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Rev. Alban Butler (1711–73). Volume X: October. The Lives of the Saints. 1866.

October 19

SS. Ptolemy, Lucius, and a Third Companion, Martyrs

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 gospel 1 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. l. 4. c. 17.  1
Note 1. 1 Cor. vii. S. Aug. l. de fide, et Oper. c. 16, cap. Si Infidelis, causa 28, qu. 2, et cap. Quanto. Ext. De Divortiis. Nat. Alexander, Theol. Dogm. t. 2, l. 2, reg. 4, 5, p. 153. [back]