The Persecution of Diocletian was very difficult in some regions, among which was also Scytia Minor. In spite of the fact that it was a small province in a margin of the empire, the zealous leaders of the Roman legions stationed here made that the imperial decrees agains the Christians were applied very strictly. About the end of April there are celebrated many martyrs in small towns of Scythia, such as Axiopolis (today, Cernavodă) and in the capital of Moesia Inferior, Durostorum (today, Silistra). Because of their number, the Durostorum martyrs Pasicratus and Valentine, Nicander and Marcian, Iulius the Veteran and Hesychius (died in the same year, 298, between 26 April and 8 July) together with Emilian (18 July 362), will have their own article on 28 May.
Here we will refere to another three non-soldier martyrs killed in Ozovia or Ozobia, a small village near Durostorum, on a date of 28 April. They were Maximus and Quintilian, supposedly Romans, and Dadas, probably a local (Dacian). Maximus was lecturer, that is an inferior clerical distinction given to one who used to read passages from the Bible during the divine services.
The three Christians were arrested after the proclamation of Diocletian’s edict of persecution. According to this edict it was commanded that all the people to bring sacrifices to the ancient gods, so that the secret Christians to be revealed. Some people let to know the governors of Moesia Inferion, Tarquinius and Gavinius about the fact that there were three Christians. Consequently the Christians were arrested and brought to Durostorum.
Their process followed the classical path. The governors asked them to legitimate, so that Maximus answered that he is Christian, and after the human habit he is called Maximus. It was a custom among the Christians to tell firstly their identity and only after, their names. Tarquinius asked them to bring sacrifice to the gods, but Maximus responded aggresively that the emperor was a sinner and not a god, and that there is a single God and that is Jesus Christ, the emperor of the Heaven who cares for all. The other two refused also to sacrifice, so they were sent to the prison, where an angel revealed to them their martyrical death and encouraged them. The second day they were beaten, but they have kept their faith. At the noon they were sent back to prison, and later, brought to their home village, in Ozovia, where they were beheaded. It was 28 April, probably 304.
Hymn (Sticheira) at the Vespers for the Saints
„Witnessing against the tyrants the Uncreated Trinit, you three martyrs have been killed and now you have made yourselves worthy for the unageing life and have inherited the food came from the source of life. Therefore, pray to God to bestow peace and great mercy to our souls!”