St. Niketas the New Martyr of Nisyros
St. Niketas was born in 1716 to rich parents. His father was the governor of the island of Nisyros, however, he fell into trouble with the Turks, and to escape tortures, he and his family converted to Islam and moved to Rhodes. There, his youngest son, Mehmet, learned that at one time he had been a Christian named Niketas. Immediately after, at 14 years of age, Niketas went to Nea Moni of Chios where he confessed his situation to the Abbot. The Abbot sent him first to the former Bishop of Thebes Makarios, who gave him Holy Chrism and valuable guidance. Niketas learned of the way of martyrdom and received advice from the well-known ascetic Anthimos Agiopateriti, and with the prayers and blessing of the other fathers, he left for Chios. When he reached Chios, he was compelled by the Turks to pay the head tax, which he was unable to do. Therefore the Turkish employee led him towards the prison at Vounaki. On the road he met some priest who greeted Niketas as Mehmet. When the Turk heard this and learned from someone what had happened he led him to the Aga. There Niketas confessed his faith with boldness and withstood the pressures and threats to return to their religion. Because however he did not give way, they delivered him to terrible tortures for ten days. In the end, he was beheaded on June 21st 1732 at 17 years of age, gaining the crown of martyrdom and heavenly glory.