The PriestMartyr Lucian

Commemorated on June 3

      The PriestMartyr 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 gods.
      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.

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