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The Assumption of Mary Church, SegarceaCod 1409

The Assumption of Mary church from Segarcea is one of the newest churches in the city, having at the same time the titular saint of Saint Dimitrie the New. It was reconditioned in the year 2010 being re-painted and painted, being maintained the old structure.

Saint Dimitrie lived in Thessaloniki (Salonika, in today’s Greece), during the times of the Emperors Diocletian and Maximilian (284 – 305). He came from one of the noblest families from Macedonia and he was admired by all the people, not only for his noblesse and exterior beauty, but also for his virtues, for his wisdom and for his kindness. Even from a young age, he became a strategist and a specialist in the military art, in such a way that despite his age, he was named general of the armies of Tesalia and proconsul of Greece by Maximilian Galerius, the Greece’s and Macedonia’s Caesar.

Winner in the fights against the skits, on his way to Rome, Caesar Galerius (who had just been proclaimed August for the eastern part of the Roman Empire) stopped at Thessaloniki to be acclaimed by the people and for the sacrifice of the gods. A few envious pagans from the city took advantage of this occasion in order to complain to the Emperor and for denouncing Dimitrie for the fact that he is Christian. The rage of the Emperor quickly became anger, when he found out the fact that Dimitrie was not only a faithful apprentice of Christ, but he also publicly preached the Christian faith. Therefore the Emperor demanded for the saint to be caught and put into a humid prison from the basement of a public bathroom. And the Emperor ostentated in front of one of his men who was named Lid and advising the people from the citadel to get out and to fight with him – because he could defeat all the ones of his age at the weight and at the power of the body -, a young Christian man, with the name of Nestor, going to Saint Dimitrie in the prison, told him: “Servant of God, I want to fight with Lie. Pray for me”. And the saint advising him on the forehead with the sign of the cross, told him: “You will defeat Lie and you will confess to Christ”. Therefore Nestor taking courage because of these words, he went to fight with Lie and put his height at the ground, killing him. Because the emperor was ashamed of this fact, he got angrier and angrier. And because of the fact that he found out the fact that Saint Dimitrie advised Nestor to do this, he sent the soldiers and demanded them to cut through with the javelins the saint in the prison, because he was the cause of Lie’s death. And this thing being realized, the great Dimitrie gave his soul in the hands of God, performing after his death many miracles and astonishing healings. Then, by the command of the Emperor there was also cut the head of nestor (the memorial of Saint Nestor will be made on the 27th of October).

The Great Forty Martyr Dimitrie is worshiped as one of the greatest “military saints”. Shortly after his death, more exactly after Saint Emperor Constantin the Great gave the freedom for Christianity throughout all the Roman Empire, at Salonika was built up a basilica right above his tomb. This basilica became a great center of pilgrimage. After the Ottoman conquest (in 1430), the basilica was transformed into a mosque. It became again a church after the re-conquest of the city by the Greeks (1912), during the First Balkan War. The original paleo-Christian construction exists even nowadays, being part of the site of Paleo-Christian  and Byzantine Monuments from Salonika and being found on the list of monuments from the World patrimony UNESCO. The Saint Dimitrie church from Salonika, or Hagios Demetrios, shelters the relics of the Great Forty Martyr Saint Dimitrie, who is also the guardian saint of the city Salonika.


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