Athanasius of Attalia

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The Holy Martyr Athanasius lived in Smyrna of XVI century. He was a poor and simple man, but was rich in faith. One day he was inadvertently involved in a religious dispute with a Turk. The Turk was educated and adroit with words, but Athanasius strove with all his might to uphold the truth of the Christian faith and its superiority over Islam. And finally they parted.

But on the next day, Athanasius was summoned to trial, and met the Turk as his accuser. When the judge called on Athanasius to repudiate Orthodoxy and accept Islam, as he had given the impression of declaring to his companion of the previous day, Athanasius said: "I would die a thousand deaths before I would deny the Faith of Christ!"

And for this he was condemned to death and beheaded in the year 1700, January 7. His holy relics was buried in the Church of St Paraskeva in Smyrna.