young man of senatorial family who became proconsul of the Thessalonica district He was run through with spears in around 306 AD in Thessaloniki during the Christian persecutions of Galerian 4 which matches his depiction in the 7th century mosaics Veneration of sainthood and celebrations Edit Relics of Saint Demetrius at the Hagios Demetrios Basilica in Thessaloniki Most historical scholars follow the hypothesis put forward by Bollandist Hippolyte Delehaye 1859 1941 that his veneration was transferred from Sirmium 5 when Thessaloniki replaced it as the main military base in the area in 441 442 AD His very large church in Thessaloniki the Hagios Demetrios dates from the mid 5th century 6 Thessaloniki remained a centre of his veneration and he is the patron saint of the city After the growth of his veneration as saint the city of Thessaloniki suffered repeated attacks and sieges from the Slavic peoples who moved into the Balkans and Demetrius was credited with many miraculous interventions to defend the city Hence later traditions about Demetrius regard him as a soldier in the Roman army and he came to be regarded as an important military martyr Unsurprisingly he was extremely popular in the Middle Ages Disputes between Bohemond I of Antioch and Alexios I Komnenos appear to have resulted in Demetrius being appropriated as patron saint of crusading 7 Demetrius was also venerated as patron of agriculture peasants and shepherds in the Greek countryside during the Middle Ages According to historian Hans Kloft he had inherited this role from the pagan goddess Demeter After the demise of the Eleusinian Mysteries Demeter s cult in the 4th century the Greek rural population had gradually transferred her rites and roles onto the Christian saint Demetrius 2 Most scholars still believe that for four centuries after his death Demetrius had no physical relics and in their place an unusual empty shrine called the ciborium was built inside Hagios Demetrios What were purported to be his remains subsequently appeared in Thessaloniki but the local archbishop John who compiled the first book of the Miracles ca 610 was publicly dismissive of their authenticity 8 The relics were assumed to be genuine after they started emitting a liquid and strong scented myrrh This gave Demeterius the epithet Myroblyte 3 c 15th century icon of St Demetrius Russian State Museum Saint Petersburg In the Russian Orthodox Church the Saturday before the Feast of Saint Demetrius is a memorial day commemorating the soldiers who fell in the Battle of Kulikovo 1380 under the leadership of Demetrius of the Don This day is known as Demetrius Saturday 10 Demetrius was a patron saint of the Rurik dynasty from the late 11th century on Izyaslav I of Kiev whose Christian name was Dimitry founded the first East Slavic monastery dedicated to this saint The Bulgarian Orthodox Church and the Romanian Orthodox Church revere Demetrius on 26 October Dimitrovden Dimitrovden in Bulgarian meanwhile the Serbian Orthodox Church and Macedonian Orthodox Church Ohrid and the Coptic Church have a feast on 8 November called Mitrovdan in Serbian and Mitrovden in Macedonian The names Dimitry Russian Dimitar Bulgarian Mitri short form of Dimitri in Lebanon are in common use Iconography Edit Byzantine icon of the 10th century Metropolitan Museum of Art Modern Bulgarian icon of Demetrius spearing the gladiator Lyaeus who is dressed in rather Turkish style 1824 The hagiographic cycles of the Great Martyr Demetrius of Thessaloniki include depictions of scenes from his life and his posthumous miracles 11 Demetrius was initially depicted in icons and mosaics as a young man in patterned robes with the distinctive tablion of the senatorial class across his chest Miraculous military interventions were attributed to him during several attacks on Thessaloniki and he gradually became thought of as a soldier a Constantinopolitan ivory of the late 10th century shows him as an infantry soldier Metropolitan Museum of Art But an icon of the late 11th century in Saint Catherine s Monastery on Mount Sinai shows him as before still a civilian In Byzantine icons he is depicted in military dress either standing or riding a horse 12 Another Sinai icon of the Crusader period and painted by a French artist working in the Holy Land in the second half of the 12th century shows what then became the most common depiction Demetrius bearded rather older and on a red horse rides together with George unbearded and on a white horse 13 Both are dressed as cavalrymen Also while George is often shown spearing a dragon Demetrius is depicted spearing the gladiator Lyaeus Lyaios Lyaios who according to story was responsible for killing many Christians Lyaeus is commonly depicted below Demetrius and lying supine having already been defeated Lyaeus is traditionally drawn much smaller than Demetrius In traditional hagiography Demetrius did not directly kill Lyaeus but rather through his prayers the gladiator was