November 15, 2017

Holy Martyrs Elpidios, Markellos and Eustochios

Sts. Elpidios, Markellos and Eustochios (Feast Day - November 15);
Photo depicts Mount Carmel


You endured fire Elpidios together with your two friends,
The prize of the contest rousing you to hope.

The blessed Elpidios was of senatorial rank, and entrusted with the secret things of the apostate Emperor Julian (361-363). Having written an ordinance against the Christian faith, it was revealed to Julian that Elpidios was a Christian. He therefore stood before the apostate, and being unpersuaded to deny Christ, he was made to wear a hair garment made of goat's hair. This had sharp pieces of iron nailed into it, and it had been immersed in boiling pitch to keep the sharp irons firmly in place. After this he was beaten while wearing the garment, causing his flesh to be pierced by the sharp objects.

The Saint was then put in a pit where his entire flesh was burned with boiling water. Then an ointment was spread onto his dried up flesh, which consisted of pitch and lard and other glutinous and caustic things, which had been made extremely hot in the fire. He was then given to drink some bitter drinks mixed with asphalt and pitch. After this he was tied up to wild horses and bulls, together with Eustochios and Markellos, with the purpose of them being torn to pieces. But the animals stood in place by divine power. Therefore their bodily members were struck with thick rods and they were cast into a fire. There they delivered their souls into the hands of God.

It is said that after these things, their honorable bodies were buried at Mount Carmel. Immediately then there was thunder and lightning, and Christ appeared with His angelic powers, who embraced the Martyrs. Eustochios and Markellos were buried at a certain place indicated by the Lord, and the wondrous Elpidios was resurrected, and empowered by the Lord, he was sent back to Julian to undergo a second martyrdom. When Julian saw him, he ordered that he be spread out and tied by his limbs, so as to be beaten without mercy. Then vinegar and salt were poured onto his wounds. His wounds were then rubbed with towels made of goat's hair. Then the Martyr of Christ was laid out over burning coals, and burning coals were also placed on top of his head. Then he was placed in stocks, while a shield full of burning coals was placed on his shoulders, which had a hole in the middle so as to burn his body. He was then struck in the head with an iron instrument. Because the Saint remained unharmed by all these things, many unbelievers converted to the Christian faith, and he encouraged them to destroy their idols. Lastly, the Martyr was placed in a burning furnace, and he delivered his spirit into the hands of God, and received from Him the crown of victory.