The martyrs Adrian and Natalie were married in their youth for one year prior to their martyrdom. They lived in Nicomedia during the time of the emperor Maximian (305-311). The emperor promised a reward to anyone who would inform on Christians to bring them to trial. Then the denunciations began, and 23 Christians were captured in a cave near Nicomedia. They were tortured, urged to worship idols, and then brought before the Praetor, in order to record their names and responses. Adrian, the head of the praetorium, watched as these people suffered with such courage for their faith. Seeing how firmly and fearlessly they confessed Christ, he asked: “What rewards do you expect from your God for your suffering?” The martyrs replied: “Such rewards as we are not able to describe, nor can your mind comprehend.” St. Adrian told the scribes, “Write my name down also, for I am a Christian and I die gladly for Christ God.”
You saved a treasure of great wealth, the divine and true faith. Turning away from the foolish actions of your ancestors, you followed in the steps of the Master. You were enriched with the divine gifts, O glorious Adrian, and now we seek you to be generous to us.
O Adrian, martyr of Christ, you preserved in your heart the exhortations of your pious and devoted wife. Together with her, you accepted every kind of suffering and obtained the crown of victory.
1 Corinthians 2: 6-9
Brothers and sisters: There is, to be sure, a certain wisdom which we express among the spiritually mature. It is not a wisdom of this age, however, nor of the rulers of this age, who are men headed for destruction. No, what we utter is God’s wisdom: a mysterious, a hidden wisdom. God planned it before all ages for our glory. None of the rulers of this age knew the mystery; if they had known it, they would never have crucified the Lord of glory. Of this wisdom it is written: “Eye has not seen, ear has not heard, nor has it so much as dawned on man what God has prepared for those who love him.”
Matthew 22: 15-22
At that time the Pharisees went off and began to plot how they might trap Jesus in speech. They sent their disciples to him, accompanied by Herodian sympathizers, who said: “Teacher, we know you are a truthful man and teach God’s way sincerely. You court no one’s favor and so not act out of human respect. Give us your opinion, then, in this case. Is it lawful to pay tax to the emperor or not?” Jesus recognized their bad faith and said to them, “Why are you trying to trip me up, you hypocrites? Show me the coin used for the tax.” When they handed him a small Roman coin he asked them, “Whose head is this, and whose inscription?” “Caesar’s,” they replied. At that he said to them, “Then give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, but give to God what is God’s.” Taken aback by this reply, they went off and left him.
Icon courtesy of Jack Figel, Eastern Christian Publications – ecpubs.com
Friday, August 25 –