The Hieromartyr Lucian, Presbyter of Antioch, was born in the Syrian city
of Samosata. At twelve years of age he was left orphaned. Lucian distributed his possessions to the poor, and went to the
city of Edessa to the confessor Macarius, under the guidance of whom he diligently read Holy Scripture and learned the ascetic
life. For his pious and zealous spreading of Christianity among the Jews and pagans, Lucian was made a presbyter.
In Antioch Saint Lucian opened a school where many students gathered. He
taught them how to understand the Holy Scriptures, and how to live a virtuous life. Saint Lucian occupied himself with teaching,
and he corrected the Greek text of the Septuagint, which had been corrupted in many places by copyists and by heretics who
deliberately distorted it in order to support their false teachings. The entire Greek text of the Bible which he corrected
was hidden in a wall at the time of his confession of Christ, and it was found during the lifetime of Saint Constantine the
During the persecution of Diocletian, Saint Lucian was
arrested and was sent to prison in Nicomedia, where for nine years he encouraged other Christians with him to remain steadfast
in their confession of Christ, urging them not to fear tortures or death.
Saint Lucian died in prison from many terrible tortures and from hunger. Before his death, he wished to partake of
the Holy Mysteries of Christ on the Feast of Theophany. Certain Christians who visited him brought bread and wine for the
Eucharist. The hieromartyr, bound by chains and lying on a bed of sharp potsherds, was compelled to offer the Bloodless Sacrifice
upon his chest, and all the Christians there in prison received Communion. The next day the emperor sent people to see if
the saint was still alive. Saint Lucian said three times, “I am a Christian,” then surrendered his soul to God.
The body of the holy martyr was thrown into the sea, but after thirty days dolphins brought it to shore. Believers reverently
buried the body of the much-suffering Saint Lucian.
was originally commemorated on January 7, the day of his death. Later, when the celebration of the Synaxis of Saint John the
Baptist was appointed for this day, the feast of Saint Lucian was transferred to October 15.
The October date may be associated with the dedication of a church which was built in Antioch by
Saint Helen (May 21) over Saint Lucian’s holy relics.
he was only a priest, sometimes Saint Lucian is depicted in the vestments of a bishop. The Stroganov Guide for Iconographers
was published in Russia in 1869, based on a 1606 manuscript. There Saint Lucian is depicted wearing a phelonion and holding
a Gospel. He does not wear the omophorion of a bishop, however. Another handbook, the Litsevoy Podlinnik, states that Saint
Lucian is to be depicted with the omophorion.
It may be that
the Russians thought of Saint Lucian as a bishop because of his importance to the Church, and so that is how they depicted
him. Similarly, Saint Charalampus (February 10) is depicted as a priest in Greek icons, and as a bishop in Russian icons.