Following the death of his wealthy parents, Lucian gave away his possessions, and studied rhetoric, philosophy, and Scripture at Edessa. He lived as a hermit briefly in his youth and was later ordained in Antioch. He was head of a school of theology in Antioch; one of his students was Arius, founder of Arianism. He may have been excommunicated himself at one point, but later came back to full communion with the Church.
He was arrested in Nicomedia during the persecutions of Diocletian, and spent nine years in prison. Dragged before the emperor as an example, he struggled to his feet and gave a great defence of the faith. He thrown back in the cells, given no food or water for days, then hauled before the tribunal and interrogated; he answered all questions with "I am a Christian." He was tortured, starved, and run through with a sword in 312 at Nicomedia