Saint of the Day – 23 January – St Emerentiana (Died c 301) Virgin, Martyr, Foster Sister pf St Agnes, Catechumen Also known as – Emerentia. Died by being stoned to death in c 304 at Rome, Italy. Patronages – against abdominal pains, against colic.
The Roman Martyrology states: “At Rome, the holy Virgin and Martyr, Emerentiana. Being only a Catechumen, she was stoned to death by the pagans, whilst praying t the tomb of St Agnes, her Foster Sister.”
An unknown author of the 5th century. added to the Latin Passio of St Agnes, a third chapter that dwells on the funeral of the Saint, on her appearance to her parents, eight days after her death and on the foundation of the Basilica built in her honour by St Costanza, daughter of Constantine.
Among the faithful who flocked to St Agnes’ funeral is also remembered “Emerentiana.”
A sudden attack by fanatical pagans scattered the Christians. Emerenziana, instead of fleeing, courageously addressed the assailants but ended up being stoned to death. The parents of St Agnes buried her body nearby on the limits of their property. There is no doubt, the author concludes, enunciating the doctrine on the Baptism of blood, that Emerenziana was Baptised in her blood, having died for the defence of justice, confessing the Lord.
Emerentiana is represented as a young girl who either has stones in her lap and lilies in her hand, or as being stoned to death by a mob. Her tomb is inow n the Church of St Agnes outside the walls, in Rome. An Altar dedicated to her with a marble relief by Ercole Ferrata depicting her Martyrdom is in St Agnes in Agone.
There is another Chapel dedicated to St Emerentiana at the Marian Shrine of Notre Dame de Vie. Venasque, France, as a special Patron of the Secular Institute of Our Lady of Life. The Statue below resides in this Chapel.