Icon of St. Ahmet the Calligrapher - 20th c. - (1AC19)

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Commemorated December 24, May 3

Ahmet lived in Constantinople during the 1600s and was an official in the Ottoman Turkish government before his conversion.

Ahmet owned two Russian slaves, a concubine and an old woman, whom he allowed to attend one of the Greek Orthodox churches in Constantinople. In time Ahmet began to notice that when his pious Russian slaves returned from church they were far more gracious and loving than they were before going. Intrigued by this, Ahmet obtained permission to attend the Ecumenical Patriarch's celebration of the Divine Liturgy in Constantinople. Due to his status and identity, his request was not refused, and he was given a discreet place at the Church.

During the Divine Liturgy, Ahmet saw that when the Ecumenical Patriarch blessed the faithful with his trikiri and dikiri his fingers 'beamed' light onto the heads of the faithful Christians, but not his own. Amazed by this miracle, Ahmet requested and received Holy Baptism.

Whatever happened during this period, one day a group of arguing officials asked Ahmet for his opinion of their dispute, to which he replied that there is nothing better than the Christian faith.

For this he was put before the Sultan and qadi. After torture and a few chances to return to Islam he was subsequently beheaded on 3 May 1682.