Author Topic: From another list: St Ahmed the Calligrapher  (Read 2998 times)

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Offline Anastasios

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From another list: St Ahmed the Calligrapher
« on: August 14, 2006, 09:46:35 AM »

The holy New Martyr Ahmed was born in the seventeenth century to a Muslim family in Constantinople. By profession he was a copyist in the Great Archives. In accordance with Ottoman law, since he did not have a wife, he had a slave instead, a Russian woman. Another captive from Russia lived together with her, an old woman, also a slave. Both these women were very pious.

On feast days the old woman would go to church. Taking the blessed bread or antidoron, she would give it to the young woman to eat. The old woman would also bring her holy water to drink. Whenever this occurred and Ahmed was close to her, he would smell a beautiful and indescribable fragrance coming out of her mouth. He would ask her what she was eating to make her mouth smell so fragrant. Not realizing what was happening, the slave would say that she was not eating anything. However, he persisted in asking. Eventually she told him that she was eating the bread which had been blessed by the priests, which the old woman brought her whenever she returned from church.

On hearing this, Ahmed was filled with longing to see the Orthodox church and how Orthodox received this blessed bread. Therefore he summoned a priest and told him to prepare a secret place for him, so that he could go when the Patriarch was serving the Liturgy. When the appointed day arrived, dressed as an Orthodox, he went to the Patriarchate and followed the Divine Liturgy. While he was in church, he saw the Patriarch shining with light and lifted off the floor, as he came out of the altar and through the  holy doors to bless the people. As he blessed, rays of light came from his finger tips, but though the rays fell on the heads of all the Orthodox, they did not fall on Ahmed's head. This happened two or three times and each time Ahmed saw the same thing. Thus, Ahmed came to the faith. Without hesitation he sent for the priest, who gave him rebirth through baptism. Ahmed remained a secret Orthodox for some time, concealing his baptismal name, which is why it has not come down to us.

However, one day Ahmed and certain noblemen were eating together. Afterwards they sat talking and smoking, as is the Muslim custom. In the course of the conversation they began to discuss what the greatest thing in the world. Each gave his opinion. The first guest said that the greatest thing in the world was for a man to have wisdom. The second maintained that woman was the greatest thing in the world. And yet a third said that the greatest thing in the world, and by far the most delightful, was good food-- for was this not the food of the righteous in paradise?

Then it was Ahmed's turn. They all turned to him, asking him for his opinion on this matter. Filled with holy zeal, Ahmed cried out that the greatest thing of all was the Faith of the Orthodox. And confessing himself to be a Christian, he boldly censured the falseness and deception of the Muslims. At first, on hearing this the Muslims were aghast. Then, filled with unspeakable rage, they fell on the holy martyr and dragged him to a judge, so that he could be sentenced to death. He was beheaded, receiving the crown of martyrdom on the orders of the ruler on 3 May 1682.

Holy Martyr Ahmed, pray to God for us!
« Last Edit: August 14, 2006, 09:47:03 AM by Anastasios »
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Past posts reflect stages of my life before my baptism and may not be accurate expositions of Orthodox teaching. Also, I served as an Orthodox priest from 2008-2013, before resigning.

Offline Fr. George

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Re: From another list: St Ahmed the Calligrapher
« Reply #1 on: August 14, 2006, 10:20:00 AM »
Thanks for the post, webdespota.
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Offline bergschlawiner

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Re: From another list: St Ahmed the Calligrapher
« Reply #2 on: August 14, 2006, 12:28:34 PM »
Beautiful story and very timely now at this time when we are being confronted on all sides by the Islamists.
How many unknown martyrs are there till the present day?  Soviet soldier PWs who refused to convert to islam in Afghanistan? 

Offline Αριστοκλής

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Re: From another list: St Ahmed the Calligrapher
« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2006, 02:44:15 PM »
Live and learn; what a story. And just like those Turks.
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Offline BasilCan

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Re: From another list: St Ahmed the Calligrapher
« Reply #4 on: August 19, 2006, 03:59:03 PM »
I'm not sure if you know, but older versions of this story state Ahmed was never baptized, but by his faith and martyrdom, he was considered a Christian.

This it not out of the question. Historically speaking, when a person wanted to become a Christian he was "1st made a Christian (today's prayers for the child on the 8th day) then exorcised, then made a catechumen, then baptized and chrismated."  Even today, a catechumen in the Orthodox church who dies before baptism is given an Orthodox funeral.


Offline Starlight

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Re: From another list: St Ahmed the Calligrapher
« Reply #5 on: August 21, 2006, 04:45:33 PM »
Anastasios, thank you very much for sharing with us this great story.

Offline ozgeorge

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Re: From another list: St Ahmed the Calligrapher
« Reply #6 on: January 15, 2007, 08:51:15 AM »
A Priest friend in Greece has just emailed me an Icon of St. Ahmed, and I remembered this thread. Here is his Icon:

« Last Edit: January 15, 2007, 08:52:00 AM by ozgeorge »
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Offline teggy

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Re: From another list: St Ahmed the Calligrapher
« Reply #7 on: December 10, 2008, 05:27:24 AM »
The holy martyr St. Ahmed, pray for us.
Not what you have, but what you see; Not what you see, but what you choose; Not what seems fair, but what is true; Not what you dream, but what you do; Not what you take, but what you give; Not as you pray, but as you live.
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Offline prodromas

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Re: From another list: St Ahmed the Calligrapher
« Reply #8 on: December 10, 2008, 06:03:08 AM »
Welcome Teggy :D this was a great thread to resurrect.
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Offline CRCulver

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Re: From another list: St Ahmed the Calligrapher
« Reply #9 on: December 10, 2008, 10:30:35 AM »
The holy martyr St. Ahmed, pray for us.

Slightly off-topic, but I'd like to wish you a welcome to the forum, as it seems this was your first post. I was in the Orthodox church in Hong Kong a couple of times last year, and it is truly one of the most unusual churches in the world (some stories up in a high rise in the heart of Central). The international community or worshipers I met there was very kind, as was your bishop. I hope to return sometime.