Saint Nikodemos the Hagiorite informs us of a miracle done through the grace of the Holy Five Martyrs in a metochion of Nea Moni Monastery in Chios dedicated to their name. It was passed on through the pious protopresbyter of Nauplion, Nicholas Malaxos.
This metochion is governed and supplied by Nea Moni Monastery for the day before and on the feast of its patrons, the Five Holy Martyrs Auxentios, Eugenios, Mardarios, Orestes, & Eustratios. It so happened that one year a heavy snow fell on the feast of the Saints. So much snow fell that it was impossible for the fathers of the Monastery to come down and supply all the necessities for the feast. The citizens of Chios also were unable to come because of the snow and bitter cold. A few had showed up for Great Vespers, but for the Orthros service only the priest showed up in church. He lit all the oil lamps, he called everyone to worship with the semantron, and gave the blessing for the service to begin.
As the priest was about to begin, suddenly he saw five men, well-dressed and serious. They entered the church with great reverence. By their mannerisms and presence the priest noticed they were not natives of Chios, and by their face he noticed they bore an uncanny resemblance to the five glorious martyrs as they were drawn in icons. He noticed that two of them went to the place of the right chanter stand, two went to the left chanter stand, and the fifth who resembled Orestes went to the analogion. When the time came, the one who looked like Orestes read with a beautiful voice, and the other four chanted with a sweet and graceful voice the sacred hymns. The priest saw this and listened and rejoiced, thanking and glorifying God for sending such helpers at a time when there were none to help. He was in awe and wonder not only at how much these five men looked so similar to their icon, but also how majestic and exact they read, and chanted so sweet. Still not exactly knowing who these five men were, he was wondering what he should do. He had wanted to ask them who they were before Orthros, but seeing their reverence and focus on the service prompted him to ask questions at the end.
When the time came in the Orthros service for the life and martyrdom of the Saints to be read, the one who looked like Saint Orestes stood in the middle of the church and read it. With great reverence he read of the trials of the Five Martyrs, and the others listened with gratitude. When he was reading, he arrived at the place where Agricolaus ordered Orestes to lie down on a bed of nails, and as he was going forth he "feared" (εδειλίασεν), but the Reader did not read εδειλίασεν ("feared") as it was written; instead he read εμειδίασεν (to giggle or laugh silently).
As the others were listening, he who looked like Saint Eustratios lifted his gaze and looked at the one who looked like Saint Orestes, and said to him: "Why did you change the word and not read it as it is written? Read it a second time, as it is." The reader read it again a second time, but again changed the word εδειλίασεν, out of his embarrasment. Then Saint Eustratios (for it was indeed him), said to him in a loud voice: "Read it as it is written, as it happened to you, since you didn't giggle (εδειλίασεν) looking at the bed of nails, but you feared (εδειλίασεν)!"
After this exchange of words, the five men disappeared. The priest, seeing this strange happening, stood there for a long time speechless. When he recovered, he finished the Liturgy as he was able. After the Divine Liturgy he turned to whoever showed up in the church by that time and told them about the vision he had. All glorified God, Who glorifies His Saints.
The following was told by an elder on Mount Athos at the Skete of Saint Anne. This miracle took place while the iconography for the katholikon of the Skete was being done. The icongraphers Athanasios and Konstantinos were asking for an exorbitant amount of money from the fathers of the Skete to decorate the church. Of course the fathers were all poor and the iconographers left for the Great Lavra Monastery to the great sorrow of the fathers of the Skete of Saint Anne.
On the way to Great Lavra, the two iconographers saw five "strangers" on the road that took their breath away when they saw them.
"Your blessings" said the iconographers.
"The Lord" said the five men in unison. They then asked: "Who are you and where are you going?"
"We are iconographers and we are leaving workless from St. Anne's, because we couldn't find the right price with the fathers there to decorate their katholikon."
"These things are unheard of...Is it possible to ask for a large amount of money from the poor fathers, as are all monks? Is it possible? Here, my four brothers say the same thing. Do you agree Auxentios, Eugenios, Mardarios, and Orestes?"
"We also agree Eustratios!"
The two iconographers lost it, because they realized these five men had something to do with the saints. They also said to the two iconographers:
"Return and draw the iconography for the katholikon, and whatever the fathers give you, take it saying "may it be blessed"; nothing else. Furthermore, on the left wall draw the five martyrs Auxentios, Eugenios, Mardarios, Orestes, and Eustratios."
Immediately they disappeared before the astonished eyes of the two iconographers, who then were so moved they began to do their cross over and over again. They returned and decorated the katholikon beautifully, having told the fathers everything that happened to them along the road.
Reading from the Synaxarion of St. Nikodemos the Hagiorite:
The Saints, Eustratios, Auxentios, Eugenios, Mardarios and Orestes lived at the time of the emperors Diocletian and Maximianus (284-305 AD) who were persecuting the Christians. At that time, Diocletian appointed the duke Lysias as governor of the province of Limitanea and Agricolaus as lord of all the provinces of the East.
These five Martyrs respected and believed in Christ from the time of their ancestors, but hid the fact that they were Christians, out fear of these tyrants and persecutors of Christians. Of these, Saint Eustratios came from the city of Aravraka, and was an officer of the Royal Army. He had the desire to express his faith in Christ, but feared the outcome of this action. For this reason he gave his officer belt to a servant and commanded him to go to the church of the city of Aravraka and leave it there. The Saint tooks this action having in mind the following: if his belt, which was left at the entrance of the Holy Sanctuary, was found and taken by priest Auxentius, it would have been a divine indication that he could step forth and reveal his faith and suffer a martyr's death for which he desired. But if the belt was found and taken by someone else, it meant that he would keep his faith in secret because it was not time yet to express it.
