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Monday, July 18, 2011

July 17th, St. Symphorosa and her seven sons, Martyrs.

July 17th, St. Symphorosa and her seven sons, Martyrs.

Church of the Holy-Angel-in-Fish-Market

Symphorosa was martyred on July 18th, about the year 135. And at that time seven young men, who died for Christ, were in such wise associated with her testimony that they have ever since been called her sons, albeit it is no longer known whether she mothered them in the flesh or only in the spirit like unto the similar case of the Seven Holy Brethren and blessed Felicity. Symphorosa is reputed to have been a woman of Tivoli, the wife of the Martyr Getulius. And such a mother in Israel was she that these seven young men (who, if they were not brethren because of common blood, were brethren by the blood which they shed in common for Christ), were constrained by her faith to persevere unto death. And it is no longer certainly known how they died. But it is said that a stone was tied to the neck of Symphorosa, and that she was then thrown into the river, and that afterwards her body was found by one of her family. Of he seven sons, however, it is related that they were tied each to a stake, and all pt to death in divers ways. Crescens, the eldest was stabbed in the throat ; Julian in the breast ; Nemesius in the heart ; and Prinitivus in the navel. Justin was hacked limb from limb. Stacteus was shot to death with darts. Eugene was cut into two parts across his breast, from the head downwards. Thus, so it is said, were these sacrifices of sweet savour offered to God. Their bodies were thrown into a deep pit, on the road between Rome and Tivoli, at the Ninth Milestone from Rome, but were afterwards brought to Rome and buried in the Church of the Holy-Angel-in-Fish-Market.


O God, who vouchsafest unto us to keep the heavenly birthday of thy holy Martyrs Symphorosa and her sons, grant, we beseech thee, that we may rejoice in the perpetual felicity of their friendship, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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