St Demetrius Healing Oil (Patron for Soldiers)
St Demetrius Healing Oil, a Christian martyr of the early 4th century AD. During the Middle Ages, he came to revered as one of the most important Orthodox military saints, often paired with Saint George.
His Known History and Early Life
This glorious and wonderworking saint born in Thessalonica of noble and devout parents. Implored of God by childless parents, Demetrius was their only son, and so raised and educated with great care. Demetrius’s father was a commander in Thessalonica.
When his father died, Emperor Maximian appointed Demetrius as commander in his place. Demetrius not only disobeyed the emperor but openly confessed and preached the Lord Jesus Christ in the city of Thessalonica. When the emperor heard of this he became furious with Demetrius. Then, when he was returning from battle against the Sarmatians, Maximian stopped at Thessalonica to investigate the matter.
The emperor summoned Demetrius and questioned him about his faith. Demetrius openly acknowledged his Christian Faith to the emperor and also denounced the emperor’s idolatry. Maximian cast Demetrius into prison.
After several days, the emperor sent soldiers to the prison to kill Demetrius. The soldiers found the saint of God at prayer and ran him through with lances. Christians secretly took his body and honorably buried it.
An Illyrian nobleman, Leontius, afflicted with an incurable illness. The saint appeared to him on two occasions.
As the protector of Thessalonica, St. Demetrius has appeared many times, and on many occasions has saved Thessalonica from great calamity. His miracles are without number.