Commemorated on June 3
Lucian lived in Rome, and as a pagan he had the name Lucius. He was
enlightened by the light of faith in Christ by the holy Apostle Peter, and
accepted Baptism. After the death of the Apostle Peter, Saint Lucian preached
the Gospel in Italy. During this period there arrived in Rome Saint Dionysius
the Areopagite (Comm. 3 October), a disciple of the Apostle Paul. At the
request of Saint Clement, Pope of Rome (Comm. 25 November), he consented to set
off preaching the Gospel in the Western lands and began to gather up companions
and helpers for this. Saint Clement, having consecrated Saint Lucian a bishop,
sent him off with Saint Dionysius, along with Saints Marcellinus and
Saturninus, the Presbyter Maxianus and the Deacon Julian.
The holy preachers
sailed from Italy to Gaul (France). Saint Marcellinus with those accompanying
him continued on to Spain, Saint Saturninus – to Gaul, and Saint Dionysius
with the others – to the region of Paris. From there Saint Lucian with
Maxianus and Julian set out to Belgium.
The preaching of
Saint Lucian was very successful. By the power of grace in word and the example
of life, he converted to Christianity a large number of pagans. Saint Lucian
was a strict ascetic, and over the course of an entire day he ate but a morsel
of bread and some water. Towards the converted he was kindly, always joyful and
cheerful of face. Soon almost all the settlements of Belgium were converted to
the faith in Christ.
During this period,
the Roman emperor Dometian (81-96) had started up a second persecution against
Christians (after that of Nero, 54-68), and he issued an edict, demanding
torture and execution for any that refused to offer sacrifice to the pagan
Three officials were
sent to Belgium to carry out the edict. The Lord revealed to Saint Lucian about
the ordeal facing him. Having gathered the flock, he urged them not to be
afraid of threats, tortures or death, and then he offered up thanksgiving to
God, for having granted him the possibility to join in together with the
assembly of the holy martyrs. After prayers, Saint Lucian together with
Presbyter Maxianus and Deacon Julian withdrew to the summit of an hill, where
he continued to teach the people accompanying him.
And here it was that
the soldiers of the emperor came upon the saints, and led them away for trial.
Saints Maxianus and Julian were urged to repudiate Christ and offer sacrifice
to idols, but they both resolutely refused and were beheaded.
Then the judge began
to interrogate Saint Lucian, accusing him of sorcery and disobedience to the
emperor and senate. The saint answered, that he was not a sorcerer, but rather
a servant of the True God, the Lord Jesus Christ, and he refused to offer sacrifice
to mere idols, wrought by human hand.
The saint was
subjected to fierce beatings, during the time of which he repeated only:
"Never wilt I cease in heart, faith and lips, to praise Christ, the Son of
God". The holy martyr was beheaded. Over his body shone an heavenly light,
and the Voice of the Saviour was heard, summoning the valiant sufferer into the
Heavenly Kingdom to receive the martyr's crown. By the power of God the saint
stood up, took hold his cut-off head, crossed over the river, and reaching the
burial spot chosen by him, he lay down upon the ground and reposed with peace.
In view of this extremely great miracle about 500 pagans were converted to
Christ. Afterwards over the grave of the Martyr Lucian there was erected a
church, into which also were transferred the remains of the Holy Martyrs
Maxianus and Julian.
© 1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.