Martyr Quadratus and the rest of Nicomedia

The Holy Martyrs Quadratus of Nicomedia, Saturinus, Rufinus and others suffered during the persecutions of the emperor Decius (249-251) and his successor Valerian (253-259).

St Quadratus was descended from an illustrious family. Possessing considerable wealth, the saint did not spare his means in helping fellow Christians, languishing in prison for the faith.

When the envoy of the impious Decius, the proconsul Perennius, arrived in Nicomedia, St Quadratus voluntarily appeared before him, in order to strengthen the courage of the imprisoned brethren by his self-sacrificing decision. At first Perennius attempted to lure Quadratus from Christ, promising him rewards and honors. Then, seeing the futility of his attempts, he cast the saint into prison and gave orders to lay him down on a bed of nails and to lay a large stone on him.

Setting out for Nicea, the proconsul commanded that all the imprisoned Christians be brought after him. In that number was St Quadratus. Upon arriving in the city, St Quadratus implored that they be led to the pagan temple. As soon as they untied his hands and feet, he began to overturn and destroy the idols. By order of the proconsul, they gave Quadratus over to torture. Enduring terrible torments, the saint held firm in spirit and by his act encouraged the other martyrs, whose wounds were seared with burning candles.

During the suffering of the martyrs, suddenly there shone a brilliant cloud, but the pagans found themselves in total darkness. In the ensuing silence was heard the singing of angels glorifying God. Many of those present confessed themselves Christians. Perennius ascribed the miracle to sorcery, and gave orders to take them to prison.

From Nicea the martyrs walked behind the proconsul to Apamea, then to Caesarea, Apollonia and the Hellespont, where they tortured them in all sorts of ways, hoping to make them deny Christ.

They tied St Quadratus into a sack filled with poisonous serpents, and threw it into a deep pit. On the following morning, everyone was astonished to see the martyr whole and unharmed. When they began to beat him mercilessly, two noblemen, Saturinus and Rufinus, were moved with pity for the martyr. This was observed, and Saturinus and Rufinus were beheaded.

Perennius subjected the martyr to even more fierce and refined tortures, but was not able to break his spirit. The saint lost his strength and was hardly able to move. For the last time the proconsul urged the martyr to abjure Christ. Marshalling his strength, the saint firmly replied, “Since childhood I have acknowledged Christ as the one and only God, and I know no other.”

The proconsul gave orders to light the fire, make the iron grate red-hot and throw the martyr on it. Having blessed himself with the Sign of the Cross, St Quadratus laid himself down upon the red-hot couch as upon a soft bed, emerging unharmed from the flames. In frustration, the proconsul gave orders to behead St Quadratus.