Feast Day, Saints -

The Holy Martyr Lucillain and those with him: Claudius, Hypatius, Paul, Dionysius and the Virgin Paula

Today we celebrate the feast of the holy martyr Lucillian and those with him: Claudius, Hypatius, Paul, Dionysius and the Virgin Paula.
Lucillian was a pagan priest for many years, but as an old man he was baptized a Christian. His conversion caused great consternation among the pagans and he was brought to trial. He did not deny his faith, and was beaten and thrown in prison. While in prison, he met four young men who were also imprisoned for their faith: Claudius, Hypatius, Paul and Dionysius. Together they prayed and chanted psalms while in prison. Eventually the four young men were beheaded and Lucillian was crucified.
A virgin named Paula took the martyrs' bodies and buried them, after which she too was accused of being a Christian. She was tortured and beheaded, and is recognized as receiving two wreaths from the Lord: a wreath of virginity and a wreath of martyrdom.
This story gives me hope on so many levels. For one, a conversion in old age is possible! Sometimes I have great sadness for those in my life who are not practicing, who have never received the faith, who openly despise the faith. But Lucillian gives me hope that they may change. Secondly, we see the uplifting and encouragement of friends in great trial and tribulation. Lucilian, Claudius, Hypatius, Paul, and Dionysius encouraged one another in their afflictions, which would have helped them stay strong in the faith. Finally, bystanders can recognize the good that we do and suffer alongside us for that recognition like Paula. I'm not excited to write that people can suffer for what we witness to them, but more that they can become saints because of our witness to them which then convicts them to live out the faith boldly.
Let's be bold saints!

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