Ancient Greek History

St. Eleutherius Orthodox Saint History and Name Day Information

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Learning about the lives of the saints is an important part of the Greek Orthodox Church and it’s an integral part of the faith. Not only do we look at the saints as a good example of what it really means to be Christians, but many are named after them. Those who are tend to celebrate their name days on the feast day of that particular saint. Some even celebrate their name day instead of their own birthdays. Saint Eleutherius is one of these individuals. His feast day is November 15th of each year. Here is more information about him:

About Saint Eleutherius

Unlike some of the early saints, Saint Eleutherius wasn’t born in the Middle East of in Greece. He was born in Rome. We don’t know the exact day of his birth, but we do know that he was born sometime at the end of that century. Although Rome eventually converted to Christianity, the people were still pagans at the time and Christians were regularly persecuted.

Despite that, Eleutherius was a Christian. He was alive during the time of Hadrian, a ruler who is especially known for persecuting Christians. His father was in service to the emperor but he did when Eleutherius was young. His mother raised him and he shared her beliefs. After the father died, she sent Eleutherius away to Anicetus, who was the Bishop of Rome.

It didn’t take the bishop long to understand that Eleutherius had a gift. He was raised in the Christian faith and was responsible for converting many people to Christianity. He was a priest by the time he was eighteen years old and then he became the Bishop of Illyria at the age of twenty. Hadrian learned of him and branded him an “Enemy of the State.” Eventually he did return to Rome and when he did, he was arrested and eventually executed for his beliefs. He fell asleep in the Lord in 120 A.D.

Hymns of Saint Eleutherius

There are some hymns that can be found in the Orthodox Christian church service that celebrate Saint Eleutherius. These hymns are sung during the church service that occurs on his feast day. Here are the hymns as they were translated into English from the original Greek:

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!

As you can see, this saint was important to the early days of the church. He actually shares the day with his mother, the Martyr Anthia or Evanthia. Saint Eleutherius’s feast day is celebrated each year on December 15th. Check the Name Day page for more information about other Orthodox Christian name days.


Eleutherius of Illyria (Also Source for Photo Credit for Image Above)

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This post was written by Greek Boston

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