The Martyrdom of St. Eusegnius (Eugenius) the Soldier
On this day, St. Eusegnius (Eugenius) was martyred. He was a soldier during the reign of Emperor Constantine the Great. He was merciful and had many charitable deeds. When Emperor Constantine saw the sign of the Cross, he could not understand its significance, for he was not a believer yet. He asked the soldier Eugenius, who told him that it was the sign of the Lord Christ. The Emperor started to think deeply about it and particularly in the sentence that was written on the sign of the cross, "By this you conquer." At night the Emperor saw the Lord Christ in a dream and He showed him the sign of the Cross. He commanded him to make the flags of his army similar to it. The following morning, the Emperor did as he was commanded, and he won the war against his enemies. He entered Rome victoriously and became a Christian since then, and he lifted up the horn of the Christians and their faith all over the Roman Empire. St. Eusegnius lived until he was 120 years old, until the days of Julian the infidel Emperor (the apostate).
One day, when he was walking in one of the streets of Antioch, he found two men fighting together. They stopped him and asked him to judge between them, for he was an honorable old man. He made peace between them. Some evil men plotted evil against him, by telling Emperor Julian that he made himself a judge and a ruler over the city. The Emperor brought him, rebuked him and said to him, "Who has appointed you a judge and a ruler?" St. Eusegnius replied with great courage, "I am not a judge nor am I a ruler, but you have forsaken the worship of the God of Heaven, in Whose hands is your soul, and you worshipped unclean idols and you did not follow in the footsteps of those who came before you. I had been a soldier under the righteous Emperor Constantine for 60 years, and with his sons after him, and I did not see anyone as devilish as you.". The Emperor was exceedingly angry with him, and he commanded that he be crucified and to apply lighted torches to his sides. They did all these things to him, but the saint endured them all for his love of the Lord Christ. At last, the Emperor commanded that his head be cut off. When he was approached by the swordsman, he asked him to wait until he prayed. When he finished praying, they beheaded him and he received the crown of martyrdom.
His prayers be with us, and Glory be to our Lord forever. Amen.
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