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Anthony, John, and Eustathius of Vilnius

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'''Anthony, John, and Eustathiusof Vilnius''' (Eustathios Lithuanian: ''Antanas, Jonas ir Eustachijus'') or Eustace) are '''The Three Martyrs of Vilnius''' were 14th century [[martyrs]] (d. 1347) of the [[Russian Orthodox Church]]. They were attached to the Muscovite mission in the court of the pagan warlord, Algirdas (Olgierd) of Lithuania. Algirdas was married to a Russian [[Christian]] princess, and the missionaries were permitted only to minister to the religious needs of the princess and her retinue. All [[Proselytism|proselytising]] was strictly proscribed. The three youths were apprehended for preaching in public and brought before Algirdas, who ordered them to consume meat during a solemn [[fast]]. When they refused, he had them tortured and killed. Their incorrupt [[relics]] are entombed in a crypt below the [[altar]] of the [[cathedral]] [[church]] in the [[Monastery]] of the Holy Spirit in Vilnius (Vilna), Lithuania.
The brothers Kumetis and Nizilas were formerly pagan converts to Christianity, taking the names Anthony and John in baptism. Their [[feastday]] is celebrated on [[April 14]]cousin Krulis later converted, following their example, receiving the name Eustathius.
They served in the court of the [[paganism|pagan]] Grand Duke Algirdas (Olgierd) of Lithuania. Grand Duke Algirdas was married to the Orthodox Christian Russian Princess Maria Yaroslavna, and missionaries were present to minister to the religious needs of the princess and her retinue. The Grand Duke had nominally converted to Orthodoxy, but upon the death of Maria Yaroslavna, he apostasised and resumed his pagan ways. All [[evangelism|evangelizing]] became strictly proscribed. The three youths kept their conversion secret initially, but it was eventually noticed that they would fast at certain seasons and also did not cut their beards (which was the custom for Christians of that time and place). Because of their refusal to eat meat offered to pagan idols particularly during a fast, they were killed by Algirdas. Algirdas later realized that he had an opportunity for political connection with the imperial court in Constantinople and had a church built on the site of the martyrdom. Their [[incorruptibility|incorrupt]] [[relics]] are now enshrined in the [[Monastery]] of the Holy Spirit in Vilnius, Lithuania.  Their [[feast]] is celebrated on [[April 14]]. ==External linklinks==*[http://saintsocafs.oca.org/IconDirectory/LG/april/0414anthonyjohneustathiusFeastSaintsViewer.jpg Icon of the three martyrs Anthony, John, and Eustathius of Vilna asp?SID=4&ID=1&FSID=101076 Complete hagiography] ([[OCA.org]])]
[[Category:Martyrs]]
[[Category:Saints]]
[[Category:Lithuanian Saints]]
[[Category:14th-century saints]]
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