"Many sins are forgiven her, because she has loved much."
St. Luke 7:47
In the seventh year of Diocletian's persecution, continued by Galerius Maximianus, Firmilian, the cruel governor of Palestine, stained Caesarea with the blood of many illustrious martyrs. The Christians Adrian and Eubulus came from the region called Magantia to Caesarea, to visit the holy confessors there. At the gates of the city they were asked as were all strangers, where they were going and upon what errand. They spoke the truth, and were brought before the presiding officer. He ordered them to be tortured, their sides torn with iron hooks, then condemned them to be exposed to wild beasts. In the meantime they were imprisoned.
Two days later, for the pagan celebration of a festival of the local deity, Adrian was exposed to a lion. The animal did not kill him, but only mangled him, and finally his throat was pierced with a sword.
The judge offered Eubulus his liberty if he would sacrifice to idols. The Saint, however, preferred the glorious death of Christ's true disciples, and two days later won the crown his companion had also conquered. Saint Eubulus was the last to suffer in this persecution at Caesarea, which had continued for twelve years under three successive governors. Divine vengeance was pursuing the third of those, the cruel Firmilian, who was beheaded for his crimes that same year, by the emperor's order, as his predecessor had been two years before.
Reflection. It is in vain that we bear the name of Christians, or pretend to follow Christ, if we do not carry well our crosses after Him. It is in vain that we hope to share in His glory, and in His kingdom, if we accept not the condition. We cannot arrive at heaven by any other road but that followed by Christ, who bequeathed His cross to all His elect as their portion and inheritance in this world.
Little Pictorial Lives of the Saints, a compilation based on Butler's Lives of the Saints and other sources by John Gilmary Shea (Benziger Brothers: New York, 1894).