Great martyr

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Icon of Great-Martyrs Theodore Tyro and Theodore Stratelates (16th century, Monastery of the Transfiguration, Prilep, Macedonia). Sveti Teodor Tiron i Teodor Stratilat.JPG
Icon of Great-Martyrs Theodore Tyro and Theodore Stratelates (16th century, Monastery of the Transfiguration, Prilep, Macedonia).

Great Martyr or Great-Martyr (Greek : μεγαλομάρτυς or μεγαλομάρτυρ, megalomartys or megalomartyr, from megas, "great" + "martyr") is a classification of saints who are venerated in the Eastern Orthodox Church and those Eastern Catholic Churches which follow the Rite of Constantinople.

Greek language language spoken in Greece, Cyprus and Southern Albania

Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages, native to Greece, Cyprus and other parts of the Eastern Mediterranean and the Black Sea. It has the longest documented history of any living Indo-European language, spanning more than 3000 years of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the major part of its history; other systems, such as Linear B and the Cypriot syllabary, were used previously. The alphabet arose from the Phoenician script and was in turn the basis of the Latin, Cyrillic, Armenian, Coptic, Gothic, and many other writing systems.

Saint one who has been recognized for having an exceptional degree of holiness, sanctity, and virtue

A saint is a person who is recognized as having an exceptional degree of holiness or likeness or closeness to God. Depending on the context and denomination, the term also retains its original Christian meaning, as any believer who is "in Christ" and in whom Christ dwells, whether in Heaven or on Earth. In Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Anglican, Oriental Orthodox, and Lutheran doctrine, all of their faithful deceased in Heaven are considered to be saints, but some are considered worthy of greater honor or emulation; official ecclesiastical recognition, and consequently veneration, is given to some saints through the process of canonization in the Catholic Church or glorification in the Eastern Orthodox Church.

Veneration the act of honoring a saint, a person who has been identified as having a high degree of sanctity or holiness

Veneration, or veneration of saints, is the act of honoring a saint, a person who has been identified as having a high degree of sanctity or holiness. Angels are shown similar veneration in many religions. Philologically, "to venerate" derives from the Latin verb, venerare, meaning to regard with reverence and respect. Veneration of saints is practiced, formally or informally, by adherents of some branches of all major religions, including Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Islam, and Buddhism.

Generally speaking, a Great Martyr is a martyr who has undergone excruciating tortures—often performing miracles and converting unbelievers to Christianity in the process—and who has attained widespread veneration throughout the Church. These saints are often from the first centuries of the Church, before the Edict of Milan. This term is normally not applied to saints who could be better described as hieromartyrs (martyred clergy) or protomartyrs (the first martyr in a given region).

Martyr person who suffers persecution and death for advocating, refusing to renounce, and/or refusing to advocate a belief or cause, usually a religious one

A martyr is someone who suffers persecution and death for advocating, renouncing, refusing to renounce, or refusing to advocate a belief or cause as demanded by an external party. This refusal to comply with the presented demands results in the punishment or execution of the martyr by the oppressor. Originally applied only to those who suffered for their religious beliefs, the term has come to be used in connection with people killed for a political cause.

Torture intentional infliction of physical or mental suffering upon a person or an animal, in order to punish or to coerce, or for sheer cruelty

Torture is the act of deliberately inflicting severe physical or psychological suffering on someone by another as a punishment or in order to fulfill some desire of the torturer or force some action from the victim. Torture, by definition, is a knowing and intentional act; deeds which unknowingly or negligently inflict suffering or pain, without a specific intent to do so, are not typically considered torture.

Miracle highly unusual event believed to be of supernatural or divine origin

A miracle is an event not explicable by natural or scientific laws. Such an event may be attributed to a supernatural being, magic, a miracle worker, a saint, or a religious leader.

Partial list of Great Martyrs

Anastasia of Sirmium Christian saint and martyr

Saint Anastasia is a Christian saint and martyr who died at Sirmium in the Roman province of Pannonia Secunda. In the Orthodox Church, she is venerated as St. Anastasia the Pharmakolytria, i.e. "Deliverer from Potions".

Artemius Prefect of Roman Egypt and martyr

Artemius, known as Challita in the Maronite tradition, was a general of the Roman Empire, dux Aegypti. He is considered a saint by the Catholic and the Orthodox Churches, with the name of Artemius of Antioch.

Saint Barbara early Christian saint and martyr, from Nicomedia

Saint Barbara, Feast Day December 4, known in the Eastern Orthodox Church as the Great Martyr Barbara, was an early Christian Greek saint and martyr. Accounts place her in the 3rd century in Heliopolis Phoenicia, present-day Baalbek, Lebanon. There is no reference to her in the authentic early Christian writings nor in the original recension of Saint Jerome's martyrology. Despite the legends detailing her story, the earliest references to her supposed 3rd century life do not appear until the 7th century, and veneration of her was common, especially in the East, from the 9th century.

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New Martyr

The title of New Martyr or Neomartyr of the Eastern Orthodox Church was originally given to martyrs who died under heretical rulers or non-christian rulers in post-medieval period. The Greek Orthodox Church traditionally gives the title of New Martyr to those who had been tortured and executed during the Ottoman rule (turkocracy) in order to avoid forced islamization. Later, various Christian Churches added to the list those martyred under Islam and various modern regimes, especially Communist ones, which espoused state atheism. Officially, the era of the New Martyrs begins with the fall of Constantinople in 1453. Among those commemorated are not only those who gave their lives in martyrdom, but also those who are accounted as confessors for the Orthodox Faith.
Some New Martyrs are anonymous or known with non-Christian names, as they died without being officially baptized. According to the Orthodox belief, they were baptized in their own blood when executed.

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