St. Paula, Martyr, and Those Who Suffered With Her, at Byzantium
St. Paula lived in the third century during the reign of Roman Emperor Aurelian. She dedicated her life to the service of those suffering for Christ and brought food to Christian prisoners, washed their wounds, gave them medicine, and buried their martyred bodies.
Many pagans had been converted to Christianity through the preaching of St. Lucillian. However, certain Jews, seeing that he was spreading faith in Christ, reported Lucillian to the Nicomedian prefect, Silvanus, who demanded that Lucillian worship idols. When Lucillian refused, the soldiers smashed his jawbone, beat him with rods, suspended him head downward, and locked him in prison. It was in prison that he met four youths who were confessors of Christianity: Claudius, Hypatius, Paul and Dionysius. St. Lucillian urged them to stand firm in the Faith, and to fear neither tortures nor death.
Eventually, these men were brought to trial, found guilty and thrown into a red-hot furnace. Suddenly, rain fell and extinguished the flames, and the martyrs remained unharmed. The governor sentenced them to death, sending them to Byzantium to be executed. The holy youths were beheaded by the sword, and St. Lucillian was nailed to a cross. Throughout their tortures, St. Paula was by their side.
After the death of St. Lucillian and the four young men, St. Paula returned to Nicomedia and continued with her holy service. However, she was ultimately betrayed as being a Christian. St. Paula was arrested and cast into a furnace, but by the power of God she remained unharmed. She was then returned to Byzantium, where she was beheaded.
Troparion (Tone 1) –
Like a radiant star you shone out of the night of error,
Slaying the crafty enemy, O Lucillian.
Together with Holy Paula and the four youths
Pray to Christ our God to save our souls!
Kontakion (Tone 1) –
On approaching the fire You were not burned,
O Lucillian wise and courageous martyr,
For You received the refreshing dew of God.
Therefore You work wonders beyond nature in joy,
Together with the holy children remember us.
By permission of the Orthodox Church in America (www.oca.org)