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SS. ADRIAN. AND EUBULUS, OF PALESTINE MARTYRS
From Eusebius’s History of the Martyrs of Palestine, c. 11, p. 341.
A. D. 309.
IN the seventh year of Dioclesian’s persecution, continued by Galerius Maximianus, when Firmilian, the most bloody governor of Palestine, had stained Cæsarea with the blood of many illustrious martyrs, Adrian and Eubulus came out of the country called Magantia to Cæsarea, in order to visit the holy confessors there. At the gates of the city they were asked, as others were, whither they were going, and upon what errand. They ingenuously confessed the truth, and were brought before the president, who ordered them to be tortured, and their sides to be torn with iron hooks, and then condemned them to be exposed to wild beasts. Two days after, when the pagans at Cæsarea celebrated the festival of the public Genius, Adrian was exposed to a lion, and not being dispatched by that beast, but only mangled, was at length killed by the sword. Eubulus was treated in the same manner, two days later. The judge offered him his liberty if he would sacrifice to idols; but the saint preferred a glorious death, and was the last that suffered in this persecution at Cæsarea, which had now continued twelve years under three successive governors, Flavian, Urban, and Firmilian Divine vengeance pursuing the cruel Firmilian, he was that same year beheaded for his crimes, by the emperor’s order, as his predecessor Urban had been two years before.
It is in vain that we take the name of Christians, or pretend to follow Christ, unless we carry 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.1 We cannot arrive at heaven by any other road but that which Christ held, who bequeathed his cross to all his elect as their portion and inheritance in this world. None can be exempted from this rule, without renouncing his title to heaven. Let us sound our own hearts, and see if our sentiments are conformable to these principles of the holy religion which we profess. Are our lives a constant exercise of patience under all trials, and a continual renunciation of our senses and corrupt inclinations, by the practice of self-denial and penance? Are we not impatient under pain or sickness, fretful under disappointments, disturbed and uneasy at the least accidents which are disagreeable to our nature, harsh and peevish in reproving the faults of others, and slothful and unmortified in endeavoring to correct our own? What a monstrous contradiction is it to call ourselves followers of Christ, yet to live irreconcilable enemies to his cross! We can never separate Christ from his cross, on which he sacrificed himself for us, that he might unite us on it eternally to himself. Let us courageously embrace it, and he will be our comfort and support, as he was of his martyrs.