St. Martina

Feast Day:
Roman Rite Calendar - 01/30

Patron Of: Nursing Mothers, Rome

    30 January
    formerly 20 January
    removed from the general calendar in 1969, but not local ones

    Wealthy daughter of a Christian Roman consul. On her parent's death, she gave away her riches to the poor and devoted herself to prayer. Tortured and martyred in the persecution of Alexander Severus for refusing to sacrifice to pagan gods. A basilica is dedicated to her at the Roman forum.

    In the time after her death there were a series of biographies and descriptions of her martyrdom written, each more extravagant that the last, and none with historical value. Assorted miracles were ascribed to her, and her story was blended with those of other early martyrs, especially Saint Prisca and Saint Tatiana of Rome. One of the writers claimed that when she was beheaded, her body bled milk, a tale that led to her patronage of nursing mothers.

    martyred in 228
    relics discovered on 25 October 1634 in a crypt near Mamertine prison at the Roman forum during a church construction project ordered by Pope Urban VIII


    nursing mothers
    Rome, Italy

All information used with permission of the Patron Saint Index.


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