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The Venerable Martyr Cyprian the New ( July 5 )

Cyprian was born in the village of Klitzos in Epirus. Following the death of his devout parents, Cyprian went to the Holy Mountain, where he was tonsured a monk, devoting himself completely to a life of asceticism in a cell near the Monastery of Koutloumousiou. He imposed upon himself labor upon labor, and asceticism upon asceticism, until he became renowned and respected throughout the Holy Mountain.

But Cyprian was still not satisfied with himself. He was tormented by the thought that he could not be saved except through martyrdom for Christ. Therefore, he left the Holy Mountain and went to Thessalonica, where he went before the pasha of Thessalonica and called upon him to reject the false faith of Muhammad and to accept the true faith of Christ. The pasha ordered him scourged and driven out. Unsatisfied with such little suffering for Christ, Cyprian traveled to Constantinople and wrote a letter to the grand vizier, in which he outlined the falseness of Muhammad and the truth of the Lord Christ.

Enraged, the vizier sent him to Sheik ul-Islamu, and he, after having heard all that Cyprian had to say, ordered him beheaded. Cyprian was joyful beyond measure, and he went to the scaffold as to a wedding feast. Thus this godly man suffered for Christ on July 5, 1679, and realised his burning desire.