Alexander and Epipodius

"You people follow a somber and sorrowful religion; you worship a man who was nailed to a cross, who could not endure that one enjoy all of life's pleasures, who condemns joy and is pleased to have worshippers exhausted by fasting. After all, what can one expect from a God who could not guarantee his own life."

Outside, and even in the court room the mob howled, screening the governor's path.

In the middle stood Epipodius, the target of the judge's conceit and of the persecution of the people.

This had begun through a friendship, and now it was a long story. Since when had Alexander arrived from Greece? Of what importance was it now? They were two friends to the point that nobody remembered any more when the friendship began, nor how.

To the point where Epipodius and Alexander had left everything in order to live together the life of faith.

"Too bad that a young man like yourself should perish for the defense of a bad cause. Do you take us for atheists? Do we not also have a religion and gods? Our gods love joy, banquets, the succulent pleasures of life form part of their cult."

The governor stopped talking. An enormous outcry was raised by the people.

Epipodius stood there in front of them, silent.

The school, he remembered the school, it was there that he had seen Alexander for the first time.

They had left together that night. They had come back together the next day, and were together every day thereafter.

It was a friendship, gathered in books, in games, on the roads, in the fields and on the outskirts of the city of Lyons. A friendship of the kind that is formed in adolescence, a demanding, hoping friendship. A friendship that ever seeks and does not settle down. A friendship that discovers, marvels, and lives.

There they were, young chums, and suddenly they were face to face with God. Epipodius had his head cut off, Alexander was crucified. These two saints, whom the governor reported later to be the last two Christians of Lyons, are somewhat inaccessible with their all too beautiful friendship, their faith and their flawless courage. They tower over us, lesser Christians who are not only afraid of dying, but even of living for Christ.