Patron Saint of Converts & Refugees
Saint Alban was a pagan who converted
and became the first English martyr for his convictions.
Alban is represented by a sword and a fountain - when he reached
the summit where he was to be beheaded, he prayed for water
to quench his thirst and a spring appeared immediately at his
sheltered a fugitive Christian priest and was converted and
baptized him. Soldiers in pursuit of the priest were sent to
search Alban's home. Alban dressed in the priest's garments and
cloak and delivered himself up to be killed instead of the
priest. He was arrested and after refusing to offer sacrifice to
idols was taken before the magistrate, who was furious at the
deception and ordered that Alban be given the punishment due to
the priest if he had indeed become Christian.
The judge who was in the process
of sacrificing to idols asked "What is your family and your
race?" Alban replied, "How does my family concern you? If
you wish to know the truth about my religion, know that I am a
Christian and am ready to do a Christian's duty." The judge
demanded, "I demand to know your name. Tell me at once."
Alban declared, "My parents named me Alban and I worship and
adore the living and true God who created all things."
The judge ordered that Alban be
flogged for his refusal to sacrifice to idols. Seeing that the
flogging was not going to get Alban to recant the judge ordered
The executioner was so impressed
with Alban's faith that he also converted to Christianity on the
way to the execution, and refused to kill Alban. Another
executioner was quickly found, and both he and Alban were
beheaded. The second executioner's eyes fell out after the
execution. The judge called a halt to further executions after
witnessing the miracles prior to and following Alban's execution
and became a Christian himself. Thereby, Alban became the first
British Christian martyr.