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St. Serenus the Gardener

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Feastday: February 23
Death: 302

Hermit and martyr, also called Cerneuf Born in Greece, he supposedly fled to Sirmium (modern Mitrovica, in the Balkans) where he lived as a hermit and became well-known for the beauty of his garden. According to legend, he hid during the persecution of Christians and, upon returning, scolded a woman for wandering in his garden at an inappropriate time. She went home and told her husband, a member of the imperial guard, of the disrespectful treatment she had received. He reported the event to co-Emperor Maximian who ordered a magistrate to look into the matter. Serenus was exonerated for his harsh treatment of the woman, but the magistrate learned that he was a Christian and, as Serenus refused to make sacrifice to the gods, the magistrate ordered him beheaded.

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