Commemorated on September 15
GreatMartyr Nikita was a Goth (a Germanic tribe). He was born and lived on
the banks of the Danube River, and suffered for Christ in the year 372. The
Christian faith was then already widely spread throughout the territory of the
Goths. Saint Nikita believed in Christ and accepted Baptism from the Gothic
bishop Theophilus, a participant in the First OEcumenical Council. Pagan Goths
began to oppose the spread of Christianity, which resulted in internecine
After the victory of
Fritigern, – heading a Christian army and inflicting defeat on the pagan
Athanarik, the Christian faith began to spread increasingly among the Goths.
Bishop Wulfil, the successor to Bishop Theophilus, created a Gothic alphabet
and translated into the Gothic language many priestly books. Saint Nikita
worked intensely among his fellow Goths at spreading Christianity. By his
personal example and inspired words he brought many pagans to the Christian
faith. However, Athanarik after his defeat again contrived to gather his own
forces, return to his own country and reestablish his former power. Having
remained a pagan, he continued to hate Christians and persecute them. Saint
Nikita, having undergone many tortures, was thrown into a fire, where he died
in the year 372. The friend of Saint Nikita, a Christian named Marianus, by
night retrieved the body of the martyr, – unharmed by the fire and illumined
by a miraculous light, and gave it over to burial in Cilicia. Afterwards it was
transferred to Constantinople. Part of the relics of the GreatMartyr Nikita
were later transferred to the monastery of Vysokie Dechany in Serbia.
© 1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.