Eustace Families Association
St. Eustachius, called Placidusbefore his conversion, was a distinguished officer of the Romanarmy under the Emperor Trajan. One day, whilst hunting a deer, hesuddenly perceived between the horns of the animal the image ofour crucified Saviour. Responsive to what he considered a voicefrom heaven, he lost not a moment in becoming a Christian. In ashort time he lost all his possessions and his position, and hiswife and children were taken from him. Reduced to the most abjectpoverty, he took service with a rich land-owner to tend hisfields. In the mean time the empire suffered greatly from theravages of barbariarians. Trajan sought out our Saint, and placedhim in command of the troops sent against the enemy. During thiscampaign he found his wife and children whom he despaired of everseeing again. Returning home victorious, he was received intriumph and loaded with honors; but the emperor having commandedhim to sacrifice to the false gods, he refused. Infuriated this,Trajan ordered Eustachius with his wife and children to beexposed to two starved lions; but instead of harming thesefaithful servants of God, the beasts merely frisked and frolickedabout them. The emperor, grown more furious at this, caused themartyrs to be shut up inside a brazen bull, under which a firewas kindled, and in this horrible manner they were roasted todeath.
Butlers Lives of the Saints