Saints Eutropius, Cleonikos and Basiliskos
Celebration Date: 03/03
The Holy Martyrs Basiliskos, Eutropius and Kleonikos came from Amasia in Pontus and lived during the time of Emperor Maximian (286-305 AD).
They were soldiers and relatives of Agios Theodoros of Tironos. As Christians they were presented to the ruler Asclepiodotus, who arrested them and tortured them severely. But the Martyrs, after the Lord and the Holy Great Martyr Theodore appeared to them, became healthy.
Inside the prison the three young men lost neither their courage nor their faith. Instead they continued to worship the One and True God. By their preaching and the example offered by their morals, endurance and courage, they led many of their fellow prisoners to the true faith. Asklepiodotus was informed of the Christian activity of the three prisoners and the influence they exerted on the imprisoned pagans and ordered them to be brought before him again.
The ruler then began to flatter Saint Cleonikos, to deny the faith of Christ, promising gifts and honors. But the Saint, after laughing, mocked the illness of the idols. And while the sacrifice was being performed, he overthrew the idol of Artemis with a prayer. Immediately the ruler ordered them to be tortured. Then the Lord appeared to the three youths and to the crowd of pagans, who were watching the scourging of the Christians, with the Holy Great Martyr Theodore by His side. The three Christians claimed the miraculous healing of their wounds, while many pagans who saw the miracle were baptized Christians. Asclepiodotus, however, not only did not change his attitude, but ordered the beheading of all neo-enlightened Christians. Asklepiodotus and the pagans, blinded by rage, ordered the executioners to pour hot tar over the three Martyrs. But new miraculous energy from Divine Grace did not allow the faithful youths to suffer the slightest, while the hot tar fell and consumed the executioners.
But the hard-hearted ruler could not see the truth, which was presented before his eyes. Thus, he ordered the crucifixion of Eutropius and Cleonicus and the imprisonment of Basiliscus. The two young people spent the last night of their lives praying. Again the Lord appeared before them, to encourage them.
On March 3, 308 AD, Eutropius and Cleonikos were decorated with the crowns of sainthood and martyrdom for their death on the cross. Basiliskus remained imprisoned in prison, where he died after a few years, gaining eternal life. You can read more about Saint Basil on May 22 when his memory is repeated.