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Martyr Nestor (27th October)

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#1 Mary M.

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Posted 27 October 2009 - 03:11 AM

Hi All, another saint question. Actually I have two,but I guess the protocol is to start seperate threads on them. I read that the Martyr Nestor decided to prove that Christ has all the power against Lyaios, the giant Emperor Maximian sent to the gladiator ring to fight by killing him. He first gets Saint Demetrius' blessing (10/26), yells to the God of Demetrius,and then kills Lyaios and is then beheaded. I'm wondering why would God allow a saint to prove himself by killing someone? I know David asked for God's blessings before battles in the Old Testament, but I thought blessings for killing people would be over with Christ. I really appreciate your insights.

In Christ,
Mary M.

#2 Eric Peterson

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Posted 27 October 2009 - 03:42 AM

Well, Lyaios was not some innocent. Aside from blaspheming God and Christians, he was also killing them in the arena. St. Nestor put a stop to both.

#3 Michael Stickles

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Posted 27 October 2009 - 10:11 AM

Here is the entry for Nestor from the Prologue of Ochrid, by St. Nikolai Velimirovich. Perhaps this take on Nestor's story will answer your question.

In the time of the suffering of St. Demetrius the Myrrh-gusher, there was a young man of Thessalonica, Nestor, who learned the Christian Faith from St. Demetrius himself. At that time Christ's enemy, Emperor Maximian, organized various games and amusements for the people. The emperor's favorite in these games was a Vandal by the name of Lyaeus, a man of Goliath-like size and strength. As the emperor's gladiator, Lyaeus challenged men every day to single combat and slew them. Thus, the bloodthirsty Lyaeus amused the bloodthirsty, idolatrous Maximian.

The emperor built a special stage for Lyaeus's battles, similar to a threshing floor on pillars. Spears, points upward, were planted beneath this platform. When Lyaeus defeated someone in wrestling, he would throw him from the platform onto the forest of spears. The emperor and his pagan subjects cheered as some poor wretch writhed in torment on the spears until he died. Among Lyaeus's innocent victims were many Christians: when no one volunteered to duel with Lyaeus, by the emperor's orders Christians were arrested and forced to duel with him.

Seeing this horrifying amusement of the pagan world, Nestor's heart was torn with pain, and he decided to come forward for a duel with the gigantic Lyaeus. But first, he went to prison to see St. Demetrius and sought a blessing from him to do this. St. Demetrius blessed him, signed him with the sign of the Cross on the forehead and on the chest and prophesied to him: ``You will defeat Lyaeus, but you will suffer for Christ.'' Thus, young Nestor went to duel with Lyaeus.

Maximian was present with a multitude of people; everyone felt pity for the young Nestor, who would surely die, and tried to dissuade him from dueling with Lyaeus. Nestor crossed himself and said: "O God of Demetrius, help me!'' and with God's help, he overcame Lyaeus, knocked him down, and threw him onto the sharp spears, where the heavy giant soon found death. Then all the people cried out: "Great is the God of Demetrius!'' But the emperor, shamed before the people and sorrowing for his favorite Lyaeus, was greatly angered at Nestor and Demetrius, and commanded that Nestor be beheaded and Demetrius run through with lances. Thus, the Christian hero Nestor ended his earthly life and took up his habitation in the Kingdom of his Lord in the year 306.

On his blog, Fr John Whiteford explains what Nestor did this way:

What should be noted is that St. Nestor took up arms to kill a man who was murdering innocent Christians, but he first asked for and received a blessing from St. Demetrius to do so.

St. Nestor would no doubt have been more than happy to turn his own other cheek, had the occassion called for it; but he could not turn the other cheek for those were helpless. Just as Scripture commands us to turn the other cheek, it also commands us to defend the helpless, and this is what he did.

In Christ,

#4 Kusanagi


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Posted 27 October 2009 - 11:27 PM

Well St Tsar Lazar and St Stephen the Great of Romania both confessed to spiritual fathers before they went to battle.
St Sergius blessed a prince for battle and gave 2 of his monks who used to be soldiers to help and the prince was victorious.

I read somewhere that if it is to defend the Christian Land, faith and heritage people would defend even to the point of killing against those that attack the faith.

St Stephen the Great of Romania is the best example I can think of in this situation.

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