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St. Afra, Martyr, of Augsburg, Germany

Commemorated on August 5

St. Afra was a martyr who suffered in Augsburg in Germany, under Emperor Diocletian, in the fourth century. She was venerated there from early times, and the church of that city was dedicated to her.

In the late third century, her pagan family journeyed from Cyprus to Augsburg. Afra was given over as a prostitute to the service of the goddess, Venus, by her own mother, Ilaria.

During the persecutions under Diocletian, Bishop Narcissus of Spain took refuge in Augsburg and found asylum in Afra’s house. Through his teachings, Afra and her family were converted to Christianity.

When it was learned that Afra was a Christian, she was brought before Diocletian and ordered to give glory to the pagan idols. She refused, and was condemned to death by fire on a small island in the Lech River, with her remains being buried at a distance from the place of her martyrdom.

Her body was eventually recovered and is still located at Augsburg in the Church of Sts. Ulrich and Afra.

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