The servant complied with the mandate of the Saint, and upon returing, informed him that his belt was found and taken by the priest Auxentius. Thus the Saint took the view that his testimony for the sake of Christ will have a good outcome. Indeed, he then presented himself to Lysias and told him with frankness that he believed in Christ. In addition, the Saint came forth before Lysias as the leader among other saints who came from the military class, and was the first to declare himself a Christian and harshly scrutinized Lysias. After this, Lysias, became furious and immediately deposed him from his office. Then, he commanded the executioners to make him go through a terrible torture. Firstly they removed his clothes and left him naked, and after streaching his body on the ground with a special machine, they started beating him mercilessly with whips. Then, he was tied with a rope and lifted up. They lit a big fire under his body and burnt him. They then mixed salt and vinegar and poured the mixture over his burned body parts. After all these, they destroyed his sides with stones. The Saint and Martyr, however, after the miraculous intervention of God, was perfectly healthy. This led Saint Eugenios to join the faith of Christ.
Then, the executioners put iron shoes on the feet of Saint Eustratios which had spikes inside them, and led him to Sebaste of Nicopolis in Armenia along with Eugenios. On the way to Nicopolis, Saint Mardarios saw him driven this way and started blessing him much for his endurance and patience. Then, he consulted his wife, who encouraged him to also become a martyr for the love of Christ. Then Mardarios came running to Saint Eustratios who was walking, tied himself on the shackles, and told the soldiers that he was a Christian.
As soon as Lysias sat in his judging room, he commanded his soldiers to bring Saint Auxentios before him. There, the tyrant attempted to persuade him to return to paganism, but the Saint refused categorically by stating that he remains steadfast in the faith of Christ. Lysias then became incensed and commanded his executioners and they beheaded Auxentios.
Then, Saint Mardarios was led to trial. But despite the efforts of the tyrant to dissuade him, he stayed committed to Christ. Lysias resented this fact and made the Saint go through torture. Therefore, they firstly pierced his ankles with a iron, and after passing through the holes ropes, they hung him facing down. Then, they burnt his kidneys and back with hot rods. So, in this way, Saint Mardarios became a Martyr and delivered his spirit to the Lord.
Then, the judges led Saint Eugenios in. But he also remained steadfast to his faith in Christ. That is why the executioners cut off his tongue from the root and crushed his legs with clubs. From this suffering the Martyr, Saint Eugenios surrendered his soul into the hands of the Lord.
After this, Lysias went to the exercise field in order to exercise his soldiers. Among them, there was a soldier named Orestes. This soldier was a Christian, but until that time, he hid his faith. At some point during his throwing of the javelin, the Cross that he was wearing came out of his clothes and appeared in the open. So after this incident, he had to confess his faith. Lysias was left dumbfounded by this revelation and with his dictates, the other soldiers tied Orestes with iron chains together with Saint Eustratios. But he did not keep them in Nicopolis to judge them himself, but sent them to Sebaste to be judged by Agricolaus. Lysias, perhaps feared, that by making miracles the Saint would attract many others to the faith of Christ.
In front of Agricolaus, Saint Eustratios who was very well educated and had excellent theological and philosophical training, analyzed throughout Christ's teachings for the salvation of man. With his words, the Saint caused a big surprise but also an unspeakable anger to the tyrant. After this, the Saint was imprisoned. There, in prison, during the night, he was visited by the Bishop of Sebaste, Saint Vlassios (Blaise), and was given Communion. Then, Saint Eustratios give him the text of his will and asked him for its faithful execution. After some time the tyrant commanded his executioners and they first layed Saint Orestes over a burning iron bed. There, the Saint finished his life and delivered his spirit to the Lord. Then, the executioners lit a furnace and threw Saint Eustratios inside it. This is how his life was finished and how he received from the Lord, the wreath of martyrdom.
The memory of the Five Saint Martyrs, Eustratios, Auxentios, Eugenios, Mardarios and Orestes is celebrated by the Orthodox Church on December 13.
In the Synaxarion Eustratios 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.
Their relics were later taken to Constantinople, and are preserved in the church dedicated to them - The Holy Five Companions. They were seen alive in that church.
Prayer of St Mardarios
God and Master, Father Almighty; Lord, Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ and Holy Spirit, one godhead, one power, have mercy on me a sinner; and by the judgements which you know, save me your unworthy servant; for you are blessed to the ages of ages. Amen.
Prayer of Saint Eustratios
I magnify You greatly, O Lord, because you have looked upon my lowliness, and have not handed me into the hands of enemies, but have saved my soul from constraints. And now, Master, let Your hand protect me, and Your mercy come upon me, for my soul has been troubled and is greatly afflicted at its departure from this wretched and soiled body of mine. May the evil plan of the adversary never confront and obstruct it, because of the many sins committed by me in this life in knowledge and in ignorance. Be merciful to me, Master, and never let my soul see the dark and gloomy sight of the evil demons; but may your bright and shining Angels receive it, giving glory to your holy Name, and bring me by Your power to your divine judgement seat. When I am judged, let not the hand of the ruler of this world seize me to cast me, sinner that I am, into the depths of Hell; but stand by me and be for me a saviour and a helper. Have mercy, Lord, on my soul, stained with the passions of life, and receive it pure through repentance and confession; for You are blessed to the ages of ages. Amen.
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.