This glorious and wonderworking saint was born in the city of Salonica of well-born and devout parents. Begged of God by these childless parents, Demetrios was their only son and was, because of this, most carefully cherished and educated. His father was the military commander of Salonica, and, when he died, the Emperor made Dimitrios commander in his place. In doing this, the Emperor Maximian, an opponent of Christ, particularly recommended him to persecute and exterminate the Christians in Salonica.
Dimitrios not only disobeyed the Emperor: he openly confessed and preached Christ the Lord in the city. Hearing of this, the Emperor was furious with Dimitrios and, at one time, on his way back from a war against the Sarmathians, went to Salonica especially to look into the matter. The Emperor, therefore, summoned Dimitrios and questioned him about his faith. Dimitrios proclaimed openly before the Emperor that he was a Christian, and, furthermore, denounced the Emperor’s idolatry. The enraged Emperor cast him into prison. Knowing what was awaiting him, Dimitrios gave his goods to his faithful servant, Lupus, to give away to the poor, and went off to prison, glad that suffering for Christ was to be his lot.
In the prison, an angel of the Lord appeared to him and said: ‘Peace be with thee, thou sufferer for Christ; be brave and strong!’ After several days, the Emperor sent soldiers to the prison to kill Dimitrios. They came upon the saint of God at prayer, and ran him through with their spears. Christians secretly took his body and gave it burial, and there flowed from it a healing myrrh by which many of the sick were healed. A small church was very soon built over his relics.
An Illyrian nobleman, Leontius, became sick of an incurable illness. He ran prayerfully up to the relics of St Dimitrios and was completely healed, and in gratitude built a much larger church in place of the old one. The saint appeared to him on two occasions. When the Emperor Justinian wanted to take the saint’s relics from Salonica to Constantinople, a spark of fire leapt from the tomb and a voice was heard: ‘Leave them there, and don’t touch!’, and thus the relics of St. Dimitrios have remained for all time in Salonica. As the defender of Salonica, St. Dimitrios has many times appeared and saved the city from calamity, and there is no way of counting his miracles. The Russians regarded St. Dimitrios as the protector of Siberia, which was overcome and annexed by Russia on October 26, 1581.
TROPAR: Mare aparator te-a aflat intru primejdii lumea, purtatorule de chinuri, pe tine cel ce ai biruit pe pagini; deci, precum mindria lui Lie ai surpat, si la lupta indraznet ai facut pe Nestor, asa Sfinte Dimitrie, roaga pe Hristos Dumnezeu, ca sa daruiasca noua mare mila.
2. SF. DIMITRIE CEL NOU – BASARABOV.
Dimitrie s-a nascut in secolul XI, pe vremea imparatilor Petru si Ionita Asan, intru-un sat la sudul Dunarii, cu denumirea voievodala romaneasca de Basarabi, la 3 Km de Rusciuc. Parintii erau ortodocsi, de origine valahi (romani).
Dimitrie a pascut oile si vitele satului pe colinele din preajma Dunarii si pe vaile riului Lom. Licarul stelelor ii vorbea despre sfinti, iar florile cimpului despre bucuria raiului; drumul bisericii in duminici si sarbatori l-a invatat statornicia pe caile Domnului. Se povesteste ca intr-o zi, conducindu-si cirezile de vite la riu, a calcat peste un cuib de pasare in iarba inalta. Timp de 3 ani si-a pedepsit piciorul, umblind descult.
De la monahii localnici a aflat calea retrasa de lume, scoala sfinteniei crestine. Este foarte probabil ca Dimitrie si-a incheiat tineretea intr-o comunitate monahala, ca cea din manastirea rupestra de la Basarabi, unde pelerinii de azi merg la pestera sfintului. Ascultarea de poruncile Domnului si de invatatura Bisericii, smerita cugetare, grija de a nu supara pe Dumnezeu, dragostea fata de oameni i-au fost trepte spre desavirsire.
Ajungind Dimitrie la adinci si binecuvintate batrineti, cunoscindu-si sfirsitul, s-a asezat intre doua lespezi de piatra pe malul Lomului, unde a raposat. Dupa ploi bogate, riul a venit vijelios si a lespezile au cazut in apa, acoperite de nisip si prundis. Dupa multa vreme, sfintul s-a aratat in vis unei fetite bolnave spunind: ” Daca ma vor scoate parintii tai din apa, eu te voi vindeca”. Moastele au fost duse in biserica satului Basarabi, si vestea a strabatut pina departe.
In anii 1769-1774, razboiul ruso-turc a devastat sudul Dunarii si un general rus a ordonat ducerea raclei cu moastele sfintului in Rusia. Trecind prin Romania, Hagi Dimitrie, un roman credincios, a cerut generalului sa daruiasca romanilor sfintele moaste ale celui ce a fost de origine valah. Sfintele moaste au fost asezate de Mitropolitul Grigorie in catedrala din Bucuresti, unde sint cinstite pina in ziua de astazi.
TROPAR: Intru tine, parinte, cu osirdie s-a mintuit cel dupa chip; caci luind crucea ai urmat lui Hristos, si lucrind ai invatat sa nu se uite la trup caci este trecator; ci sa poarte grija de suflet, de lucrul cel nemuritor. Pentru aceasta si cu ingerii impreuna se bucura, prea cuvioase parinte Dimitrie duhul tau.