ere followeth the life of Saint Gaius.
That time when Diocletian and Maximian reigned emperors, Gaius, that was pope of Rome, called and made to assemble all the christian people together, and said to them: Our Lord hath ordained two degrees or states to them that believe on him, that is to wit, confessors and martyrs. And therefore if some of you be fearful and in doubt that they shall not mowe suffer martyrdom, let them ever have true and very confession and be steadfast in the faith, and go must they with Cromatius and Tiburtius for to save themselves. And they that are willing for to abide with me within this city, in the name of God let them abide, for the separation of the persons in far countries may not separate that the divine charity hath assembled. Then escried to him Tiburtius saying: Holy father, I beseech thee that thou leave me not to turn my back, fearing the persecutors. For to me it shall be great joy and comfort to suffer bodily death, for to get and enjoy life eternal. When Saint Gaius saw the faith of Tiburtius and his constant courage he began to weep for joy. There abode with him Marcellius, Mark their father, Tranquilinus, Sebastian, Tiburtius and Saint Nicostratus, with him his brother Castor and his wife Zoe, also Claudian and Victorian hii brother, with them his son Symphorian. The bishop ordained unto deacons Saint Mark and Marcellius and made priest Tranquilinus. He did ordain Saint Sebastian defensor of the Church, and the others he ordained and made subdeacons. Night and day they were continually in great devotion, fasting, weeping and saying their prayers and orisons, and devoutly prayed our Lord that of his benign grace he would make them able and worthy to be accompanied with the martyrs by very patience, and there by their prayers many one were healed of their sickness. Many a blind person was restored of sight, and many enemies or devils were put out from many a creature.
So as Tiburtius went through the town he saw a man that was fallen from high unto low, insomuch that he was all to-burst and broken of all his members, and men would have made his grave for to bury him. Soon Tiburtius approached and began to say Pater noster over him, fair and soft, and incontinent after, he was whole, and rendered him in to good health to his parents. And soon after, he had him aside from the people and converted and baptized him. So as Zoe was devoutly in orison and at her prayers she was taken and led by the paynims unto a statue of Mars, for to have constrained her to sacrifice to the idols. She then answered: Ye will constrain a woman for to sacrifice unto the statue of Mars for to show that your Mars delighteth and taketh his pleasure in women, and howbeit that he may do his will of the shameful Venus, neverthelatter he shall not have the victory of me, for I bear the victory of me at my forehead. Then she was taken and led into a prison right dark and much obscure; and there she was five days without sight of any light, without drink, and without meat, and without the sight and hearing of any body, but only of him that had closed or shut her therein, who often said to her: By famine, or by fault and lack of meat, thou shalt die here in tenebres or darkness if thou sacrifice not unto our mighty gods. The sixth day she was had out of prison, and hanged she was by her hairs to a high tree, and under her they made a smoke of dung and of ordure or filth, which rendered a horrible stench. And by this torment of martyrdom she expired and rendered her soul unto our Lord, confessing ever his right holy name.
After, the tyrants took the holy corpse and at the neck of it they hung a great stone, and cast it within the river of Tiber, to the end that the christians should not take it to make of it a goddess. And after that she thus had received her martyrdom, she appeared before Saint Sebastian and recounted to him how she had suffered martyrdom for the love of our Lord. The which thing, as Saint Sebastian rehearsed it to his fellows, Tranquilinus escried and said: The women precede us to the crown of glory, why live we so long?
On the seventh day after this, Tranquilinus alone, high and public, began to denounce the name of God, and anon he was taken and cast with stones, and when he had rendered his soul to God he was cast into the water of Tiber. And as Nicostratus and Claudian, with them Castor, Victorian and Symphorian were about to have out of the river of Tiber the bodies of the martyrs, they were taken and led unto the prefect or judge Fabian, which invited them to sacrifice unto the idols by the space of ten days, one time by menaces, that other time by fair words, weening to have brought them to this idolatry. But ever they were steadfast and constant in the faith, which Fabian, when he saw them so constant, he went and told it to the emperor, and the emperor commanded that they should be forthwith tormented by divers torments. But when he saw their steadfast belief, he commanded that without delay they should be cast into the midst of the sea. Anon Fabian, for to accomplish the commandment of the emperor, made to be hanged at the neck of each one of them a great stone, and thrown they were unto the bottom of the sea. Thus were consumed or ended their martyrdoms, flourishing as lilies before God, in sempiterna secula, where we all may have part. Amen.