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October 15, 2022

On the Illustrious Holy Martyr Lucian (St. Jerome)

 By St. Jerome

(On Illustrious Men, ch. 77)

Lucian, a man of great talent, presbyter of the Church at Antioch, was so diligent in the study of the Scriptures, that even now certain copies of the Scriptures bear the name of Lucian. Works of his, On Faith, and short Epistles to various people are extant. He was put to death at Nicomedia for his confession of Christ in the persecution of Maximinus,* and was buried at Helenopolis in Bithynia.**


* The traditional date ascribed to his execution is January 7, 312, in Nicomedia. It was on this day, the day after the Great Feast of Theophany, that Saint John Chrysostom preached an encomium in his honor. Eventually the Orthodox Church would transfer his feast to October 15th, while the Catholic Church continues to honor him on January 7th.

** According to the 6th-century historian Procopius, Helen's son Emperor Constantine the Great renamed the city of Drepana or Drepanon to "Helenopolis" in 325 to honor her birthplace; but the name may simply have honored her without marking her birthplace. Constantine also built there a church in honor of the martyr Saint Lucian; it soon grew in importance, and Constantine lived there very often towards the end of his life. The Paschal Chronicle records that the emperor Constantine granted Helenopolis immunity from taxation in honor of the martyr Lucian of Antioch.