St. Pontius was long believed to be an illustrious primitive martyr who suffered in the persecution of Valerian about the year 258 at Cimella, a city afterwards destroyed by the Lombards but rebuilt in modern times as Cimiez on the French Riviera, near Nice. According to his legendary history he was the son of a Roman senator, and was instructed in the Christian faith as a lad by Pope Pontian. Upon the death of his father he gave away his inheritance to the poor, devoting himself to good works. He was greatly esteemed by the Emperor Philip and by his son - both of whom he converted to Christianity. After the murder of his royal patron he fled Cimella, but was arrested as a Christian and condemned to be tortured and exposed to the wild beasts. As the creatures would not attack him, the governor ordered him to be beheaded.
Here again we find in the Roman Martyrology a name which in Alban Butler's time was reputed to be that of "an illustrious primitive martyr". On the other hand modern hagiography, as represented by the Bollandist Father Delehaye, tells us that the "acts" (printed in the Acta Sanctorum, May, vol. iii) are historically worthless and cannot be of older than the sixth century, though they pretend to have been written by a contemporary, an eye-witness of the martyrdom. Neither in this case is there any adequate evidence of early cultus. See Analecta Bollandiana, vol. xxv (1906), pp. 201-203.
Butler's Lives of The Saints, Herbert J. Thurston, S.J. and Donald Attwater
Nihil Obstat: PATRICIVS MORRIS, S.T.D., L.S.S., CENSOR DEPVTATVS.
Imprimatur: E. MORROGH BERNARD, VICARIVS GENERALIS
WESTMONASTERII: DIE XXIII FEBRVARII MCMLIII