New Martyr Damascene of Gabrovo

The holy New Martyr Damascene was from Gabrovo in the Metropolis of Trnovo, Bulgaria. Longing for the monastic life, he traveled to Mt. Athos and entered the Serbian monastery of Hilandar. In time, he was ordained deacon and priest, fulfilling various obediences in the monastery.

One day Father Damascene was sent to Sfistovi, Bulgaria to collect rent from a Moslem on property owned by the monastery. To avoid paying the money he owed the vile fellow sent a Moslem woman to the place where the monk was staying. Then he and others broke in and accused Fr Damascene of impropriety. If the authorities found him guilty, he could be put to death.

The kadi was not convinced that Fr Damascene was guilty of the charges, but since other Moslems testified against him, the judge had to find him guilty. However, he offered the monk a chance to save his life if he would convert to Islam.

St Damascene refused to deny Christ, so he was sentenced to be hanged. The Moslems then confiscated the monastery’s property.

St Damascene suffered martyrdom on January 16, 1771.