St. Demetrios, an officer in the Roman army, was put into prison for converting soldiers to Christianity in Thessaloniki in the early fourth century. He urged his friend, Nestor, to fight a famous gladiator and prove that, through prayer, the power of God could make him victorious. When Nestor killed the gladiator, the emperor was so angry, he ordered both Nestor and Demetrios executed. For many in Greece, October 26 also signifies the end of summer when the shepherds come down from the hills for the winter. St. Demetrios is the patron saint of shepherds, crops, and the city of Thessaloniki.
Relics: Mt. Athos; St. Demetrios Church, Thessaloniki; procession and celebration in Thessaloniki on October 26