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St. Martina

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Roman virgin, martyred in 226, according to some authorities, more probably in 228, under the pontificate of Pope Urban I, according to others. The daughter of an ex-consul and left an orphan at an early age, she so openly testified to her Christian faith that she could not escape the persecutions under Alexander Severus. Arrested and commanded to return to idolatry, she courageously refused, whereupon she was subjected to various tortures and was finally beheaded. The accounts of her martyrdom which we possess belong to a late period and as usual contain many amplifications which have not, as Baronius has already observed, any historical value. The relics of St. Martina were discovered on 25 Oct., 1634, in a crypt of an ancient church situated near Mamertine prison and dedicated to the saint. Urban VIII, who occupied the Holy See at that time, had the church repaired and, it would seem, composed the hymns which are sung at the office of the noble martyr, 30 January.

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