Saints Maxima, Donatilla, and Secunda
|Born||c. 240s CE|
Thuburbo Maius, Roman Province of Africa (modern-day Tunisia)
|Venerated in|| Eastern Orthodox Church |
Roman Catholic Church
The Three virgins of Tuburga were a group of young women who were executed for being Christians around 257 AD, in what was Roman-era Tunisia.
Traditionally named Maxima, Donatilla, and Secunda, the trio are venerated as saints in the Orthodox Churchand in the Catholic Church. They are remembered in both churches on 30 July.
The three young women were martyred under Emperor Valerian's persecution in the 3rd century.It is also possible they were executed under Diocletian given the dates Proconsul Anullinus was procurator.
They are among the few named victims of this widespread persecution, and the primary source on them in John Foxe who records that they "had gall and vinegar given them to drink, were then severely scourged, tormented on a gibbet, rubbed with lime, scorched on a gridiron, worried by wild beasts, and at length beheaded".
Maxima, aged 14, and Donatilla were residents of Tuburga a Roman colony in Africa Proconsularis,six miles southwest of Carthage. When an edict was issued for the townsfolk to sacrifice to the Roman gods the girls refused, after which they were tried and sentenced by Proconsul Anullinus. At some stage during their imprisonment, the pair met Secunda, aged 12. It is assumed that she was arrested separately, since she is not mentioned in the proconsular interview.
Tradition holds that despite the older two girls trying to convince Secunda to recant – as she was much younger and the only child of an aged father – she refused. According to their vitae, the girls were subsequently tortured, and exposed to wild animals which failed to attack them. The order was eventually given to behead them.
The girls are considered saints in both Eastern and Western Christianity, with a feast day celebrated on 30 July. They are sometimes mistaken for Perpetua and Felicitas, who were from another town, Thuburbo Majus.
The Emperor Valerian was later captured in battle by the Parthians and reputedly flayed, causing the belief among some in the Church in North Africa to claim it was divine retribution for his actions against the martyrs.
Pope Sixtus II was the Pope or Bishop of Rome from 31 August 257 until his death on 6 August 258. He was martyred along with seven deacons, including Lawrence of Rome during the persecution of the Catholic Church by Emperor Valerian. According to the Liber Pontificalis, he was born in Greece and was a philosopher; however, this is uncertain, and is disputed by modern western historians arguing that the authors of Liber Pontificalis confused him with that of the contemporary author Xystus, who was a Greek student of Pythagoreanism. He restored the relations with the African and Eastern churches which had been broken off by his predecessor on the question of heretical baptism raised by the heresy Novatianism.
Pope Stephen I was the Bishop of Rome of the Roman Catholic Church from 12 May 254 to his death in 257. Of Roman birth but of Greek ancestry, he became bishop after serving as archdeacon of Pope Lucius I, who appointed Stephen his successor.
The 300s decade ran from January 1, 300, to December 31, 309.
Year 305 (CCCV) was a common year starting on Monday of the Julian calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Constantius and Valerius. The denomination 305 for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.
The 250s decade ran from January 1, 250, to December 31, 259.
Cyprian was bishop of Carthage and a notable Early Christian writer of Berber descent, many of whose Latin works are extant. He is also recognised as a saint in the Christian churches. He was born around the beginning of the 3rd century in North Africa, perhaps at Carthage, where he received a classical education. Soon after converting to Christianity, he became a bishop in 249. A controversial figure during his lifetime, his strong pastoral skills, firm conduct during the Novatianist heresy and outbreak of the Plague of Cyprian, and eventual martyrdom at Carthage established his reputation and proved his sanctity in the eyes of the Church. His skillful Latin rhetoric led to his being considered the pre-eminent Latin writer of Western Christianity until Jerome and Augustine.
July 29 - Eastern Orthodox Church calendar - July 31
Martina of Rome was a Roman martyr under emperor Alexander Severus. A patron saint of Rome, she was martyred in 226, according to some authorities, more probably in 228, under the pontificate of Pope Urban I, according to others. Her feast day is January 30.
In addition to Quadratus of Athens, there are several Christian saints with the name Quadratus :
Saints Protus and Hyacinth were Christian martyrs during the persecution of Emperor Valerian. Protus' name is sometimes spelled Protatius, Proteus, Prothus, Prote, and Proto. His name was corrupted in England as Saint Pratt. Hyacinth is sometimes called by his Latin name Hyacinthus.
Saint Eugenia was an early Christian Roman martyr whose feast day is celebrated on December 25 in the Roman Catholic Church, on December 24 in the Eastern Orthodox Church, and on January 23 in the Armenian Apostolic Church. She is included in the Golden Legend.
Saint Crispina was a martyr of Africa who suffered during the Diocletian persecution. She was born at Thagara in North Africa. She died by beheading at Theveste, in Numidia.
Saints Cyprian and Justina are honored in the Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox Church and Oriental Orthodoxy as Christians of Antioch, who in 304, during the persecution of Diocletian, suffered martyrdom at Nicomedia on September 26. According to Roman Catholic sources, no Bishop of Antioch bore the name of Cyprian.
Saint Julia of Corsica, also known as Saint Julia of Carthage, and more rarely Saint Julia of Nonza, was a virgin martyr who is venerated as a Christian saint. The date of her death is most probably on or after AD 439. She and Saint Devota are the patron saints of Corsica in the Catholic Church. Saint Julia was declared a patroness of Corsica by the Church on August 5, 1809; Saint Devota, on March 14, 1820. Both were martyred in pre-Christian Corsica under Roman rule. Julia's feast day is May 22 in the Roman liturgical calendar.
Rufina and Secunda were Roman virgin-martyrs and Christian saints. Their feast day is celebrated on 10 July.
Persecution of Christians in the Roman Empire occurred intermittently over a period of over two centuries between the Great Fire of Rome in 64 AD under Nero and the Edict of Milan in 313 AD, in which the Roman Emperors Constantine the Great and Licinius legalised the Christian religion.
Rictius Varus was a Vicarius in Roman Gaul at the end of the 3rd century, around the time of the Diocletianic Persecution. The Roman Martyrology contains many references to the prefect Rixius Varus, who is said to have persecuted hundreds of Christians. In Christian hagiography he later repented and became a Christian martyr himself, and is regarded a Saint in the Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches, with his feast day on July 6.
The Martyrs of Abitinae were a group of 49 Christians found guilty, in 304, during the reign of the Emperor Diocletian, of having illegally celebrated Sunday worship at Abitinae, a town in the Roman province of Africa. The town is frequently referred to as Abitina, but the form indicated in the Annuario Pontificio is Abitinae. The plural form Abitinae is that which Saint Augustine of Hippo used when writing his De baptismo in 400 or 401.
Saint Engratia is venerated as a virgin martyr and saint. Tradition states that she was martyred with eighteen companions in 303 AD. She should not be confused with the 8th-century Spanish martyr of the same name.
Justin the Confessor was a Christian martyr in the Roman Empire. He is honoured as a saint by the Roman Catholic Church.