Saint Irenaeus of Sirmium was bishop of the Baltic city of Sirmium (Sremska Mitrovica, Serbia). During the persecution under the Roman emperor Diocletian, he was arrested and brought before the local governor. Upon refusing the governor’s repeated demands that he must offer sacrifice to the pagan gods, Irenaeus was tortured on a rack.
During this torment, he was again urged to offer sacrifice, but he remained steadfast in his refusal. His resolve was further put to the test by the impassioned pleas of his family, who urged him to yield. At length, Irenaeus was sent back to prison, where he was subjected to more harsh treatment and additional tortures in a final effort to make him apostatize. But when he was again interrogated, he was found to be as firm as ever in his determination to persevere in his faith. In the end, he was beheaded.