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, Dimitry 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 Dimitry 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. Dimitry not only disobeyed the Emperor; he openly confessed and preached Christ the Lord in the city. Hearing of this, the Emperor was furious with Dimitry, 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 summoned Dimitry and questioned him about his faith. Dimitry 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, Dimitry 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 Dimitry. 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. Dimitry 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. Dimitry have remained for all time in Salonica. As the defender of Salonica, St. Dimitry has many times appeared and saved the city from calamity, and there is no way of counting his miracles. The Russians regarded St. Dimitry as the protector of Siberia, which was overcome and annexed by Russia on October 26th, 1581.
Troparion, Tone 3:
Kontakion, Tone 2:
Great Martyr Dimitrios, the Myrrh-flowing and Wonderworking Saint, was a Christian and the son of the military commander of Thessalonica in the early fourth century. St. Dimitrios was the only son and was, because of this, most carefully cherished and educated. When his father died, Dimitrios was appointed by Emperor Maximian to take his place. Maximian was an opponent of Christ and charged Dimitrios to persecute and to kill the Christians in that city.
Instead, Dimitrios disobeyed Maximian and openly confessed and preached Christianity.
Hearing of this, the Emperor was furious and on his way back from battles
against the Sarmathians he went to Thessalonica to look into the matter.
He summoned Dimitrios and questioned him about his faith. Dimitrios
confessed his belief as well as his disgust for idolatry (and thus
openly criticising the Emperor himself). The enraged Emperor cast him
into prison, and Dimitrios, knowing his fate, had his servant Lupus
give his wealth to the poor (being glad that suffering for Christ was
to be his lot).
Once, when barbarians plundered the city, two maidens were abducted. When the leader of the barbarians learned that the maidens could embroider, he threatened them to produce the likeness of St. Dimitrios. They finished on the eve of the Saint's feast and they wept asking for his forgiveness. Suddenly, Dimitrios appeared and transported them like an angel of God to the safety of his church in Thessalonica and left them among the people during a vigil.
The Saint appeared on other occasions. When Emperor Justinian attempted to move the Saint's relics to Constantinople, flames shot out of the tomb and a voice commanded them to, "Leave them there, and don't touch!" and thus the relics have remained since in Thessalonica. Another time was when a young man responsible for the candles of the church was stealing them and reselling them from his home. Dimitrios appeared to him and told him that he was harming himself and the church. The embarrassed man obeyed for a little while but soon returned to his old ways. One day, when he was about to steal some large candles that had just been lit near the tomb of St. Dimitrios, a booming voice said, "Are you doing this again!" He fell over unconscious, and when he awoke, he related the whole story.
As the defender of Thessalonica, St. Dimitrios has many times appeared and saved the city in times of trouble. The Russians also regarded St. Dimitrios as the protector of Siberia.