Science of the Saints, 26-XII-2018 (13 Dec.), The Holy Martyrs Eustratius, Auxentius, Eugene, Mardarius, and Orestes.

The Holy Martyrs Eustratius, Auxentius, Eugene, Mardarius, and Orestes suffered for Christ under the emperor Diocletian (284-305) at Sebasteia, in Armenia. 

Among those first Christians then undergoing torture then was the presbyter of the Arabian Church, the Martyr Auxentius, locked up in prison. Looking on at the steadfastness of the Christians was the nobleborn military-commander Saint Eustratius, city-governor of the city of Sataleon. He was secretly a Christian, and he decided on an open confession of faith, for which he was subjected to torture: they beat him, put iron sandals on his feet, and burnt at him with fire. And after these cruel torments they burned him, and beheaded the Martyr Auxentius. 

Witnessing their death by martyrdom, one of the common people, Saint Mardarius, likewise confessed his faith and was suspended upside down. Before death he uttered the prayer: “O Master Lord God, Father Almighty…”, which is read at the end of the Third Hour and at the All-Night Vigil. 

For the Martyr Eugene, they cut out his tongue, cut off his hands and feet, and then they cut off his head with a sword. 

The young soldier Saint Orestes confessed himself a Christian and for this stood trial. He was sentenced to burning upon a red-hot iron bed, whither he went encouraged by the prayer of Saint Eustratius (“Greatly I do exalt Thee, O Lord…”) which is read at the Saturday All-Night Vigil. The Martyr Eustratius died on 13 December.

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