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Eleutherius of Illyria

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[[Image:Eleutherios.JPG|frame|right|Hieromartyr Eleutherios bishop of Illyria]]Our father among the [[saint]]s, [[Hieromartyr]] '''Hieromartyr Eleutheriosof Illyria''', was an early [[bishop]] of the Church who was [[martyr]]ed during the reign of the Roman Emperor Hadrian. He is remembered with his mother, Martyr '''Anthia (Evanthia)''', on [[December 15]].
Eleutherios was born in Rome in the latter years of the first century. His father was in the imperial service of the Roman Emperor, but his mother Anthia was a Christian. Anthia became a widow at an early age. She then sent her son to of Anicetus, the Bishop of Rome for his care. The bishop recognized the special spiritual gifts that the young boy possessed and [[ordinatiionordination|ordained]] him a [[deacon]] at the age of 15, a [[priest]] at 18 and Bishop of Illyricum at 20.
During the reign of the Emperor Hadrian, Eleutherios was soon responsible for winning many converts to Christianity, which caused him to be branded as an "enemy of the state". The commander Felix was sent to arrest the youthful bishop and bring him back to Rome for trial. Instead, the heart of Felix was touched by the words of Eleutherios and he, too, became a Christian.
The Eleutherios nonetheless returned to Rome, where he was arrested, tortured, and beheaded on [[December 15]] in the year 120 A.D., along with his new convert Felix. His blessed mother Anthia fearlessly came to grieve over the body of her martyred son, and she too suffered the same fate. These executions took place in 120 A.D.
[[Troparion]] ([[Tone]] 5)
:Adorned with the robe of priest
:Stained with the streams of your blood,
:O wise and blessed Eleutherius, over-thrower of Satan
:You hastened to Christ your Master. Pray unceasingly for those who faithfully honor your contest!
[[Kontakion]] (Tone 2)
:We all praise and entreat you, O Hieromartyr Eleutherius,
:Adornment of priests and encouragement of martyrs:
:Free from danger those who lovingly celebrate your memory,
:And pray unceasingly for us all!
==External links==
*[ Eleutherios the Holy Martyr, Bishop Illyria and his mother Anthia] - [[GOARCH]] website
*[ Hieromartyr Eleutherius the Bishop of Illyria, and His Mother] - [[OCA]] website
[[Category: Bishops]]
[[Category:2nd-century bishops]]
[[Category: Martyrs]]
[[Category: Saints]]
[[Category:Ante-Nicene Saints]]
[[Category:2nd-century saints]]
[[el:Ελευθέριος ιερομάρτυρας]]
[[ro:Elefterie al Iliriei]]

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