Rev. Alban Butler (171173). Volume I: January. The Lives of the Saints. 1866.
St. Publius, Abbot near Zeugma, upon the Euphrates
HE is honoured by the Greeks. He was the son of a senator, in that city, and sold his estate, plate, and furniture, for the benefit of the poor; and lived first an hermit, afterwards governed a numerous community in the fourth age. He allowed his monks no other food than herbs and pulse, and very coarse bread; no drink but water: he forbade milk, cheese, grapes, and even vinegar, also oil, except from Easter to Whitsuntide. To put himself always in mind of advancing continually in fervour and charity, he added every day something to his exercises of penance and devotion; he was remarkably solicitous to avoid sloth, being sensible of the inestimable value of time. Alas! what would not a damned soul, what would not a suffering soul in purgatory give for one of those moments which we unthinkingly throw away. As far as the state of the blessed in heaven can admit of regret, they eternally condemn their insensibility as having lost every moment of their mortal life, which they did not improve to the utmost advantage. Theodoret tells us that the holy abbot Publius founded two congregations, the one of Greeks, the other of Syrians, each using their own tongue in the divine office: for the Greek and Chaldean were from the beginning sacred languages, or consecrated by the church in her public prayers. St. Publius flourished about the year 369. See Theodoret, Philoth. c. 5. Rosweide, l. 6. c. 7. Chatel. Mart. Univ. p. 886. among the Aemeres, or saints who are not commemorated on any particular day.