St. Christina was the daughter of a rich and powerful magistrate named Urbain. Her father, who was deep in the practices of heathenism, had a number of golden idols, which our saint destroyed, and distributed the pieces among the poor. Infuriated by this act, Urbain became the persecutor of his daughter. He had her whipped with rods and then thrown into a dungeon. Christina remained unshaken in her faith. Her tormentor then had her body torn by iron hooks, and fastened her to a rack beneath which a fire was kindled. But God watched over His servant and turned the flames upon the lookers-on. Christina was next seized, a heavy stone tied around her neck, and she was thrown into the lake of Balsena, but she was saved by an angel, and outlived her father, who died of spite. Later, this martyred suffered the most inhuman torments under the judge who succeeded her father, and finally was thrown into a burning furnace, where she remained, unhurt, for five days. By the power of Christ, she overcame the serpents among which she was thrown; then her tongue was cut out, and afterwards, being pierced with arrows, she gained the martyr's crown at Tyro, a city which formerly stood on an island in the lake of Balsena in Italy, but was long since swallowed up by the waters. Her relics are now at Palermo in Sicily.
Her feast day is July 24th.
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By Justin Soutar
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