St. Petronilla is believed to have been the daughter of St. Peter. Until the XVII Century, she was called his physical daughter, and since then, she has been thought a spiritual daughter who was consecrated to his service. Legends quoted in Manichæan documents relate that Peter cured her of a palsy. Stories found in the writings of St. Marcellus (and retold in The Golden Legend) say that Peter, who thought his daughter too beautiful, asked God to afflict her with a fever, of which he refused to cure her until she began to be perfected in the love of God. She is said to have refused Count Flaccus' hand in marriage. Traditions say she died a natural death, but accounts of her martyrdom can be found. Petronilla is thought to have been Aurelia Petronilla, a scion of the gens Flavius, the family of Vespasian and Domitian. She was also related to St. Domitilla, who was exiled in I Century to Pandateria, whose property on the Via Ardentina became a catacomb cemetary. Inscriptions there describe Petronilla as a martyr. During the papacy of Siricius (384-399), a basilica was built on the site of her tomb. In the VIII Century, Gregory III established a place of public prayer in the basilica, and her relics were translated to St. Peter's, where a chapel was dedicated in her honor. Charlemagne (d. 814) and Carlomen (d. 771) were considered adopted sons of St. Peter, and they, along with the French monarchs who succeeded them, considered Petronilla their sister. Her chapel became the chapel of the kings of France. Her emblem, like that of St. Peter, is a set of keys.
St. Zita was born into a poor but holy Christian family. Her older sister became a Cistercian nun and her uncle Graziano was a hermit whom the local people regarded as a saint. Zita herself always ... continue readingMore Saint of the Day
St. Catherine of Bologna, Virgin (Patroness of Artists) Feast - March 9th Born in 1413, Catherine de Vigri was the daughter of a diplomatic agent of the Marquis of Ferrara. At the age of eleven, she was appointed maid of honor to the daughter of the Marquis and shared ... continue readingMore Female Saints
St. Michael the Archangel - Feast day - September 29th The name Michael signifies "Who is like to God?" and was the warcry of the good angels in the battle fought in heaven against satan and his followers. Holy Scripture describes St. Michael as "one of the chief ... continue reading
The name Gabriel means "man of God," or "God has shown himself mighty." It appears first in the prophesies of Daniel in the Old Testament. The angel announced to Daniel the prophecy of the seventy weeks. His name also occurs in the apocryphal book of Henoch. He was the ... continue reading
There is a romantic legend that the mother of Thomas Becket was a Saracen princess who followed his father, a pilgrim or crusader, back from the Holy Land, and wandered about Europe repeating the ... continue reading
By Justin Soutar
During his visit to the United States this coming September, Pope Francis will canonize Blessed Junipero Serra, the heroic 'Apostle of California.' Once that happens, the Golden State will have its own patron saint and the Church will have another great missionary role ... continue readingMore Christian Saints & Heroes