Adrian of Nicomedia, a Christian saint, was a praetorian guard of the emperor Galerius Maximian, who, becoming a convert to Christianity, was martyred at Nicomedia on the March 4, 303 or 304. It is said that while presiding over the torture of a band of Christians he asked them what reward they expected to receive from God. They replied, "Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him" (I Corinthians 2:9). He was so amazed at their courage that he publicly confessed his faith. He was imprisoned, and the next day his limbs were struck off on an anvil, and he was then beheaded, dying in his wife's, Saint Natalia of Nicomedia's, arms. After he was killed, Adrian and several other martyrs were taken to be burned. When they began to burn their bodies, a thunderstorm arose and the furnace was extinguished; lightning killed several of the executioners. Later, Christians took Adrian's body and buried him on the outskirts of Byzantium.
Saint Adrian shares a feast day with his wife September 8; he also has feast days alone on March 4 and August 26. He is patron of soldiers, arms dealers, butchers and communications phenomena, and is much revered in Flanders, Germany and the north of France. He is usually represented armed, with an anvil in his hands or at his feet.