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Saint Eustathios, Patriarch of Antioch (21 February)

Saint Eustathios, the great defender of piety and illustrious opponent of Arianism, was from Side in Pamphylia. He became Bishop of Beroea (the present-day Aleppo), and in 325 was present at the First Ecumenical Council. From thence he was transferred to the throne of Antioch. But Saint Constantine the Great, led astray by the slanders directed against the Saint by the Arians, banished him to Trajanopolis in Thrace, where he reposed in 337, according to some. Others say he lived until 360.

Eustathios was a great zealot and defender of Orthodoxy. As such, he was especially prominent at the First Ecumenical Council [Nicaea, 325 A.D.], where he intellectually and systematically refuted the teaching of Arius. With the other Holy Fathers, Eustathius rightly confessed that Jesus Christ, as the Son of God, is equal to the Father and the Holy Spirit according to Divine Essense. Following the death of Emperor Constantine, the Arians again gained the ascendancy and began to bitterly persecute Orthodoxy. St. Eustathius was ousted from his throne and exiled, first to Thrace and later to Macedonia. Eustathios suffered much and long, until at last he gave up his holy soul to God in the year 345 A.D.

Apolytikion of Eustathius of Antioch

Third Tone

O God of our Fathers, ever dealing with us according to Thy gentleness: take not Thy mercy from us, but by their entreaties guide our life in peace.

Kontakion of Eustathius of Antioch

Plagal of the Fourth Tone

Since thou hadst wholly purified thyself with godly deeds, thou wast a notable example of a true high priest, while excelling in divine vision and a pure life. As a pillar and foundation of the Church of Christ, thou withstoodest all temptations with great steadfastness. Hence we cry to thee: Rejoice, O Father Eustathius.