defeated by Demetrius disciple Nestor 11 A modern Greek iconographic convention depicts Demetrius with the Great White Tower in the background The anachronistic White Tower acts as a symbolic depiction of the city of Thessaloniki despite having been built in the 16th century centuries after his life and the exact architecture of the older tower that stood at the same site in earlier times is unknown Again iconography often depicts saints holding a church or protecting a city According to hagiographic legend as retold by Dimitry of Rostov in particular Demetrius appeared in 1207 in the camp of tsar Kaloyan of Bulgaria piercing the king with a lance and so killing him This scene known as Chudo o pogibeli carya Kaloyana the miracle of the destruction of tsar Kaloyan became a popular element in the iconography of Demetrius He is shown on horseback piercing the king with his spear 14 paralleling the iconography and often shown alongside of Saint George and the Dragon Music EditIn 1962 the life and martyrdom of Demetrius became the subject of a 90 minute oratorio by Greek composer Nicolas Astrinidis Three parts of the work were premiered at the first Demetria Festival in Thessaloniki on 26 October 1962 The entire oratorio was premiered in 1966 and received subsequent performances in 1985 Thessaloniki and in 1993 Bucharest 15 All performances have been recorded 16 See also EditDemeter Hagios Demetrios the main sanctuary dedicated to Saint Demetrios Saint Demetrius of Thessaloniki patron saint archiveNotes Edit Russian Dimitrij Solunskij Dimitry Solunsky Bulgarian Dimitr Solunski Dimitar Solunski Macedonian Sveti Dimitriјa Solunski Sveti Dimitrija Solunski Romanian Sfantul Dumitru Serbian Dimitriјe Solunski Albanian Shmitri Kosovo and Shen Dhimitri Albania Ukrainian Dimitrij Solunskij Greek Ἅgios Megalomartys Dhmhtrios ὁ Myroblyths Hagios Megalomartys Demḗtrios ho Myroblytes This epithet is shared with other Orthodox saints e g Saint Nilus of Kynouria Saint Barbarus 9 References Edit a b Roth 1993 p 36 a b Kloft 2010 p 25 a b Saint Demetrius Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral Holy Glorious Demetrius the Myrrh gusher of Thessalonica www oca org Retrieved 2020 09 26 Woods 2000 pp 223 5 Museum in the Crypt of the Church of St Demetrios Macedonian Museums Lapina Elizabeth 2009 Demetrius of Thessaloniki Patron Saint of Crusaders Viator 40 2 93 112 doi 10 1484 J VIATOR 1 100423 ISSN 2031 0234 Cormack p 75 Kurian George Nelson Thomas 2001 Nelson s Dictionary of Christianity ISBN 9781418539818 troparia All saints kontakia All lives of Lives of the Saints www oca org Retrieved 2020 09 26 a b Russian Icons www iconrussia ru Retrieved 2020 09 26 Saint Demetrios The Myrrh Streamer The Greek Orthodox Church of St Demetrios SAINT DEMETRIUS PILGRIMAGE CHURCH THESSALONIKI Monasthria ths Ellados 2017 01 10 Retrieved 2020 09 26 St Demetrius of Thessaloniki Ruzhnikov Ilias Chrissochoidis Nicolas Astrinidis Life Works catalog Stanford 2012 ISBN 1478248637 Nicolas Astrinidis Oratorio Saint DemetriosSources EditRoth Paul W 1993 Soldatenheilige in German Graz Vienna Cologne Verlag Styria ISBN 3 222 12185 0 Kloft Hans 2010 Mysterienkulte der Antike Gotter Menschen Rituale in German Munich C H Beck ISBN 978 3 406 44606 1 Robin Cormack Writing in Gold Byzantine Society and its Icons George Philip London 1985 ISBN 0 540 01085 5 Eugenia Russell St Demetrius of Thessalonica Cult and Devotion in the Middle Ages Peter Lang Oxford 2010 ISBN 978 3 0343 0181 7 James C Skedros Saint Demetrios of Thessaloniki Civic Patron and Divine Protector 4th 7th Centuries CE Trinity Press International 1999 Summarized in Harvard Theological Review 89 410 1996 in JSTOR James C Skedros Response to David Woods Harvard Theological Review 93 3 235 July 2000 at JSTOR Kurt Weitzmann in The Icon 1982 Evans Brothers Ltd London ills pp 32 51 220 trans of Le Icone Montadori 1981 ISBN 0 237 45645 1 Woods David 2000 Thessalonica s Patron Saint Demetrius or Emeterius Harvard Theological Review 93 3 221 234 doi 10 1017 S001781600002530X JSTOR 1510028 free copy David Woods bibliography on St DemetriusExternal links EditWikimedia Commons has media related to Saint Demetrius Listen to this article 3 minutes source source This audio file was created from a revision of this article dated 26 November 2006 2006 11 26 and does not reflect subsequent edits Audio help More spoken articles David Woods St Demetrius from his Military Martyrs Web site Includes article on Origins of the Cult the Passion and Miracles by Anastasius the Librarian BHL 2122 and 2123 images amp links The Life Of The Holy Great Martyr Of Christ Saint Demetrios The Myrrh Bearer of Thessalonica Compiled by Fr Demetrios Serfes Holy Glorious Demetrius the Myrrhgusher of Thessalonica Orthodox icon and synaxarion Retrieved from https en wikipedia org w index php title Demetrius of Thessaloniki amp oldid 1052905739, wikipedia, wiki, book,

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