St. Esperius and his wife St Zoe were slaves of a rich Roman named Catalus, who lived during the reign of the Emperor Hadrian at Attalia, a town of Pamphylia in Asia Minor (Turkey). Though born Christian, they were negligent in their practice of the Faith.
However, they took great care to ensure that their two sons, Cyriacus and Theodulus, led a noble life of Christian virtue.
Put to shame for their religious indifference by the example of their children, they refused to accept food offered to the gods, which their master sent them on the occasion of the birth of his son.
Thereupon they were arrested and, when put to trial, made a bold confession of their faith and refused to venerate the Master’s gods.
As a result, their sons were first subjected to torture in their presence, in the hope that the parents would yield to the pressures and thus renounce their faith. But neither of the two would renounce Christ. Infuriated, Catulus had them roasted to death in a furnace.
Justinian built a church in Constantinople dedicated to St Zoe — presumably to contain her remains — but some of the relics of both these martyrs appear to have been translated to Clermont, where they are still venerated.