June 25, 2019

Holy Venerable Martyrs Leonida, Liby and Eutropia

Sts. Leonida, Liby and Eutropia (Feast Day - June 25)


To Leonida.
Leap Leoni into the fire of the furnace,
As a hungry lioness leaping towards her food.

To Liby.
As with hair dye the bride of the Lord,
Liby is dyed by the sword with her neck fettered.

To Eutropia.
Eutropia mocks those who dwell in the world,
Submitting her bent neck for decapitation.

There seems to be some confusion in identifying the gender of Leonida and Liby. The iambic verses call Leonida by her feminine name, as well as Leoni, and Liby is identified as a female there also. However, in the Synaxarion of Constantinople they are introduced as two males with the names Leonidos and Libyis. Eutropia is presented as a female in both instances.

Not only is there a confusion in identifying their genders, but also the manner of their martyrdom. The iambic verses say Leonida met her end by fire, while Liby and Eutropia met their end by a sword. However, in the Synaxarion of Constantinople we are told that Leonidos and Libyes met their end by a sword, while it is Eutropia who met her end by fire.

There is also a source which says that Eutropia met her end by fire with the encouragement of her mother, while Leonida and Liby met their end by the sword. This is said to have taken place in Palermo, Sicily in the early fourth century.