Originally from Durostorum (now Silistra in Bulgaria), in Moesia, the two holy martyrs served in the Roman army during the persecution of Diocletian. Pasicrates was twenty-two years old and Valentine was thirty. Realising that many Christians had submitted to the imperial edicts and had sacrificed to idols through fear of torture, they were seized by a divine zeal and publicly proclaimed themselves disciples of Christ, probably at the same time as Saint Julius the Veteran, one of their fellow-citizens.
Arrested on the spot, they were led before the governor Aulozanus. When a statue of Apollo was presented to Pasicrates to worship, he spat on it with disdain, proclaiming that this was the only honour of which it was worthy. They threw him into prison, where they loaded him with heavy chains, but he tenderly kissed these bonds as a precious ornament and as the means through which he would communicate in the Passion of Christ.
During a second appearance before the tribunal, his brother Papian threw himself at his feet in tears, begging him to follow his example and offer incense and only pretend to sacrifice. Pasicrates repulsed him with disdain, stating henceforth they were strangers and that he was devoid of any kinship with someone who had denied Christ. He approached the altar and, holding his hand over the fire, declared that, while his corruptible flesh might be consumed by the fire, his soul would remain incorruptible and free from the passions, so that he might inherit eternal life.
Saint Valentine was interrogated in his turn and showed the same resolution as his companion, and they were therefore both condemned to be beheaded. Pasicrates’ mother followed them to the place of execution and encouraged her son to remain firm until the end of his battle. The two saints carried off the crown of martyrdom a little time before Saints Nicander and Marcion (8 June), who were also originally from Durostorum.