Martyr Theodotus of Ancyra (303)
A secret Christian living in Ancyra, he would recover the bodies of the martyrs and give them honorable burial: it was he who buried the holy relics of the Virgin Martyrs Tecusa and her seven companions (May 8). When he was discovered by the pagan authorites, they seized him, tortured him and finally beheaded him.
Hieromartyr Marcellinus, pope of Rome (304)
“When the Emperor Diocletian summoned him and threatened him with torture, he offered sacrifice to idols and was, because of this, rewarded by the Emperor with a costly garment. But Marcellinus repented bitterly and began to weep both day and night for his rejection of Christ, even as the Apostle Peter had before him. A synod of bishops was held at that time in Campania, and the Pope dressed himself in sackcloth and sprinkled ashes on his head, and, going before the Synod, confessed his sin and asked them to judge him. The fathers said: ‘Let him judge himself.’ Then he said: ‘I strip myself of the sacerdotal rank of which I am not worthy; and, further, let my body not be buried after my death, but let it be thrown to the dogs.’ Having said this, he pronounced a curse on any who should dare to bury him. He then went to the Emperor Diocletian and, casting the precious garment in front of him, confessed his faith in Christ and cursed the idols. The enraged Emperor ordered that he be tortured and killed outside the city, together with three other men: Claudius, Cyrinus and Antoninus. The bodies of these three were buried at once, but the Pope’s body lay there for thirty-six days. Then St Peter appeared to Marcellus, the new Pope, and told him to bury Marcellinus’ body, saying: ‘Whoso humbleth himself shall be exalted.’ ” (Prologue)
St Daniel of Skete in Egypt (5th c.)
He was a disciple of St Arsenios the great and abbot of the Scetis in Egypt (the monastic system known as the “Skete” takes its name from Scetis). He lived the communal monastic life for forty years, then in 420 retired to the desert, where he remained until his repose.
From the Prologue: “A saint has a very sensitive conscience. What ordinary people may consider a small sin, a saint sees as a great crime. It is said of Abba Daniel that highwaymen attacked him on three occasions and took him off to the mountains. Twice he was rescued, but the third time, in attempting to escape, he struck one of them with a stone and killed him, and then made his escape. That murder lay on his conscience like a lead weight. In perplexity as to what he should do, he went to Timothy, the Patriarch of Alexandria, and asked his advice. The Patriarch soothed him, and released him from all penance. But his conscience continued to gnaw at him, and he went to Rome, to the Pope. The Pope gave him the same reply as had the Patriarch. Still dissatisfied, Daniel visited the remaining patriarchs in turn; going to Constantinople, Antioch and Jerusalem, confessing to each of them and asking for advice. But he could find no peace. So he returned home to Alexandria and declared himself to the authorities as a murderer, and was flung into prison. At his trial before the governor, Daniel told how everything had come about, and pleaded that he might be killed too, that his soul might be saved from eternal fire. The governor was amazed at the whole thing, and said to him: ‘Go your way, Father, and pray to God for me, even if you kill seven more!’ Still dissatisfied with this, Daniel resolved to take a leper into his cell and care for him until he died, and then find another. He did as he had resolved, and in this way brought peace to his conscience.”