Thursday, November 27, 2014


St. Faustinus and Jovita

Feast day: February 15
Died in Brescia, Lombardy, Italy, c. 121.

Faustinus and Jovita were brothers, nobly born and natives of Brescia. All the incidents in their reputed "Acts" are of doubtful authority, and we can only be sure of their names and martyrdom. According to the tradition of Brescia, they preached Christianity fearlessly while their bishop lay in hiding. Their zeal excited the fury of the heathens against them, then they were arrested by a heathen lord called Julian. They were tortured and dragged to Milan, Rome and Naples, and then brought back to Brescia. As neither threats nor torments could shake their constancy, the Emperor Hadrian, who happened to be passing through Brescia, commended them to be beheaded. The city of Brescia honors them as its chief patrons and claims to possess their relics.  On April 18 the Roman Martyrology names the martyr St. Calocerus, who figures largely in the legendary history of St. Faustinus and Jovita, whose heroic confession he is said to have witnessed when, as a court official, he accompanied Hadrian to his native city Brescia and was present in the amphitheatre. The constancy of the two confessors and the refusal of the wild beasts to touch them brought about his conversion, and he was baptized by Bishop Apollonius with twelve thousand other citizens. He was tortured and imprisoned in several Italian towns notably in Asti, where he instructed St. Secundus who visited him in gaol. Eventually, we are told, he was taken to Albanga in Liguria and beheaded on the seashore.

   Two brothers belonging to the nobility of Lombardy, and zealous preachers of Christianity--in contrast with the bishop of Brescia, who hid during the persecution of Emperor Hadrian. Not much else can be stated authoritatively about them, except that they were beheaded. Their legend relates that Julian, a heathen lord, apprehended them; and the emperor himself passing through Brescia, commanded their execution when neither threats nor torments could shake their constancy. They are the chief patrons of Brescia, where their relics are enshrined and a very ancient church bears their names

 Saints Faustinus and Jovita are depicted as two knightly brothers holding the palms of martyrs. At times: (1) Faustinus may be alone, richly dressed and on horseback; (2) an angel may be shown saving them from drowning; (3) they are pictured together with Bishop . 

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