ST BIBIANA, VIRGIN AND MARTYR – MEMORIAL: DECEMBER 2
Bibiana, a Roman virgin born of distinguished parentage, was raised to greater distinction through the Christian faith. Under Julian the Apostate, her parents, Flavian and Dafrosa, underwent martyrdom. Then Bibiana and her sister Demetria, despoiled of their property and tried with blandishments and threats by Apronian, Praetor of Rome, so that they should swerve from the true faith, prayed incessantly that they might escape the wickedness of the Praetor.
THEY PRAYED INCESSANTLY
During the ordeal, Demetria suddenly collapsed under the very eyes of Bibiana, and died in the Lord. Bibiana, however, was then handed over to Rufina, a very wicked woman, to be seduced, but having bravely withstood the viles of the woman, she mocked the cunning of the Praetor. At his order, she was cut to pieces by leaden whips until she gave up her life. Her holy body was cast to the dogs for two days, but remained unharmed and divinely protected. A priest named John buried it by night, close to the grave of her mother and sister near the Licinian Palace, where to this day there stands a church dedicated to God under the name St Bibiana.
O God, giver of all good gifts, who in your servant, Bibiana, joined the flower of virginity with the palm of martyrdom, by her intercession unite our hearts to you in charity so that, saved from all dangers, we may obtain the rewards of eternal life. Through our Lord…
– From: An Approved English Translation of the Breviarium Romanum, Burns & Oates, London, 1964