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Eustachius, General, Martyr - September 20th [188]

Placidus; Christian name Eustachius, General of Rome under Emperor Trajan.  According to tradition, his epiphany came while on a hunting trip when he saw the cross in the antlers of a stag, and received a prophesy that he would suffer for Christ. He converted, was discredited, and lost family and his property and thus was a pauper. Trajan recalled him to active duty, because of his great military skill, to fight against barbarian raiders, and he was reunited with his family. After defeating the barbarians, Eustachius refused to make the obligatory victory sacrifice to the Roman gods and was imprisoned and executed with others who refused. See painting below:

"O LORD GOD of hosts, stretch forth, we pray thee, thine almighty arm to strengthen and protect the warriors of thy kingdom in the Church Militant. Support them in the day and hour of battle, and, during slow times, keep them safe from evils and temptations. Endue them with courage and loyalty to God's Word like thy servant now departed, General Eustachius. Grant that we may always serve thee without cowardice, ignorance or fear in the face of men, through Christ our only Rock, Defender, and Savior, whom with thee, the Father, and thee, the Holy Spirit, we worship and adore as the One True and Living God, now and forever. Amen."

For all the saints, who from their labors rest, Who Thee by faith before the world confessed, Thy Name, O Jesus, be forever blessed. Thou wast their Rock, their Fortress and their Might; Thou, Lord, their Captain in the well fought fight; Thou, in the darkness drear, their one true Light. O may Thy soldiers, faithful, true and bold, Fight as the saints who nobly fought of old, And win with them the victor’s crown of gold. And when the strife is fierce, the warfare long, Steals on the ear the distant triumph song, And hearts are brave, again, and arms are strong. Alleluia, Alleluia!

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