Lucian, Presbyter and Martyr, 312

Saint Loukianos, Presbyter and Martyr of Antioch

Born at Samosata in Syria, Lucian became a presbyter of the Church at Antioch, where he was especially interested in amending the corrupt texts of the Holy Scriptures then current and in teaching their literal (plainest) sense.  He founded an important theological school in Antioch, one of whose members was Arius, later known for his heresy regarding the deity of Jesus, whose followers sometimes called themselves Lucianists.  Although Lucian was involved in the schism in the Church of Antioch and although his orthodoxy was highly suspect, he made his peace with the Church in 285 and died a martyr in full communion with the Church at Nicomedia, the eastern capital of the Roman Empire, in 312.  It is said that on his way to Nicomedia, to be brought before the emperor, he converted forty soldiers to the faith.  Following interrogation and flogging, he was cast into prison, where he suffered death by starvation.

His body was taken to Drepanum, later renamed Helenopolis by the emperor Constantine in memory of his mother.  Evidence of his veneration is provided by Eusebius, the fourth century historian and bishop of Caesarea and by John Chrystostom, late fourth century bishop of Constantinople.

St John Chrysostom writes of him, “He scorned hunger: let us also scorn luxury and destroy the power of the stomach that we may, when the time that requires such courage comes for us, be prepared in advance by the help of a lesser ascesis, to show ourselves glorious at the time of battle.”

Lucian is commemorated on January 7, the date of his martyrdom, in the West, and on October 15 in the East.  While he is not commemorated in later Anglican calendars, he is listed in the Calendar of the 1662 Prayer Book.

adapted from The Oxford Dictionary of Saints


Almighty God, by your Holy Spirit you have made us one with your saints in heaven and on earth: Grant that in our earthly pilgrimage we may always be supported by this fellowship of love and prayer, and know ourselves to be surrounded by their witness to your power and mercy.  We ask this for the sake of Jesus Christ, in whom all our intercessions are acceptable through the Spirit, and who lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen.


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