Saint/s of the Day – 15 April – Saints Anastasia (Died c 68) Martyr, AND St Basilissa of Rome (Died c 68) Martyr. Spiritual Students of St Peter the ApostleMartyrs of Rome, put to death during the reign of Nero. They were among the first converts to Christianity in the 1st century after Christ.
The Roman Martyrology states today: “At Rome, the Saints Basilissa and Anastasia. Of noble families, they were disciples of the Apostles and, as they persevered courageously in the profession of their faith, in the time of the Emperor Nero, they had their tongues and feet cut off, were put to the sword and thus obtained the Crown of Martyrdom.”
Basilissa and Anastasia were described as “Roman matrons of high rank and great wealth.” They were disciples of and were probably Baptised by the Apostles Peter and Paul.
Sts Peter and Paul’s were Martyrdom in Rome on the same day in c 67. The location of the two tombs eventually became St Peter’s Basilica and the Basilica of St Paul Outside the Walls. The burials of the two great Apostles might have exposed Basilissa and Anastasia to persecution and they were arrested for collecting the relics of and burying the bodies of other Martyred Christians.
They refused to apostatise their Christian faith and were beheaded with swords by order of Nero in c 68, after being tortured, including having their tongues torn out, their skins scraped with hooks, being burned with fire and their breasts and feet cut off.
Their relics are at Santa Maria della Pace Church in Rome.