The PriestMartyr Marcellus, Pope of Rome, and the Holy Martyrs Cisenius and Cyricus Deacons, Smaragdus, Largias, Apronian, Satyrninus, Papias and Maurus Soldiers, Criscentian and the Holy WomenMartyrs Priscilla, Lucy and Artemia the Emperor's Daughter

Commemorated on June 7

      The PriestMartyr Marcellus, Pope of Rome, and the Holy Martyrs Cisenius and Cyricus Deacons, Smaragdus, Largias, Apronian, Satyrninus, Papias and Maurus Soldiers, Criscentian and the Holy WomenMartyrs Priscilla, Lucy and Artemia the Emperor's Daughter suffered in Rome during the time of the persecution of Diocletian and Maximian (284-305) and their successors Galerius (305-311) and Maxentius (305-312). The emperor Maximian, ruling the western half of the Roman empire, deprived all Christians of military rank and sent them into penal forced labour. A certain rich Christian, Thrason, began to send food and clothing to the prisoners by way of the Christians Cisenius, Cyriacus, Smaragdus and Largias. Holy Pope Marcellus thanked Thrason for his generosity, and Cisenius and Cyriacus he ordained as deacons. Soon while rendering aid to the captives Cisenius and Cyriacus also were arrested and sent off to harsh labour. They fulfilled not only their own norm, but worked also for the dying captive Satyrninus, for which Maximian gave Cisenius over for torture to the governor of the district, Laodicius. They locked up the saint in prison. The head of the prison, Apronian, summoned Saint Cisentius for interrogation but, seeing that his face shone with an Heavenly light, he believed in Christ and was baptised. And then later going together with Cisenius, he went to holy Pope Marcellus and received Chrismation. Having made liturgy, Saint Marcellus communed the Holy Mysteries. On this day, 7 June, Saints Cisenius and Satyrninus in the company of Apronian were brought before Laodicius. Saint Apronian confessed that he was a Christian, and was beheaded, and Saints Cisenius and Satyrninus were thrown into prison. Then Laodicius gave orders to bring them to a pagan temple to offer sacrifice. Saint Satyrninus said: "Would that the Lord turn the pagan idols into dust!" At that very moment the tripods, on which incense burned in front of the idols, melted. In sight of this miracle the soldiers Papias and Maurus confessed Christ. After prolonged tortures Cisenius and Satyrninus were beheaded, and Papias and Maurus were locked up in prison, where they prayed concerning their illumination by holy Baptism. The Lord granted them to realise their desire. Leaving unnoticed from the prison, they received Baptism from Saint Marcellus and returned to the prison.
      At the trial they again confessed themselves Christians and died under terrible tortures. Their venerable bodies were buried by the Presbyter John and Thrason.
      Saints Cyriacus, Smaragdus, Largias and other Christian prisoners continued to waste away at hard labour.
      The emperor's daughter Artemia, the young daughter of Diocletian, suffered from demonic oppression. Having learned that the prisoner Saint Cyriacus could cure infirmity and cast out devils, the emperor summoned him to the sick girl. In gratitude for the healing of his daughter, the emperor set free Cyriacus, Smaragdus and Largias. Soon the emperor dispatched Saint Cyriacus to Persia, so that he would heal the daughter of the Persian emperor. Upon his return to Rome, Saint Cyriacus was arrested on orders of the emperor Galerius, the son-in-law of Diocletian, who had abdicated and retired as ruler. Galerius was very annoyed at his predecessor for the converting to Christianity of the emperor's daughter Artemia. He gave orders to lead behind his chariot Saint Cyriacus stripped and bloody in chains, to the shame and ridicule of the crowds.
      Pope Marcellus denounced the emperor openly before everyone for his cruelty towards innocent Christians. The emperor gave orders to beat the holy pope with canes and to deal brutally with the saint of Christ. Saints Cyricus, Smaragdus, Largias, and still another prisoner, Criscentian, died under torture. And at this time also executed were the emperor's daughter Artemia and yet another 21 prisoners in prison with Saint Cyriacus.
      Holy Pope Marcellus was secretly freed by Roman clergy. Having dug up the bodies of the holy Martyrs Cyriacus, Smaragdus and Largias, they re-buried them on the estates of two Christians Priscilla and Lucy on the outskirts of Rome, having transformed the house of Lucy into a church.
      Ascending the throne, Maxentius gave orders to destroy the church and transform it into a cattle-yard, and he sentenced the holy pope for life to herd the cattle. Exhausted by hunger and cold, and wearied by the stench, holy Pope Marcellus fell sick and died in the year 310.
      The holy women Pricilla and Lucy were in disgrace banished from Rome, and their estates confiscated and plundered.

1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.

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