St. Martina (VM), Feast 30 January

St. Martina (VM), Feast 30 January

St. Martina (VM), Feast 30 January: Roman virgin, martyred in 226, according to some authorities, more probably in 228, under the pontificate of Pope Urban I, according to others. The daughter of an ex-consul and left an orphan at an early age, she so openly testified to her Christian faith that she could not escape the persecutions under Alexander Severus. Arrested and commanded to return to idolatry, she courageously refused, whereupon she was subjected to various tortures and was finally beheaded. The accounts of her martyrdom which we possess belong to a late period.

The relics of St. Martina were discovered on 25 Oct., 1634, in a crypt of an ancient church situated near Mamertine prison and dedicated to the saint. Urban VIII, who occupied the Holy Roman see at that time, had the church repaired and composed the hymns which are sung at her office on 30 January.

One legend is that when she was beheaded, her body bled milk, which led to her patronage of nursing mothers.

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