Lives of the Saints

Our Models and Protectors

September 3
  July 29

Saint Seraphia

Virgin and Martyr († ca. 126)

and Saint Sabina

Martyr († ca. 127)

Saint Seraphia and Saint Sabina
Saint Sabina and Saint Seraphia

Saint Seraphia was born at Antioch in the late first century, of Christian parents who, fleeing the persecution of Adrian, went to Italy and settled there. When her parents died, Seraphia was sought in marriage by many, but having resolved to consecrate herself to God alone, she sold all her possessions and distributed the proceeds to the poor. And then she sold herself into a voluntary slavery, and entered the service of a Roman noblewoman named Sabina. The piety of Seraphia, her love of work, and her charity soon gained the heart of her mistress, who became a Christian.

Seraphia was denounced as a follower of Christ and condemned to die. She was first placed over a burning pile, but remained uninjured by the flames. The prefect ordered her to be beheaded, and in that way she received the crown she so richly merited. Her mistress buried her with every mark of respect.

That noble Roman matron, Saint Sabina, was also denounced to the prefect Helpidius a year later. Christ is my God, I adore Him and serve Him; to Him alone I must sacrifice, she said when questioned. Her humble confession of faith obtained for her the grace of martyrdom; she was beheaded and all her goods confiscated. She was buried in the tomb she herself had had built in Rome, and where she had interred her beloved servant, Seraphia. In the year 425 a church was built at the site of the martyrdom of the two holy women, on Mount Aventino. The Church of Saint Sabina was given to Saint Dominic in the 13th century by Pope Honorius III, and still today one venerates, under the main altar there, the bodies of the two holy Martyrs.

Reflection: Christian courage is in direct relationship to our Faith. If we continue in the Faith, founded and established and immovable, all things will be found possible to us.

Little Pictorial Lives of the Saints, a compilation based on Butler's Lives of the Saints and other sources by John Gilmary Shea (Benziger Brothers: New York, 1894); Les Petits Bollandistes: Vies des Saints, by Msgr. Paul Guérin (Bloud et Barral: Paris, 1882), Vol. 10