31 Jan

Through her works and example, some unbelievers embraced the faith

Martina, a Roman girl of illustrious family, lost her parents at a very early age and generously distributed her huge fortune among the poor.

In the reign of Emperor Alexander, she was ordered to sacrifice to the false gods and vigorously denounced this loathsome crime.

Because of this, she was tortured in different ways and finally condemned to the beasts in the amphitheatre.

St Martina received divine help

After escaping from them unharmed through divine help, she was thrown on a burning pyre, and again sustained no injury. Some of her torturers, amazed with the fresh wonder of the miracle, embraced the faith of Christ and won the palm of martyrdom. God performed many miracles through Martina’s prayers, which intensely annoyed the judge, who was angered by the virgin’s constancy and ordered her to be beheaded.

This happened in the reign of Pope St Urban I. In the reign of Pope Urban VIII, Martina’s body and the bodies of the Martyrs Concordius, Epiphanius, and their companions were discovered in the old church in her honour near the Mamertine Prison. Later, the church was handsomely restored and her body was solemnly reinterred amid the rejoicing of the whole city.

– From: An Approved English Translation of the Breviarium Romanum, Burns & Oates, London, 1964





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