The Holy Martyrs Speusippus, Eleusippus, Meleusippus and their grandmother Leonilla
They suffered for Christ in France in the reign of the Emperor Mar-cus Aurelius (161 - I80). The three brothers were triplets. At first only Leonilla was a Christian, while her grandsons were pagans. After much advice on the part of the pious Leonilla and a local priest, the three brothers were baptised. Being baptised, they began with youthful fervour to witness to their faith, and in their zeal went out and smashed all the idols in the area. Accused and brought before the judge, they acknowledged their action and openly con-fessed their faith in Christ. The judge threw them into prison, then summoned their grandmother and directed her to go to the prison and counsel her grandsons to deny Christ and worship idols. Leonilla went off without a word to the prison, but instead of advis-ing her grandsons to deny the true Faith, she set about encouraging them not to give up, but to persevere to the end in all their sufferings and die for Christ. When the judge examined them again and saw their yet stronger steadfastness in the Faith, he condemned them to death. All three were first hanged on one tree, where they hung `like the strings of a lute', and after that flogged and then finally burned. A woman, Jovilla, stirred by the courage of these martyrs, cried out: `I too am a Christian!' They immediately seized her and beheaded her with a sword, together with the aged Leonilla.
* From "The Prologue from Ochrid", by Bishop Nikolai Velimirovic - Lazarica Press - Birmingham 1985
Four Book Edition - Translated by Mother Maria - Dates based on old church calendar.
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