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Martyr Lucillian and those who suffered with him at Byzantium (3 June)

Saint Lucillian was a pagan priest during the reign of the Roman emperor Aurelian (270-275). In his old age he became persuaded of the falseness of the pagan religion, and with all his heart he turned to the faith in Christ the Saviour, and was baptiaed.

Under the influence of his preaching many pagans were converted to Christianity. Then certain Jews, seeing that he was spreading faith in Christ Whom they crucified, reported Lucillian to the Nicomedia prefect Silvanus, who urged the old man to return to idol-worship. When he refused, they smashed the saint’s jawbone, beat him with rods and suspended him head downward, and then they locked him in prison. Here he met four youths who were confessors of Christianity: Claudius, Hypatius, Paul and Dionysius. Saint Lucillian urged them to stand firm in the Faith, and to fear neither tortures nor death.

After a while they brought them to trial and then threw them into a red-hot furnace. Suddenly, rain fell and extinguished the flames, and the martyrs remained unharmed. The governor sentenced them to death, sending them to Byzantium to be executed. The holy youths were beheaded by the sword, and the holy martyr Lucillian was nailed to a cross with many nails.

The holy virgin Paula witnessed the contest of the holy martyrs. She had dedicated herself to the service of those suffering for Christ. She provided food to Christian prisoners, washed their wounds, brought medications, and also buried the bodies of martyrs. After the death of Saint Lucillian and the four young men, she returned to Nicomedia and continued with her holy service. The holy virgin was arrested and cast into a furnace, but by the power of God she remained unharmed. Then they sent her off to Byzantium, where the holy martyr was beheaded.

Formerly a priest of the idols near Nicomedia, the Saint came to the Christian Faith in his old age; this was during the reign of Aurelian (270-275). Lucillian was brought before Silvan the Count; when he refused to return to the service of the idols, his jaw was broken, he was beaten with rods, and hanged upside down, then imprisoned with four Christian children, Claudius, Hypatius, Paul, and Dionysius. All of them were brought out again before Silvan, and remaining constant in their faith, were cast into a raging furnace. Preserved unharmed, they were sent to Byzantium, where the children were beheaded, and Lucillian was crucified. The virgin Paula, a Christian, buried their holy relics. For this, she was taken before the Count, and refusing to sacrifice to the idols, was stripped naked and mercilessly thrashed; after other torments, she was beheaded, in 270. There was a church in their honor in Constantinople.

Lucillian grew old as a pagan priest but, as a gray-haired old man, he recognized the truth of Christianity and was baptized. His conversion to Christianity provoked great anxiety among the pagans in Nicomedia, and he was brought to trial. Because he would not deny his new Faith, Lucillian was violently beaten and, completely bruised, was thrown into prison. In prison he met four young men: Claudius, Hypatius, Paul and Dionysius, who were also imprisoned because of their faith in Christ. The old man greatly rejoiced in the young men and they in him, and together they spent all their time in pious conversation, prayer and the chanting of psalms.

When they were led out of prison, they were tortured by various means and finally sent to Byzantium, where the soldiers beheaded Claudius, Hypatius, Paul, Dionysius, and where Lucillian was crucified by the Jews. The nefarious Jews pierced Lucillian’s whole body with nails. A virgin named Paula openly took the martyrs’ bodies and honorably buried them. For this she was accused and, after having been tortured, was beheaded, receiving two wreaths from the Lord: the wreath of virginity and the wreath of martyrdom. Their martyrdom occurred during the reign of Emperor Aurelian between the years 270-275 A.D.

Apolytikion of Martyrs Lucillian and Paula

First Tone

Let all of us entreat Christ the Lord’s holy Martyrs, for they make supplication for our souls’ salvation; with faith and with longing, therefore, let us draw nigh unto them, for they overflow with the divine grace of healings, and they drive away the ranks of demons in terror, as guardians of the Faith.

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