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Victoria, a Christian maiden from Tivoli, near Rome, had been engaged to marry the pagan Roman nobleman Eugenius when she was called upon to intervene on behalf of her fiancé's friend, Titus Aurelius. The latter wanted to marry another Christian girl, (Saint) Anatolia, but the young woman had adamantly refused. Victoria thereupon attempted to change Anatolia's mind by pointing out to her the good of marriage as a vocation, adding that she might win Aurelius' conversion. Anatolia responded that she had experienced a vision regarding her vocation in which she had been told, "Virginity is an immense treasure of the King of kings." Anatolia's defense of the spiritual advantages of consecrated virginity in the end persuaded Victoria to break her own engagement and consecrate herself to God as well. Both girls incurred the wrath of the men who had wanted to marry them. Eugenius imprisoned Victoria in his villa and attempted to starve her into submission, but finding her unyielding, he delivered her to the Roman officials to be beheaded for her faith. Imprisoned by Aurelius, Anatolia suffered a similar fate.


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St. Leander of Seville

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