SEPTEMBER 23, 2018 - "FROM PAGAN SOLDIER TO CHRISTIAN WARRIOR"
One of the great Roman military leaders during the reign of the Emperor Trajan was a righteous man named Placidus. While hunting one day, Placidus had a vision of a Cross. This pagan Roman soldier heard a voice, instructing him to go to a Christian priest and be baptized! He obediently did so, bringing his wife and two sons with him as well. At his baptism, he received a new name: EUSTATHIOS.
Knowing that he could no longer remain in Rome, Eustathios and his family went to the land of Egypt, where they settled in a village named Vadisis. Here they lived quietly for some 15 years, content to serve the Lord in a quiet and humble way.
Back in Rome, however, Eustathios was still remembered as a brilliant commander. When the Roman Empire faced attacks from barbaric invaders, the Emperor Trajan sent two of his finest officers out on a mission to find Eustathios. Somehow, the officers managed to find their former friend and fellow soldier. They convinced him to “take up the sword” again, and Eustathios led his army to victory in an important battle.
Triumphantly, Eustathios and his family were taken back to Rome, where they were asked by the Emperor to offer sacrifice to the pagan Roman idols. Refusing to do so, Eustathios informed the Emperor that he now followed a “HIGHER AUTHORITY”; He was now a CHRISTIAN!
The enraged Emperor devised several cruel means of torture for Eustathios and his family. Still, their loyalties remained with the Lord rather than Rome. Finally, this saintly family achieved martyrdom when they were thrown into a white-hot metal box.