According to legendary history, St. Demetrius was a citizen of Salonika. He was arrested for proclaiming his faith. He was detained in a room of public baths awaiting a trial and was slain without a trial. This occurred during the persecution of Diocletian at Sirmium in Dalmatia. After his death, Leontius, a prefect of Illyria, introduced his cult to Salonika. He translated some of his relics and built a temple in his honor in both Salonika and Illyria. According to some, Salonika was the great center of the cult of Demetrius. Some accounts say he was a proconsul and a warrior saint. In this capacity, he was almost as popular as the legendary figure of St. George. The crusaders adopted these as patrons and the story goes on to say that they were seen in their ranks at the Battle of Antioch in 1098. The church of St. Demetrius in Salonika was destroyed only in 1917. His feast is celebrated with great solemnity in the Eastern Liturgy.
FEAST DAY: October 26