Déardaoin, Aibreán 10, 2008

Virgin Martyr Rollcall

St Lucy:

Born: Doesn't matter
Died: 304 AD

"Hereupon our saint disclosed to her mother her desire of devoting herself to God in a state of perpetual virginity, and of bestowing her fortune on the poor: and Eutychia, in gratitude, left her at full liberty to pursue her pious inclinations. The young nobleman, with whom the mother had treated about marrying her, came to understand this by the sale of her jewels and goods, and the distribution of the price among the poor, and in his rage accused her before the governor Paschasius as a Christian, the persecution of Diocletian then raging with the utmost fury. The judge commanded the holy virgin to be exposed to prostitution in a brothel" house; but God rendered her immovable, so that the guards were not able to carry her thither. He also made her an over-match for the cruelty of the persecutors, in overcoming fire and other torments. After a long and glorious combat she died in prison of the wounds she had received,—about the year 304. She was honoured at Rome in the sixth century among the most illustrious virgins and martyrs, whose triumphs the church celebrates,"

St Agatha
Born: It doesn't fucking matter
Died: About 251 AD

"According to these Acts, the Praetor of Sicily, Quintianus, conceived a passion for Agatha, who was of noble birth and great beauty. And when he could not make her consent to his wicked desires, he had her arrested as a Christian and turned her over to an evil woman, named Aphrodisia, to be corrupted. Of such methods of breaking down Christian hardihood, Tertullian wrote to pagans: Ye, by condemning the Christian maid to the lewd youth, rather than to the brute lion, do acknowledge that we more dread a stain to purity than any torment or death; but your cruel cunning availeth only to gain men over to our holy religion.

But the companionship of Aphrodisia in the brothel made Agatha only the more determined to live faithful to Christ. So the Praetor ordered her brought before him that he might try to turn her from Christian living, which he declared to be fit only for slaves. Then the Praetor gave her the choice of sacrificing to the gods or undergoing torture. And when beatings, the rack and branding with white-hot metal failed to shake her constancy to Christ, he ordered her breasts cut off. Whereat Agatha cried out and said that he who had suckled at a mother's breasts should feel shame to order such cruel indignity done to a woman. But that night, after she had been returned in irons and pain to prison, the Apostle Peter appeared to her and healed her wounds.

The following day she was subjected to new tortures. But an earthquake from Mount Etna, shook the town and terrified the people. Whereupon the Praetor, fearing a riot, ordered Agatha to be returned quietly to prison. And there, in the town of Catania, she died at peace, in prayer, on February 5th, and her body was taken and buried by Christians."


St Agnes

Died: About 303

"Agnes, whose name means “chaste” in Greek, was a beautiful young girl of wealthy family and therefore had many suitors of high rank. Details of her story are unreliable, but legend holds that the young men, slighted by Agnes' resolute devotion to religious purity, submitted her name to the authorities as a follower of Christianity.

The governor, following an edict against Christians issued in 303 by the Roman emperor Diocletian, threatened the young girl with torture. The threats did not intimidate the steadfast Agnes , however, and the enraged official sent her to a house of prostitution. Approaching her, the brothel's patrons would be seized with such awe at the holy sight of the girl that they could not touch her. One brazen young man remained undeterred, but as he neared her he was struck blind and fell to the ground; Agnes later restored his sight with prayer.

The governor, incensed by her youthful defiance, sentenced Agnes to an untimely death. It is not known whether the execution was by beheading or by the piercing of the throat, but the story tells of her ready submission to the sentence by offering herself to receive the death blow. According to St. Ambrose, one of her chroniclers, she “went to the place of execution more cheerfully than others go to their wedding.”


St Marciana
Died: "End of the third Century"

Entering the city by the Tipasia door, Marciana saw a marble statue of the goddess Diana in the middle of a square. At its feet flowed clear waters in a pool also made of marble. The brave virgin could not bear the sight of that impure idol. She stepped forward and threw the idol from its base, broke its head and smashed the entire statue into pieces.

A furious mob dragged her to the Pretorium before an imperial magistrate. The Christian virgin laughed at the stone and wood gods, and glorified the true God she adored. In loud, eloquent words, she praised Him there in the Pretorium. The pagan judge handed her over to the gladiators to be infamously abused at their pleasure. Marciana remained fearless and serene. For three hours the gladiators were rendered immobile by an unknown terror, and were unable to touch the virgin. Through her prayers one of them converted and professed Jesus Christ as the true God.

Confused by this development of events, the judge remained firm in his hatred. Unable to dishonor the virgin, he condemned her to be torn to pieces by wild beasts. When the hour arrived, she entered the arena as to a joyful feast, giving praise and thanks to Jesus Christ. She was tied to a stake and a lion was set upon her. The beast, however, approached her, touched her breast with its claws, and then retired as though moved by a stronger force.

St. Marciana was not harmed by the lion in the arena
In admiration, the populace called out loudly demanding that she be set free. But a group of Jews who were part of the multitude, always thirsty for Christian blood, changed the mood of the crowd by calling for a wild bull. The beast gored the breast of Marciana opening a terrible wound. The blood poured out and St. Marciana fell to the sand in agony. Servants removed her from the arena, stopped the hemorrhaging, and nurtured what little life remained to her.

The judge, however, called for her to be tied to the stake again. She raised her eyes to Heaven, a smile illuminating her face marked by suffering, and spoke her last words:

O Christ, I adore and love Thee. Thou wert with me in the prison and kept me pure. Now Thou dost call me – O my Divine Master – and I go happily to Thee. Receive my soul.

After she spoke these words, a ferocious leopard tore her apart, opening the road of Heaven to her


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