Monday, December 18, 2017

Synaxarion of the Holy Martyr Eubotios

St. Eubotios the Martyr (Feast Day - December 18);
Photo: Mount Sigriane

Verses

Eubotios contested to the uttermost with his blood,
His life came to an end without blood.

Eubotios lived during the reign of the Emperor Maximian in 298. He came from a village called Ptoketon, which lies in the theme called Opsikion. He was born and brought up there, and this is also where he died. Because the Saint led a life pleasing to God and excelled in every kind of virtue, he suffered much harm from the Greeks, and was brought from one place to another, being bound and beaten. Moreover, he suffered exceedingly because he performed many miracles and through them he made many unbelievers convert to the faith of Christ. Once, after he had been roughly beaten by the Greeks with sticks and stones, he was thrown into the fire. But because he was kept harmless through the grace of Christ, many people who saw this were amazed, believed in Christ, and were baptized at the church there, which had been established by the Apostles Paul and Silas.

When Leontios, the governor of Cyzicus, was informed of this, he sent men to bind the Saint and immediately ordered for them strike Eubotios on the mouth, jaws, and cheeks with stones. Then they hung him on a tree and tore his body apart with whips. Next they threw him to the lions to be eaten. But, when the lions did not harm Eubotios, they locked him in prison. Again many Greeks saw this admirable thing, hastened to the faith of Christ, and were baptized. The governor, however, ordered the gladiators to kill the Saint. Instead, they killed each other because darkness had come over them. The Martyr was thus kept unharmed and thrown again into prison. Twenty-two days later a God-sent and joyous message was heard: Constantine was coming from the western parts of Europe to the east to fight the tyrant Maximian. Maximian was so scared that he ordered the Christians set free from prisons and cbonds. That is when the much-contested Eubotios was set free from his bonds, returned to his cell, lived for five more years, and, after he had performed many more miracles, commended his spirit to the Lord in peace.*

Notes:

* Saint Eubotios is again spoken of in the Life of Saint Philetairos, who is commemorated by the Church on December 30th. There it says he lived on Mount Sigriane in Bythinia (today Karada─č Mountain at Karacabey district in the Marmara sea coast of Bursa province) of the province of Cyzicus as an ascetic after he was released from prison, when one day he was met by Saint Philetairos and his soldiers, and they lived with him in his cell. After seven days Saint Philetairos died there, and after eleven days the soldiers died. Saint Eubotios had them all buried in his cell.

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