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St. Eustratius and Companions

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Death: 4th century

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Eustratius, a Christian of Arabraca (Aranzona), Armenia, was arrested and imprisoned for his faith together with his servant Eugenius during the persecution under the Roman emperor Diocletian. He is said to have defended his beliefs before one Roman judge by citing texts from Plato and Greco-Roman poets. Eustratius' fortitude in enduring brutal tortures including a public scourging without denying his Christianity inspired a soldier named Orestes to become a Christian. Orestes in turn was likewise tortured. In the end, Eustratius was put to death in a furnace, while Orestes was burnt to death on an iron plate. Eustratius' servant Eugenius, and Eustratius' two friends, Mardarius and the priest Auxentius, who had pleaded in Eustratius' defense, were also tortured and put to death for being Christians. The relics of these five martyrs were later transferred to Rome, where they now rest in the churches of San Apollinare and Santa Maria in Via Lata.

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