THESE two martyrs were brothers, and lived in Rome, toward the latter part of the third century, for many years, mutually encouraging each other in the practice of all good works. They seemed to possess nothing but for the poor, and often spent both nights and days with the confessors in their dungeons, or at the places of their torments and execution. Some they encouraged to perseverance, others, who had fallen, they raised again, and they made themselves the servants of all in Christ, that all might attain to salvation through Him.
Though their zeal was most remarkable, they had escaped the dangers of many bloody persecutions, and were grown old in the heroic exercises of virtue, when it pleased God to crown their labors with a glorious martyrdom. The pagans raised so great an outcry against them that they were both apprehended and put in chains. They were inhumanly scourged, and then sent to a town twelve miles from Rome to be farther chastised, as avowed enemies to the gods. There they were cruelly tortured, first both together, afterward separately. But the grace of God strengthened them, and they were at length both beheaded on the 9th of June.
Reflection.—A soul which truly loves God regards all the things of this world as nothing. The loss of goods, the disgrace of the world, torments, sickness, and other afflictions are bitter to the senses, but appear light to him that loves. If we cannot bear our trials with patience and silence, it is because we love God only in words. “One who is slothful and lukewarm complains of everything, and calls the lightest precepts hard,” says Thomas à Kempis.