He was an early Christian saint, but unlike them, he did not come from Greece or the Middle East. His birthplace was Rome. He grew up in a pious Christian family. Orphaned at an early age, he was raised by his mother in the Christian faith. Eventually, she sent him off to study, and the Bishop of Rome became his teacher. Before too long, he found that his disciple not only had a talent for scholarship but also possessed the gift of eloquence and persuasion. At fifteen, he ordained him as deacon, and at eighteen as a priest. At twenty, he became the bishop of Illyria, in modern-day Albania.
Despite the rise of Christianity, much of the population of the Roman Empire were still Pagans, and the persecution of Christians was still common. He lived during the reign of the emperor Hadrian, hostile towards Christians. Knowing that about a large number of Pagans that he converted to Christianity, Emperor Hadrian declared him the enemy of the state and sent a detachment of soldiers commanded by an officer named Felix to capture him and take him to Rome.
Yet, when he reached the seat of the bishop and saw and heard him at the church, Felix had a change of heart. He believed in Christ and converted to Christianity. He still had orders to bring him to Rome, and Eleuthrius went with him voluntarily and with joy. He knew what expected him, but he was prepared to suffer for Christ. The emperor charged him with converting to Christ a public official and ordered him tortured with great brutality. The saint endured flogging, roasting on an iron grate and burning in a furnace. Yet, by a miracle of God, he was spared of any injury. The emperor had him pushed into a cage with wild beasts, but they did not touch him but showed him respect.
Struck by the courage of St. Eleutherius, a high-level Roman official, believed in Christ, declaring himself a Christian. He, too, suffered harsh torture and had his head cut off. The Roman commander Felix followed his fate. The executioners severed the honourable head of St. Eleutherius. His mother Anthia was also put to death, hugging her son's body. Saint Euthelerius received the grace of the Apostles of Jesus, imitating their feats and martyrdom. His mother, glorified as a saint, became an unfading example of parental love and dedication to her child.
Saint Eleutherius and Saint Anthia were laid to rest in Albania. Their relics have worked multiple that continue to this day.
In 1923, the future martyr was only 26 years old. Seeing the unfolding persecution of the Church, he was ordained priest with the words, "We need to protect the faith". Priest Valerian Novitsky was arrested and executed in 1930.
The example of the martyr saints shows how the grace of the holy spirit can empower us to reach untold levels of bravery and spiritual strength, despite our physical weakness.
The Optina Monastery is a famous stauropegion of the Russian Orthodox Church, located in the Kaluga region. A stauropegion is a church or monastery exempt from the jurisdiction of the local bishop and directly subject to the highest authority…
On the 19th of December (6th of December), the Orthodox commemorate one of the most loved and revered saints in the world - Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker. Saint Nicholas means a lot to everyone here at St Elisabeth Convent.
Of the many saints commemorated in the Orthodox Church throughout the liturgical year, two are very unusual ones - Saints Peter and Fevronia. In Belarussian Orthodox Church, we celebrate their feast day on July 8th.
The Loving God has given us elder brothers and sisters in Christ—the saints. Nun Lyubov (Nikolaeva) is sharing her story of a personal relationship between a Christian and a saint.
The new martyrs found themselves in circumstances that most people today could barely imagine. Yet people who keep their faith at their most terrible times and obey God's commandments receive His help.