On this day we commemorate the martyrdom of the striving Saints Maximus, Nometius, Boctor, and Philopus. They lived in the days of Emperor Decius; in whose reign, seven young men disappeared in a mountain cave in Ephesus.
These four saints were from Africa, and they were brethren in Christian love. When Emperor Decius was torturing the Christians, they agreed together to proclaim their faith. They went to the prince and confessed that they were Christians and they worshipped Christ only.
He ordered that they be beaten, and they were
beaten many times with whips and sticks. Their backs were also
burned with red-hot rods and their bodies rubbed with bits of
rags soaked in vinegar and salt water. They did not change their
mind and some of the people present believed in the Lord Jesus
when they saw their patience and endurance. Finally the prince
ordered the heads of some of the saints to be cut off and the
sword to be used to mutilate the bodies of the others. Thereupon
they all received crowns of martyrdom.
Then the one whose name was Cleopas answered and said to Him, "Are You the only stranger in Jerusalem, and have You not known the things which happened there in these days?" And He said to them, "What things?" So they said to Him, "The things concerning Jesus of Nazareth, who was a Prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, "and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered Him to be condemned to death, and crucified Him.
"But we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel. Indeed, besides all this, today is the third day since these things happened. "Yes, and certain women of our company, who arrived at the tomb early, astonished us. "When they did not find His body, they came saying that they had also seen a vision of angels who said He was alive. And certain of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said; but Him they did not see". Then He said to them, "O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! "Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?" And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.
Then they drew near to the village where they were going, and He indicated that He would have gone farther. But they constrained Him, saying, "Abide with us, for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent". And He went in to stay with them. Now it came to pass, as He sat at the table with them, that He took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they knew Him; and He vanished from their sight" (Luke 24:13-31).
These two apostles were among the Seventy Two Apostles.