Saturday, July 10, 2010

Saint of the Day - Sts. Rufina and Secunda

Sts. Rufina and Secunda were sisters in the Roman Empire, daughters of a man named Asterius from a senatorian family. The girls were promised in marriage to two Christian men. However, when the Valerian persecutions began both men abandoned their faith in fear. The sisters refused to follow their fiances example and fled Rome. They were captured, brought back to Rome, and tortured. They were then condemned by the prefect of Rome, one Junius Donatus, to death by beheading. The girls were brought to a place twelve miles outside of Rome called the Black Forest (Sylva Nigra) and executed. They were buried in the same place which began to be known as the White Forest (Sylva Candida) in honor of the two girls. Their martyrdom occured in 257 A.D.

A chapel was built over their grave which was later replaced, at the direction of Pope Damascus, by a large church. After a barbarian invasion, which destroyed the church, the relics of the saints were moved to St. John Latteran in Rome.

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