They found glory in eternity with their great feat of martyrdom for the Christian faith during the persecution of Christians in Rome under emperors Emperors Diocletian and Maximian in the third century. Eustratius was a general of the Roman army, and Eugene his comrade in arms. Auxentious served as a priest, and Mardarius was a rank and file citizen. The provincial authorities of Rome first got hold of Auxentius and subjected him to cruel torture because he was a priest. At the sight of his innocent torment, Eustratius stepped forward and declared his belief in Christ. The provincial governors ordered his torture, too, and on knowing this, Eugene stood out and professed his faith. As their tormentors were driving them along the main street of the town, Mardarius saw them from the roof of his house. He bid farewell to his wife and daughters and joined them, crying out to the persecutors of believers in Christ, "I am a Christian, too".
Orestes was a soldier in his youthful years who excelled among his peers. He practised the Christian faith in secret and wore a cross hidden under his robe. When his cross fell and his Christianity was revealed, he bravely declared his faith, and followed the other martyrs.
All five died horrible deaths. Auxentius had his head cut off, Orestes and Mardarious did not survive their torture. Orestes burned alive on an iron grid, and Eustratius in a furnace. Their relics were put to rest in the Church of the Holy Five Companions dedicated to the holy martyrs. St. Orestes appeared to the Russian saint Dimitry of Rostov in a vision. Saint Eustratius left the text of a known prayer: 'I glorify Your Majesty, O Lord for You have regarded my lowliness and have not shut me up in the hands of my enemies, but saved my soul from want..." It is read at Church at the midnight service every Saturday.
Saint Anthony the Great, the Father of all monks, is a revered and well-known saint among many Christians, including the Orthodox and Catholics. His extraordinary lifestyle and faith still inspire people even today to become monks.
The spiritual message of the icon revealed itself with time. It promises eventual forgiveness to the Russian people and the return of the supreme power from the Holy Theotokos after a long period of suffering and repentance.
The courage of the Holy Royal Martyrs, their mercy, steadfast faith and readiness to entrust their fate to the Lord softened the hearts of many and showed the way of the Lord to the generations to come.
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…
Sister Anastasia of St Elisabeth Convent tells a story of a miracle performed by St John of Shanghai and San Francisco that she not only witnessed but was also involved with.
On August 1st, the Belarussian Orthodox Church commemorates one of the most well-known Russian saints - Venerable Seraphim of Sarov. Many people all around the world consider him to be their Patron Saint.
On July 12 in the Belarussian Orthodox Church, the faithful celebrate the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul - the Holy Apostles.