On August 12, 304, during the persecution of Diocletian at Catania, Sicily, a deacon named Euplius was brought to the governor’s hall and staunchly professed his faith. With the Book of Gospels in his hand, he was called before the governor Calvisian and commanded to read from it. The Saint read the passage: “Blessed are they who suffer persecution for justice’ sake, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.”
Eulpius then read the passage: “If anyone will come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me. “ questioned by the governor as to what this meant, the youth replied: “It is the lay of my Lord, which has been delivered to me.” Calvisian asked: “By whom?” Euplius relied: “By Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God.” With that, the governor ordered that he be led away to be tortured.
At the height of his torment, Euplius was asked if he still persisted in his Christianity. He answered: “What I said before, I say again: I am a Christian and I read the Sacred Scriptures.” He added that he would never give up the Scriptures and preferred death to life on earth, for he would thereby obtain eternal life. The governor realized that Euplius was firm in his refusal to adore the pagan gods, so he ordered him to be put to death. With the Book of Gospels hung around his neck, St. Euplius was led to the place of execution an beheaded—praising God all the while.