Aya Dimitri: The famous and ancient holy water in İstanbul

Aya Dimitri: The famous and ancient holy
water in İstanbul
Mebrure Değer
Introduction
"Ayazma" means holy water which originates from the Greek
word "Hagiasme." A.D. ayazma were meant for the spring used to
baptize Jesus.
There are many "Ayazma" in İstanbul. Almost all of the ayazmas
are named after a Saint.
They are usually located in churches or in gardens.
Ayazma is usually visited for curing diseases as well as
afterwards wishes such as to get to married, to have children.
İndividuals at an ayazma usually pray to god and drink its holy
water.
İndividual with wishes prays in front of Jesus and Virgin Mary
and brings gifts such as oil for candles, brooms and brushes.
History
The Ayazma of Aya Dimitri) is one of the most important ayazma
of İstanbul.
İt is said that ; This ayazma has been found October 1002 A.D.
and has been built a church near the ayazma.
Aya Dimitri lived A.D. 3th. Century, during the reign of empire
of Dioclitianos , emperor of Rome.
Aya Dimitri was born in Selaniko and his Parents were christian.
Due to his aristocratic family, he was made army officer to represent
Rome in Selaniko.
İn 303 A.D due to his being devoted christian, he was arrested
and jailed and after few days he was beheaded. This prison was under
basement of a church which later named after his name Aya Dimitri.
The second church named again after him was built A.D 1002 in
Costantinopolis (İstanbul).
He is remembered every year on 26 th. Which his date of dead as
accepted by orthodoxes as a memorial day for him.
Acta - Congressus Historiae Pharmaciae 2001
The building of Ayazma
Next to church on the left side of Ayazma’s entrance, there is a
large water depot with three fountains. On the fountains there is a
large ikon of Aya Dimitri. İt is assumed that this icon was made
during Byzantium.
The source of Ayazma ( holy water) is found at the end of a
narrow corridor which about 150 cm. width and 140-150 cm. height.
İt takes 30-35 meter walking to reach source of Ayazma. The wall of
the corridor is wet and soaky and due to calcerization different
natural shapes are observed. There are drawings and writings on the
walls. i.e., My brother in law should not intervene with my life, My
god please make me lose my excess weight, please help me marry,
please help me buy a house, my god please help to have children, my
god please help me to get passing grades.
The source of Ayazma is rocky and around one square meter size.
The Ayazma’s water comes from rocks by pipes down to the pool.
Some back around the people with wishes to be satisfied by the
God
Used to hang underwears and hankerchiefs,socks. They also used
to put coins in to the holes on the wall. But this kind of practices
have been forbidden by the authorities.
Therapy in Ayazma
İn front of fountains, the priest reciting new testament holding in
his one hand and with the other hold touching heads of each follows
for sometime before moving his hand to another one.
After reciting ends, the priest puts a handcuff over the head of
believers arond their necks, and make them kiss the handcuff. İt is
believed that the handcuff reminds believers queue that how Aya
Dimitri torturied during his prison life.
When we asked a woman with a child “ The reason of her visit
of Aya Dimitri Ayazma, she responded “ My child in spide of his
age ( 4 year old), he could not speak like his peers, and she continued
saying that when I first came the priest recetied from new tastement
to my son and this is fourth time I am here, as I mentioned earlier he
could’nt speak a word, but now event he could contract simple
sentences. Now I also brought my son’s old underwear I soaked with
holy water, after the priest reciting prayers on underwear, I will put it
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on and the underwear dry. I will the underwear by pearing out
everybody believes as soon as the underwear fabric is torn my son
will start talking.
The guard of Aya Dimitri Ayazma explaned that ayazma’s water
is coming out of rocks so it is clean and sacred. This water are not
mixed with the city sevege system but by a separate pipe is directly
reached to the sea.
After the priest gave his blessing the faithful believers, I visited
the priest and asked him about holy water . He responded that
longtime ago, people were setting sick and they were dying. There
were not doctors and cures. For this, people prayed the God and
asked him what to do when they are sick and uncurable. They begged
the God, and one of the saint barely heard flowing water noise, he
looked around and saw some water is coming out of the soil. When
they digged this wet place and they discovered a water spring. The
saint heard a calling voice saying then you should make your sheeps
drink this water. When looked around he saw no sheeps around . So
he assumed that the God meant the people should drink this water for
their cures. The saint after drinking the water he felt taste was very
good and started to run to his willage and told them the story the God
conveyed to him as repeated the God’s wish to recommend sick
people, blind, and paralized to drink for their deficiencies. The
faithful believer drank the holy water and the took a bath in this
water and they became healty.
The priest explaned that the water was discovered in the above
story.
The priest also continued by saying that here a picture of Aya
Dimitri and next to it a handcuff. We believe that the handcuff is
sacred piece so we asked belivers to show respect Aya Dimitri by
kissing this handcuff. Few weeks back, one paralized sick man came
here and said in his dream he saw a saint, Virgin Mary and Aya
dimitri Ayazma but he could not remember the exact location of the
Ayazma. After visiting same other ayazma’s he came here and felt
that this ayazma was the ayazma he saw in his dream. He bathed in
ayazma water, and his paralized was cured and he left the ayazma by
walking on his feet.
This ayazma specifically visited by the children could not speak,
people in depression, paralized people.
Acta - Congressus Historiae Pharmaciae 2001
At the same time visiters used to write their wishes in a notebook
but to pray the God to respected their wiches.
The priest said that only people who believers in Ayazma
miracles should visit ayazma and possible get cures
The result of analysis of the holy water of Aya Dimitri
İons
mg/lt
milival/lt
% milival
Ammonium
0.081
0.001
0.007
Sodium
40
1.739
13.157
Potassium
1.45
0.037
0.279
Calcium
200
10
75.66
Magnesium
17.5
1.44
10.895
İron
0
0
0
Lead
0
0
0
Copper
0
0
0
Chlorine
104.86
2.957
10.742
Sulphat
187.7
3.910
14.204
Carbonate
660.136 20.66
75.05
The degree of hardness: 62
Conductivity:
1.056 mS/ cm.
PH
:
7.1
The water of the holy water of Aya Dimitri contains Carbonate,
and Calcium .
References
Akşit, Ilhan: Istanbul Sandoz Yay.,No.3, Ist., 1981
Anabritannica Ansiklopedi. ,İst.,1987
Atabek,M.Emine: Ortaçağ Tababeti. İst.Üni.Cerrahpaşa Tıp Fak. Yay. Rektörlük No:
2272,Dekanlık No.42, İst.,1977
Aytar,Selçuk: İstanbul Tıbbi Folkloru.Tıp. Tarihi Doktora Tezi.,İst.,1980
Büyük Dinler ve Mezhepler Ansiklopedisi: İst.,1961
Değer, Mebrure. İstanbulun Şifalı Suları. Tıp Tarihi Doktora Tezi. İst.,1988
Koçu,Reşat Ekrem: Istanbul Ansiklopedisi.Ist.,1948 s.925-960
Teoliptos Fenerli,(25) Rahip, Tarabya.İst.,1988
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