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Eutropios, Kleonikos, Vasiliskos, Zenos, & Zoilis the Martyrs (3 March)

The Martyrs, who were from Amasia, were fellow soldiers and kinsmen of Saint Theodore the Tyro (see Feb. 17). They were betrayed to the Governor Asclepiodotus as Christians, during the reign of Diocletian (284-305). After many torments, Eutropius and Cleonicus were crucified; Basiliscus was not slain together with them, but was shut up in prison, in the hope that with time he might change his mind and sacrifice to the idols. He was beheaded on May 22; see also the account on that day.

They were companions of St. Theodore the Tyro. When the righteous Theodore had gloriously reposed, they remained behind in prison. For a long time they were not sentenced, due to the replacement of the emperor’s governor in the city of Amasea.

When the new governor arrived, more inhuman than his predecessor, he ordered that these three be brought before him. All three were youths. Eutropius and Cleonicus were brothers, and Basiliscus was a kinsman of St. Theodore. All three were like blood brothers in their fraternal love. As such, they said before the governor: “As the Holy Trinity is undivided, so also are we undivided in our faith and inseparable in our love.” In vain was all the flattery on the part of the governor, and in vain were his attempts to bribe Eutropius. First of all, the governor invited Eutropius to dine with him. Eutropius refused, quoting from the Psalms: Blessed is the man who follows not the counsel of the wicked (Psalm 1:1).

After that, the governor offered him a large amount of money–150 litres of silver–which Eutropius also refused, reminding the governor that because of silver Judas lost his soul. After all attempts at interrogation and torture had failed, the first two were sentenced to be

crucified, and Basiliscus was sentenced to be beheaded. And so it was, two brothers were crucified on two crosses, for which they gave thanks to Christ that He had made them worthy of the same death to which He Himself submitted.

The third, Basiliscus, was beheaded. They all entered the Kingdom of Joy where St. Theodore, their commander, awaited them, having been glorified before them by Christ the Lord and Victor. They suffered honorably in the year 308 A.D.

Apolytikion of Martyrs Eutropius, Cleonicus and Basiliscus

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.

Kontakion of Martyrs Eutropius, Cleonicus and Basiliscus

Fourth Tone

Since divine Eutropius and Basiliscus and the famed Cleonicus were bound in unity of faith, they cut asunder the foe’s arrays when they contended courageously for the Lord.