SS. PTOLEMY, LUCIUS, AND A THIRD COMPANION, MM.
PTOLEMY, a zealous Christian at Rome, had
converted a married woman to the faith, whose brutish husband treated
her on that account in the most barbarous manner, and never ceased to
blaspheme God, the Creator of all things. She making use of the
liberty which both the Roman law and the gospe11 gave her in that
case, proceeded to a legal separation. The husband, in revenge,
accused Ptolemy of being a Christian. The martyr lay a long time in a
stinking dungeon, and being at length brought to his trial before
Urbicius, prefect of Rome, boldly confessed his faith in Christ, and,
without more ado, was condemned by the judge to lose his head.
Lucius, a Christian, who was present, said to the prefect: “Where
is the justice to punish a person who has not been convicted of any
crime?” Urbicius said: “I presume you are also a
Christian.” “I have that happiness,” replied
Lucius. Urbicius, whose heart was hardened in injustice, passed
sentence also on him. A third, who declared himself to have the same
faith, and whose name is not known, was beheaded with them. They
received their crowns in 166, in the reign of Marcus Aurelius. The
saints looked on the goods and evils of this world with indifference,
and went with joy to martyrdom, because they regarded this life only
as a preparation for a better, and considered that they were immense
gainers by death, which puts us in secure possession of eternal
happiness. See St. Justin, Apol. vol. 1, ed. Ben. Eus. Hist.1. 4, c.