1955 Calendar (Simple): October 25
Chrysanthus was the only son of an Egyptian patrician, named Polemius or Poleon, who lived during the reign of Numerian. His father moved from Alexandria to Rome. Chrysanthus was educated in the finest manner of the era. Disenchanted with the excess in the Roman world, he began reading the Acts of the Apostles.
He was then baptized and educated in Christianity by a priest named Carpophorus. His father was unhappy with Chrysanthus's conversion and attempted to inculcate secular ways into his son by tempting him with prostitutes, but Chrysanthus retained his virginity.
He objected when his father arranged a marriage to Daria, a Roman Vestal Virgin. Chrysanthus converted his new bride and convinced her to live with him in a chaste state. Vestal Virgins took a vow of chastity during their thirty-year term of service.
They went on to convert a number of Romans. When this was made known to Claudius, the tribune, Chrysanthus was arrested and tortured. Chrysanthus's faith and fortitude under torture were so impressive to Claudius that he and his wife, Hilaria, two sons named Maurus and Jason, and seventy of his soldiers became Christians.
For this the emperor had Claudius drowned, his sons beheaded and his wife went to the gallows. The legend states that Daria was sent to live as a prostitute, but her chastity was defended by a lioness. She was brought before Numerian and ordered to be executed.
There are many variations to this legend. Some claim that she was subjected to execution by stoning, others say she was beheaded and yet others claim she was buried alive in a deep pit beside her husband. They were entombed in a sand pit near the Via Salaria Nova, the catacombs in Rome.
The Acts of Chrysanthus and Daria state that on the anniversary of their deaths, a large number of Christians had gathered at their underground crypt to pay their respects when Roman persecutors surprised them, filled the crypt with stones and buried them all alive, including Diodorus, a priest, and Marianus, a deacon.
May the prayers of Your blessed martyrs Chrysanthus and Daria be with us, O Lord, so that we who devoutly honor them may always experience their kind assistance. Through our Lord . . .