John and his younger brother Anthony were Lithuanian converts to the Catholic faith. While in the service of Lithuania’s pagan Duke Olgierd, the two young men openly confessed their faith after the duke asked them whether they were Christians. In an effort to make them apostatize, Olgierd ordered the two to eat meat on a day of abstinence. Both refused and were thereupon imprisoned. After a year of incarceration, John lost his courage and renounced his faith so as to obtain his release. Olgierd was so pleased by this that he decided to release both brothers. Anthony reprimanded John for his inconstancy. Afterward, Anthony was imprisoned a second time for refusing meat on a day of abstinence. At length, John repented of his apostasy. Upon openly professing his faith, he was thrown into prison, where his brother Anthony joyfully welcomed him. The two received Holy Communion together before suffering martyrdom by hanging on separate days. A young relative of theirs named Eustace was also executed for being a Christian. All three are buried in the Holy Trinity Church of Vilna.
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By F. K. Bartels
If there is any message which can be drawn from St. Augustine's life, and there are many, it is the message of repentance and conversion. This is a message the world desperately needs to hear today. It is one of heartfelt dedication to Christ as Master, Teacher and ... continue readingMore Christian Saints & Heroes