St. Venerable Martyr Eustratios of Pechersk
According to Church calendar, on April 10 we commemorate the martyrly exploit of St. Venerable Eustratios of Pechersk, who lived in XI century.
He was born in Kyiv in the noble family.
When Saint grew up he decided to link his life with the Pechersk Monastery.
Eustratios distributed his property among the poor and needy people. After taking monastic tonsure he humbly carried his obedience, being in prayer, fasting and abstinence.
In 1096 the capital was attacked by Polovtsians; they devastated the cloister and murdered a lot of its inhabitants.
Together with other 30 monastery workers and 20 inhabitants of Kyiv, St. Eustratios was captured and sold to one Jew of Chersonesus, who threatened the prisoners starve to death if they did not renounce Christianity.
The monk was very manly and started to encourage other Orthodox prisoners, strengthening them with wise sermons. Their spirit became stronger and they decided to die for Christ, to reject temporary goodness in order to get eternal.
14 days later everybody died except St. Eustratios, for whom fasting was usual and he ate nothing for 14 days.
The Jew decided to avenge St. Eustratios because when prisoners had died he lost a lot of money.
There comes a feast of the Resurrection, and the Jew together with his friends crucified the monk during the celebration of Pesach. Torturers outraged Eustratios and offered him to have some matzo.
But Saint said that God gave him an opportunity to die in a same way as Christ did.
The Jew got very angry and struck the crucified monk by a lance.
A corpse of the martyr was thrown into the sea. The Orthodox people searched for St. Eustratios’ relics for long time. Afterwards the shrine was found in a cave and lot miracles happened near of it.
Before his death the Saint foreseen that his blood will be avenged. Soon it came true.
At the same day according to an order of Byzantine Emperor, Jews were exiled from Chersoneses, and their property was took from them. Their Elders were killed for tortures of Christians. The Jew, who crucified St. Venerable Martyr Eustratios was hung on a tree.
Later on the relics were transferred to the Near Caves of Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra and they are there even for today.
Also the particle of St. Venerable Martyr Eustratios’ relics is in the St. John Cathedral of Brooklyn.