Saint Eustathius and his retinue, Theopistis his wife, Agapios and Theopistos his children
Celebration Date: 20/09
Eustathius was a respected officer in Rome and came to the Christian faith in a wonderful way.
When he was once hunting a deer, he saw a cross on its antlers and heard a voice calling him to the right faith. Thus he believed and was baptized with the name Eustathius of Placidas which was called before, as well as his wife Tatiani in Theopistis, and also their two children Agapios and Theopistus.
When the emperor Trajan learned that he had converted to Christianity, he stripped him of his highest military rank and exiled him and his entire family. However, along the way, he was separated from Theopistus’ wife and his two children, Theopistus and Agapius. This fact made Efstathios very bitter.
Years later, when Trajan was in great military difficulty, he remembered his ablest officer Eustathius. So he brought him back into service, and Eustathius, with the bravery and strategy that distinguished him, contributed greatly to the victory. In fact, on the way, he found his family and felt great joy.
However, Trajan’s successor, Hadrian, demanded that Eustathius attend the sacrifices of the pagan gods. Efstathios, of course, refused, as a result of which he and his family were tortured. But their love for Christ strengthened their souls in the tortures, even remembering the divine words, which say:
“Blessed is the man who endures temptation, for being born a probationer he receives the crown of life, which the Lord has promised to those who love him” (Epistle of James, 1:12). Happy, that is, is the man who endures the test of sorrows with patience. For thus he becomes firm and tested, to receive the bright and glorious crown of eternal life, which the Lord promised to those who love Him.
Finally, Eustathius and his family died in a red-hot copper ox (117 AD).