January 04, 2019

⛪ Saint Dafrosa of Acquapendente - Martyr

Saint Dafrosa,
Pray for us !
⛪ Saint of the Day : January 4

⛪ Other Names :
Dafrosa of Rome •  Aifrosa •  Affrosa •  Daphrosa

It is very difficult to outline the historical figure of Saint Dafrosa, a Roman martyr of the 4th century, who even the new Martyrologium Romanum may not have considered appropriate to report. Today, only her daughter Bibiana  appears on the martyrology of the Catholic Church. In the past editions, the saint was commemorated on January 4: "In Rome Blessed Dafrosa, wife of St. Flavian Martyr and mother of the saints Bibiana and Demetria, Virgins and Martyrs, who, after the killing of her husband, was first sent into exile, and then beheaded under Giuliano ".

According to tradition, the wife of Saint Flaviano (December 22) and mother of the saints Bibiana (December 2) and Demetria (June 21). Dafrosa lived in Rome in the fourth century, at the time of Emperor Julian the Apostate and it was in this time period Dafrosa and her family were condemned to death. In the "Passio Sanctae Bibianae" dating back to the seventh century we read that the governor Aproniano, after having sentenced to death the spouses Flaviano and Dafrosa, being certain to seize their heritage, tried to force the two young daughters to apostasy. Demetria was imprisoned and died before being martyred, a fate that instead suffered her sister Bibiana.

The body of St. Bibiana was then buried next to the tomb of her parents and sister, taken to their home on the Esquiline, where later by the will of Pope Simplicius erected a chapel and later the current basilica. The relics of St. Flaviano then took different paths and are now venerated in the Lazio town of Montefiascone. The bodies of Dafrosa and the two daughters were found in 1624 and relocated two years later by Pope Urban VIII in three reliquaries. They are still preserved today in the Constantinian sarcophagus, in oriental alabaster, under the high altar of the church of Santa Bibiana. Part of the relics of St. Dafrosa are kept in the patriarchal basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, where her Feast is celebrated on January 4th.

Finally, it should be remembered that the saints Flaviano and Dafrosa are only one of the many couples that the Church has considered worthy of the aureole of sanctity over the centuries, even if they are unfortunately usually not very famous and obscured by great figures like holy bishops , priests, nuns, and founders of religious orders. Without detracting from the latter, however, we must recognize how they can be considered models closer to families all those spouses who have made their marriage the road to achieve holiness. To this end, the new Rite of Matrimony included the Litanies of the Holy Spouses, including a couple of Roman martyrs, Mario and Marta, who just like Dafrosa and Flaviano did not hesitate to shed their blood to testify their Christian faith.

More Info :
📘 Catholic Online 📘 Our Sunday Visitor’s Encyclopedia of Saints 📘 Roman Martyrology, 1914 edition 📘 Wikipedia

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