Saturday, January 16, 2010

The Holy Martyrs Sts. Speusippus, Eleusippus, Meleusippus, their grandmother St. Leonilla, and those with them

The Holy Martyrs Sts. Speusippus, Eleusippus, Meleusippus, their grandmother St. Leonilla, and those with them - Commemorated on January 16th (icon taken from:

"The three brothers, triplets, Speusippus, Eleusippus, Meleusippus all suffered for Christ in France during the reign of Emperor Marcus Aurelius (161 A.D. -180A.D.). At first, only Leonilla was a Christian while her grandsons were heathens. After prolonged counseling on the part of their pious grandmother and of the local priest, these three brothers received baptism. Having been baptized and with youthful zeal, they began to live a devoted life for their Faith and with this passion destroyed all the idols in the whole vicinity. Accused and brought before the tribunal, they acknowledged their act and openly confessed their faith in Christ. The judge had them thrown into prison and summoned Leonilla, the grandmother, and directed that she, too, go to the prison and counsel her grandsons to deny Christ and to worship the idols. Without a word, Leonilla went to the prison, but instead of counseling her grandsons to deny the True Faith, she began to encourage them not to waver but to endure all torments to the end and to die for Christ. When the judge, again, questioned them and realized their even stronger steadfastness in the Faith, he condemned them to death. At first, all three of them were hanged on a tree where they hung "as strings on a gulsa"* after which, they were flogged and finally burned in fire. A certain woman, Jovilla, enthusiastic at the courage of these martyrs cried out: "I am a Christian also!" They immediately apprehended her who, together with the elderly Leonilla, was beheaded.

by St. Nikolai Velimirovch
Leonilla, grandmother aged,
By the spirit, powerful as a lioness,
When her grandsons for God, she prepared,
Herself, a martyr became.
To Leonilla, the tribune screamed,
And from bitter anger, hissing:
Proceed, grandmother, to the dungeon,
And your grandsons, to counsel.
Counsel your grandsons to deny
The so-called Christ the Lord,
Either Christ to renounce
Or their young lives.
Leonilla, in the dungeon
To her grandsons, speaks:
Of worldly powers, do not be afraid,
Even though they burn you alive.
Adhere to the glorious Christ
And His Good News,
For you, He prepared
Eternity of radiance and joy.
Of bitter wounds, do not be afraid,
Neither of death, for they are transitory:
The faithful to Christ, death cannot
Either conceal or crush.
Three grandsons, in the midst of fire
To God offered praise,
While the evil one their dear grandmother
Leonilla beheaded.

Apolytikion in the Fourth Tone
Thy Martyrs, O Lord, in their courageous contest for Thee received as the prize the crowns of incorruption and life from Thee, our immortal God. For since they possessed Thy strength, they cast down the tyrants and wholly destroyed the demons' strengthless presumption. O Christ God, by their prayers, save our souls, since Thou art merciful.
Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us! Amen!

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