Tuesday, December 2, 2014
Feastday of St. Bibiana

Saint Bibiana by Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Santa Bibiana, Rome taken August 30, 2013

On December 2nd the Church commemorates the life of St. Bibiana. As Tradition relates, St. Bibiana was the daughter of the Christians Flavian and Dafrosa.  Flavian was tortured and sent into exile where he died, and Dafrosa was beheaded.  All of this occurred under the rule of Apronianus as Governor of Rome - he was made Governor by Julian the Apostate in 363 AD.

The daughters of these two martyrs were Bibiana and Demetria.  Demetria, after confessing her Faith in the Catholic Faith, was slain.  Bibiana was put to great sufferings as she was placed under the seduction of a wicked woman named Rufina.  As St. Bibiana refused to give in to the assaults, the saint was ordered to be tied to a pillar and beaten with sourges, laden with lead.  And so, the saint was viociously beaten to death for her Faith in Christ, all the while suffering in joy, knowing that by so doing, she would receive the Crown of Martyrdom.

Traditional Matins Reading:

Bibiana was a Roman virgin, noble by birth, but more noble by her profession of the Christian faith. For under the most wicked tyrant Julian the apostate, Flavian, her father, was deprived of his dignity of prefect, and being branded with the mark of slavery, he was banished to Aquae Taurinae, and there died a martyr. Her mother, Dafrosa, was first shut up in her own house with her daughters, that she might die by starvation; but shortly afterwards was banished from Rome and beheaded. The virtuous parents thus put to death, Bibiana was deprived of all her possessions, as also was her sister, Demetria. Apronianus, the city prætor, thirsting after their wealth, persecutes the two sisters. They are bereaved of every human help. But God, who gives food to them that are in hunger, wonderfully nourishes them; and the prætor is exceedingly astonished on finding them in better health and strength than before.

Apronianus, notwithstanding, endeavours to induce them to venerate the gods of the Gentiles. If they consent, he promises them the recovery of all their wealth, the emperor’s favour, and marriage to the noblest in the empire: but should they refuse, he threatens them with prison and scourgings, and the sword. But neither promises nor threats can make them abandon the true faith; they would rather die than be defiled by the idolatrous practices of paganism; and they resolutely resist the impious prætor. Whereupon, Demetria was struck down in the presence of Bibiana, and slept in the Lord. Bibiana was delivered over to a woman by name Rufina, who was most skilled in the art of seduction. But the virgin, taught from her infancy to observe the Christian law, and to preserve with the utmost jealousy the flower of her virginity, rose above nature, defeated all the artifices of the wretched Rufina, and foiled the craft of the prætor.

Finding, therefore, that Rufina could in no wise shake the virgin’s holy resolution, and that both her wicked words and frequent blows were of no avail; and seeing his hopes disappointed and his labour thrown away; the prætor became violently enraged, and ordered Bibiana to be stripped by the lictors, to be fastened to a pillar with her hands bound, and to be beaten to death with leaded whips. Her sacred body was left for two days in the Bull-Forum, as food for dogs; but received no injury, being divinely preserved. A priest called John then buried it during the night, close to the grave of her sister and mother, near the palace of Licinius, where there stands at this day a church consecrated to God under the title of St. Bibiana. Urban VIII. restored this church, having there discovered the bodies of saints Bibiana, Demetria, and Dafrosa, which he placed under the high altar.


O God, the giver of all good gifts, You united the grace of virginity and the palm of martyrdom in the blessings conferred upon Your servant Bibiana. Unite our souls to You by love Through the intercession of this saint, so that we may be shielded from all danger and obtain the rewards of eternity. Through Our Lord . . .

Prayer Source: 1962 Roman Catholic Daily Missal

0 comment(s):

Post a Comment

Copyright Notice: Unless otherwise stated, all items are copyrighted under a Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. If you quote from this blog, cite a link to the post on this blog in your article.

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links on this blog are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. As an Amazon Associate, for instance, I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases made by those who click on the Amazon affiliate links included on this website. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”