Martyr Urban

Saint Urban suffered martyrdom with his brothers Epolonius and Prilidian, their mother Christodoula, and the hieromartyr Babylas in the reign of the emperor Decius (249-251).

The three young brothers were put on trial with Bishop Babylas, remaining with him even in this difficult moment. Seeing them, the emperor asked, “Who are these children? “

“These are my spiritual children,” the saint replied, “and I have raised them in piety, I have given them an education, cultivated them with guidance, and here in a small body before you are these great young men and perfect Christians. Test them and see.”

The emperor tried in all sorts of ways to entice the youths and their mother Christodoula to renounce Christ, but in vain. Then, in a rage, he ordered each of them to be whipped with a number of blows corresponding to their age. The first received twelve blows, the second, ten, and the third, seven. Dismissing the mother and children, the torturer again summoned the bishop, telling him that the children had renounced Christ. He did not believe this lie, however.

Then he commanded all the martyrs be tied to a tree and burned with fire. Seeing the stoic bravery of the saints, the emperor finally condemned them to be beheaded with the sword.