Saint of the Day – 26 March – Saint Castulus of Rome (Died c 288) Martyr, married to Saint Irene of Rome (the woman who assisted St Sebastian after he had been wounded by the Imperial archers), Military Officer and he was the Chamberlain (or officer, valet) of Emperor Diocletian. Martyred in c in 288 on the Via Labicana outside Rome near the Collosseum. Patronaes – against blood poisoning, against drowning, against erysipelas, against fever, against horse theft, against lightning, against storms, against wildfire, cowherds, farmers, shepherds, Hallertau, Germany, Moosburg an der Isar, Germany.
The Roman Martyrology states: “At Rome, on the Labicana road, St Castulus, Martyr, Chamberlain in the Palace of the Emperor. For harbourig Christians, he was three times suspended by the hands, three times cited before the Tribunals and as he persevered in the confession of the Lord, he was thrown into a pit, overwhelmed with a mass of sand and thus obtained the crown of martyrdom.”
Castulus was a convert to the Christian religion. He sheltered Christians in his home and arranged for religious services, unbelievably, inside Emperor Diocletian’s Palace. Among those he sheltered, were the Saints and Marytrs, Mark and Marcellian. He is one of the saints associated with the life and martyrdom of Saint Sebastian.
With his friend Saint Tiburtius, he converted many men and woman to Christianity and brought them to Pope Saint Caius to be baptised. He was betrayed by an apostate named Torquatus and taken before Fabian, prefect of the City.
He was tortured and executed by being buried alive in a sand pit on the Via Labicana. According to traditional sources, his wife, Irene subsequently buried the body of the martyred Saint Sebastian. She was later be martyred herself, it is thought also in c 288.
A Church is dedicated to him in Rome, built on the site of his martyrdom and has existed, from at least the seventh century.
Castulus was venerated in Bavaria after relics of his were taken to Moosburg. Duke Heinrich der Löwe started the construction of the Castulus Cathedral in 1171.
In 1604, relics were also brought to Landshut, Germany. His relics still rest in Landshut’s Church of St Martin’s and in the Church of St Castulus, Prague.