Tiburtius, Valerian, and Maximus

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Saints Cecilia, Valerian, and Tiburtius by Botticini CeciliaValerianTiburtius.jpg
Saints Cecilia, Valerian, and Tiburtius by Botticini
Amico Aspertini: Burial of Saints Valerian and Tiburtius Amico Aspertini, Oratorio di Santa Cecilia, Burial of Valerian and Tiburtius.jpg
Amico Aspertini: Burial of Saints Valerian and Tiburtius

Saints Tiburtius, Valerian, and Maximus are three Christian martyrs who were buried on 14 April of some unspecified year in the Catacombs of Praetextatus on the Via Appia near Rome. [1]

According to the legendary Acts of Saint Cecilia, a mid-fifth-century Acts of the Martyrs composition that has no historical value, [2] [3] Valerian was the husband of Saint Cecilia, Tiburtius his brother, and Maximus, a soldier or official who was martyred with these two. [2] The story was retold by Chaucer. [4] Devotional publications make the story more credible by simplifying it. [5]

The three martyrs were traditionally honoured with a joint feast day on 14 April, as shown in the Tridentine calendar. The 1969 revision of the General Roman Calendar removed this celebration, since the only thing really known about them is the historical fact of their burial in the Catacombs of Praetextatus. However, it allowed them to be honoured in local calendars. [1]

The 2001 decree of promulgation of the revised Roman Martyrology declared: "In accordance with the Constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council on the Sacred Liturgy, 'the accounts of martyrdom or the lives of the saints are to accord with the facts of history' (art. 92 c), the names of saints included in the Martyrology and their notices have to be subjected more carefully than before to the judgement of historical study." [6]

Accordingly, the revised Roman Martyrology now merely states, under 14 April: "At Rome, in the cemetery of Praetextatus on the Appian Way, Saints Tiburtius, Valerian and Maximus, martyrs." [7]

The Eastern Orthodox Church honors them together with Saint Cecilia on 22 November. [8]

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  1. 1 2 Calendarium Romanum (Libreria Editrice Vaticana 1969), p. 120
  2. 1 2 Johann Peter Kirsch, "St. Cecilia" in Catholic Encyclopedia (New York 1908)
  3. Our Sunday Visitor's Encyclopedia of Saints
  4. Karen Anne Winstead, Chaste Passions: Medieval English Virgin Martyr Legends (Cornell University Press 2000) ISBN   978-0-8014-8557-2 , pp. 49–60
  5. A. J. M. & J. K. Mousolfe, Saint Companions for Each Day (St Pauls BYB, 1986), p. 137
  6. Decree Victoriam paschalem Christi of 29 June 2001, pp. 5–6 of Martyrologium Romanum 2004
  7. Romae in coemeterio Praetextati via Appia, sanctorum Tiburtii, Valeriani et Maximi, martyrum: Martyrologium Romanum (Typis Vaticanis 2004 ISBN   978-88-209-7210-3), p. 235
  8. The Holy Martyress Cecelia (Cesilia) and the Holy Martyrs Valerian, Tiburtius and Maximus