At the request of the Metropolitan of Mikhailovsky-Košice, Patriarch Theodore II of Alexandria and All Africa handed over to Metropolitan Georgios of Mikhailovsky-Košice, Head of the Autocephalous Church of the Czech Republic and Slovakia, a fragment of the relics of the Holy Glorious New Martyrs Gabriel and Kyrmidolis, which were stored in the Holy Patriarchal Monastery of Saint George in Old Cairo on June 6, 2023.
During the ceremony which took place in the Chapel of Aghioi Theodoroi of the Patriarchate of Alexandria, the Patriarch expressed his joy that the Grace of the Holy New Martyrs, through their holy relics, is being transferred to Slovakia. He wished that they “constitute another spiritual link in the unshakable unity of our faith and bond between our Churches.”
He also expressed his gratitude to the Abbot of the Holy Patriarchal Monastery of St. George in Cairo, Archimadrite Damaskinos Alazrai.
After receiving the holy relics, Metropolitan Georgios said: “It is a very important event to receive this blessing from the hands of the venerable Primate of the Patriachate of Alexandria, the Church of Saint Apostle and Evangelist Mark, the Holy Fathers and Teachers of Alexandria, and Saint John the Merciful, the Protector of our Holy Metropolitan Church in Košice, Slovakia. It is very important to receive them to my country and to the Holy Metropolis, where the flock will always have respect, gratitude and love for the ancient Patriarchate of Alexandria and Patriarch Theodore.”
New Martyrs Gabriel and Kyrmidolis bacame martyrs in Egypt on October 18, 1522 A.D. They both were young, highly educated, and descended from pious parents. The Emir of Egypt slandered them and said that they were throwing garbage and dirt into a Turkish mosque. They were arrested and asked to convert in order to avoid torture. But because they had consistently confessed Christ, they were handed over to the judge. But even there they remained steadfast in their faith, despite flattery, and, therefore, suffered horrible tortures. They both became martyrs at the age of 25.
The tomb of the Holy New Martyrs is located within the Holy Patriarchal Monastery of St. George.
It is noted that in recent years a significant effort has been made to highlight the Saints. On the occasion of the 500th anniversary of the martyrdom of Saints Gabriel and Kyrmidolis (1522-2022), at the prompting of the His Beatitude, the Holy Patriarchal Monastery of St George issued the first edition of the Service of the Saints, which contains the Lyric Hymns Service, the Supplicatory Canon, the Commendation Praise by the late Patriarch Theophilos II of Alexandria to the Saints, as well as the Arrangement of the litany of their Holy Relics.
Also in this edition, which was diligently edited by the historian and researcher Mr. Ioannis Fortounas, photographs are also presented concerning the icons of the Saints found in the Holy Monastery of St George, their graceful relics kept in the Church of the Holy Monastery, the Chapel and the tomb of the Saints, as well as photographs from the most ancient Divine Liturgy of the Apostle Mark, which was served by His Beatitude Theodoros II, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa in their memory at the tombs of the Saints on October 18, 2020.
Finally, the year 2023 calendar of the Orthodox Arabic-speaking Communities of Egypt was dedicated to the memory of the Holy New Martyrs Gabriel and Kyrmidolis.