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St. Bibiana (also known as St. Viviana) at Rome


Commemorated on December 2

St. Bibiana was the daughter of zealous Christian parents who resided in Rome during the fourth century. In 363, her family was made to suffer as a result of the persecutions ordered by Emperor Julian. Her father, Vlavia, a Roman knight, was tortured and sent into exile, where he died from his wounds. Her mother, Dafros, was beheaded. St. Bibiana and her sister, Demetria, were stripped of their possessions and left to suffer in poverty. However, they continued to reside in their family home, spending their time in fasting and prayer.

Realizing that these women had not died from hunger or want, the Roman Governor, Apronianus, ordered that they be brought before him. Demetria confessed her faith in front of him and fell dead at his feet. Bibiani was placed in the home of a pagan woman named Rufina. Despite her many attempts, Rufina was unable to make Bibiana renounce Christ. Bibiana was beaten, then tiled to a pillar and whipped with scourges laden with lead plummets.

After repeatedly refusing to renounce her Faith, she entered into a martyr’s death. Her body was left in the open air to be eaten by wild dogs, but they would not touch it. After having lain exposed for two days, her body was secretly taken by a priest and buried in the night near the palace of Licinius.

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