According to their Acts, Gervasius and Protasius were the twin sons of martyrs. Their father Saint Vitalis of Milan, a man of consular dignity, suffered martyrdom at Ravenna, possibly under Nero. The mother Saint Valeria died for her faith at Milan. Gervasius and Protasius were imprisoned, and visited in prison by Saint Nazarius.
The sons are said to have large hands and had been scourged and then beheaded, during the reign of the Emperor Nero, under the presidency of Anubinus or Astasius, and while Caius was Bishop of Milan.
The Martyrology says:
At Milan, the holy martyrs Gervasius and Protasius, brothers. The former, by order of the judge Astasius, was so long scourged with leaded whips, that he expired. The latter, after being scourged with rods, was beheaded. Through divine revelation their bodies were found by St. Ambrose. They were partly covered with blood, and as free from corruption as if they had been put to death that very day. When the translation took place, a blind man recovered his sight by touching their relics, and many persons possessed by demons were delivered.