Saint Demetrius of Thessaloniki
The holy, glorious, and right-victorious martyr Demetrius was born to pious Christian parents in Thessaloniki, Greece in 270 AD. He came from a wealthy family and grew-up to serve in the Roman Army. Due to his strong physical appearance and heroic nature, the Emperor Maximian, not knowing Demetrius was a Christian, raised him to the rank of Duke of Thessaly in 290 AD.
When the Emperor found out he was a Christian, he had Demetrius imprisoned in a Bath house. At the same time Demetrius was imprisoned, the Emperor had ordered Gladiator games to go on in honor of the victories won during the latest campaign.
During the games, a certain haughty barbarian gladiator by the name of Lyaeus, full of strength and vigor, was beating all who opposed him. A young acquaintance of Demetrius named Nestor, desiring to beat the barbarian, came to the Bath House where Demetrius was imprisoned, and asked for his blessing. Receiving a blessing from the Saint, Nestor went to the games, crossed himself and exclaimed "O God of Demetrius help me!" With this, he was immediately able to defeat the barbarian with a mortal blow to the heart.
Enraged at the loss of his gladiator, Maximian ordered that Nestor be beheaded, and that Demetrius be speared to death. On October 26, 306 AD, St. Demetrius was martyred by Maximian the Emperor. Christians had him secretly buried at the place of his execution, and a beautiful scent emanated from his tomb. It is because of this that he is known as "The Myrrh Gusher."
His memory is celebrated on October 26th/November 8th.
The world has found in you a great champion in time of peril, as you emerged the victor in routing the barbarians. For as you brought to naught the boasts of Lyaios, imparting courage to Nestor in the stadium, in like manner, holy one, great Martyr Demetrius, invoke Christ God for us, that He may grant us His great mercy.
God, who gave you invincible power and with care kept your city invulnerable, royally clothed the Church in purple with the streams of your blood, for you are her strength, O Demetrius.