Martyred Brothers in Cappadocia

The Holy Martyrs Speusippus, Eleusippus, Meleusippus, and their grandmother Leonilla together with Neon, Turbo and Jonilla suffered in Gaul (by another account, in Cappadocia) in the second century, during the persecution under Marcus Aurelius (161-180).

Leonilla received Baptism in her old age from one of the disciples of St Polycarp, Bishop of Smyrna, and she afterwards converted her three grandsons (who were triplets) to Christ. The brothers, in their zeal for the Lord, pulled down idols and reproached the pagans for their folly. The judge ordered Leonilla to go to the prison and tell her grandchildren to renounce Christ and worship the idols. Instead, she praised them for their bravery and their firm confession of faith. All three were hanged on a tree, then flogged. Finally, the martyrs were thrown into a fire, but their bodies were undamaged by the flames.

After the torture and death of her grandchildren, St Leonilla was beheaded with a sword. St Jonilla also suffered with her. She saw the steadfast faith of the holy martyrs and said that she too was a Christian. The torturers hung her up by the hair, lacerated her body, then beheaded her. She left behind her husband and young son.

St Neon witnessed the exploits of the holy brothers, and wrote an account of their sufferings. He gave his manuscript to Turbo, and openly confessed himself a Christian, for which he was fiercely beaten and died from his beating.

St Turbo, after he copied out the exploits of the passion-bearers, also ended his life by martyrdom. These martyrs are particularly revered in Spain, where many churches are dedicated to them. The relics of the holy martyrs were given by the Byzantine emperor Zeno to a French nobleman from the city of Langres, where they now rest.