February 2: New Martyr Jordan of Trebizond
Jordan, the blessed new-martyr, was from Trapezounta (Trebizond), Pontus. He was a forty-year-old married coppersmith, from the Galata district of Constantinople. On the eve of the Feast of the Meeting of our Lord, Jordan was playing cards with
some Hagarenes who were companions and fellow artisans. They were sporting and jesting in his workshop. One of the Moslems scoffed in Greek, saying, “O mangy Saint Nicholas, help me to win!” Jordan countered this remark by jokingly calling upon
their Muslim prophet, Mohammed, in the same fashion. At this point, each one of his dissipated companions went off on his own.
The following morning, however, one of them took steps to bring an action against Jordan, complaining that he had insulted their prophet and therefore merited death.
Now when Jordan heard news of this accusation, he stole away. He hid away in the house of a prominent Hagarene. But the Turks promulgated another feftan (order) stating that “should any Turk offer refuge to any Christian who speaks evilly of
Mohammed, that Turk would be liable to punishment as an infidel.” On account of this decree, Jordan’s sympathizers were compelled to surrender him to the vizier and to testify that he had reviled Mohammed.
The vizier questioned Jordan: “Man, according to their testimony, thou must either lose
thy head or become a Moslem. If thou shouldest become Moslem, I shall greatly esteem thee.” The vizier spoke such words to Jordan because he had known him prior to the charge. Then Jordan cried aloud in a resounding voice, “I am not going to deny my sweetest Jesus Christ; for I believe and confess Him to be the true God. I only
request from thee on concessions: that thou grantest me leave to go to my shop and close my accounts, because I have to pay and collect some debts. After I have concluded my affairs, let thy will prevail.”
Thereupon the vizier commanded the prefect to accompany Jordan to his shop, according to his request, and then to strike off his head. Jordan went and settled his accounts with his associates. Then he received the final forgiveness from the Christians.
For the sake of his soul, he also bequeathed his possessions to the Church, monasteries, and orphans. He was then taken to be beheaded. Jordan ran joyfully down the street, even as the Prophet David’s “hart panting after the fountains of water.” Jordan also gave thanks to God who granted this longed-for martyrdom. The martyr once more then asked forgiveness of young and old alike, of all whom he chanced to meet on his path.
All were amazed upon beholding the blessed Jordan. He neither feared, nor shrank back, nor altered his facial expression in the least. In fact, he proceeded on the path rather cheerfully. When they arrived at the place of execution, the prefect leaned over to strike off Jordan’s head. Then suddenly, a sergeant of the vizier arrived and whispered to the martyr: “ The vizier sends this message: he has taken pity on thy life. If thou shouldest only utter a word now, to make it appear as if thou hast become a Moslem, afterward thou wouldest be free to go wherever thou wilt, and even resume thy life as a Christian.’
The martyr replied, “Indeed, I thank the vizier; but what he proposes I will never do. “ With this statement, the blessed Jordan bowed his head, upon which the executioner brought down his sword. After the execution, that same evening, Jordan’s relatives
and friends, who were in that district, took up his holy relics. This, of course, was only achieved after paying the Moslem authorities an exorbitant sum. The Christians, thereupon, with honor reverently buried the relics of St. Jordan with honor, to the
glory of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen. These events took place in 1650.
From the Synaxarion