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Diocletian There was a heathen emperor named Diocletian who was chosen to be emperor over all the earth though he was a destroyer of men two hundred and eighty-six years after Christs incarnation and he reigned twenty years a cruel murderer so that he killed and bade kill all the Christians whom he could find out and burned churches and robbed the innocent and this impious persecution spread unceasingly over all the earth fully ten years until it came also even to England and there killed many who believed in Christ One of these was Alban the noble martyr who was likewise killed in that persecution for Christs faith even as we shall tell you here In those days came the murderous persecution to England from the wicked emperor and the murderers seized the Christians everywhere with exceeding fury then a priest escaped from them who ran secretly to Albans house and there lay hid from his fierce persecutors and Alban received him though he was not baptized Then began the priest forasmuch as he loved God to sing his offices and fast strictly and day and night to praise his Lord and meanwhile to teach the true faith to the honorable Alban until he believed in the true God and renounced heathenism and became verily a Christian and exceeding full of faith Then the priest dwelt with the honorable man until the magistrate who persecuted the Christians discovered him there and with great wrath commanded him to be fetched before him speedily Then came the messengers to Albans house but Alban went out unto the persecutors with the priests cloak as if he were he and would not betray him to the wicked persecutors He was therefore bound and brought straightway to the impious judge where he was offering to his gods the devilish sacrifices with
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