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The Holy Martyrs Eustratius, Auxentius, Eugene, Mardarius, and Orestes of Greater Armenia

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December 13

Reading:

The Five Martyrs were from Greater Armenia. Like their ancestors, they worshipped Christ in secret; during the persecution of Diocletian, they presented themselves before the Forum authorities, and having been tormented in diverse manners, by Lysius the proconsul, three of them ended their lives in torments. As for Saints Eustratius and Orestes, they survived and were sent to Sebastia to Agricolaus, who governed the whole East; by his command these Saints, received their end as martyrs by fire in 296. Saint Auxentius was a priest. Saint Eustratius was educated and an orator; he was the foremost among Lysius' dignitaries and the archivist of the province. In the Synaxarion he is given the Latin title of scriniarius, that is, "keeper of the archives." The prayer, "Magnifying I magnify Thee, O Lord," which is read in the Saturday Midnight Service, is ascribed to him. In the Third Hour and elsewhere there is another prayer, "O Sovereign Master, God the Father Almighty," which is ascribed to Saint Mardarius.

Apolytikion in the Fourth Tone

Thy Martyrs, O Lord, in their courageous contest for Thee received as the prize the crowns of incorruption and life from Thee, our immortal God. For since they possessed Thy strength, they cast down the tyrants and wholly destroyed the demons' strengthless presumption. O Christ God, by their prayers, save our souls, since Thou art merciful.

Kontakion in the Second Tone

Thou shonest as a most brilliant light for them that sat in the darkness of ignorance, O prizewinner. And armed with faith as with a spear, thou wast not frightened by the audacity of thine adversaries, O Eustratius, most eloquent of orators.