Saint Beatrix of Rome
Commemorated on July 29
Ss. Simplicius, Faustinus and Beatrix were siblings who died in Rome during the persecutions under Emperor Diocletian in the fourth century.
In 303, upon learning they were Christians, the emperor ordered the torture of Simplicius and Faustinus. They were beaten with clubs and finally beheaded. Their bodies were thrown into the Tiber River, but their sister, Beatrix, had the bodies drawn out of the water and buried.
For seven months after her brothers’ martyrdom, Beatrix lived with a pious woman named Lucina. Together they secretly helped persecuted Christians.
Finally, Beatrix was discovered and arrested. Her accuser was her neighbor Lucretius who wished to obtain possession of her property. When ordered before the judge, she announced that she would never sacrifice to demons because she was a Christian. She received a martyr’s crown when she was strangled in prison.
Beatrix’s friend, Lucina, buried her with her brothers in the cemetery Ursum Pileatum on the road to Porto near Rome.
Divine punishment soon overtook Beatrix’s accuser, Lucretius, who at a feast mocked the martyrs. A small child cried out, “Thou hast committed murder and hast taken unjust possession of land. Thou art a slave of the devil.” The angry citizens grabbed and tortured Lucretius for three hours, eventually throwing him into a bottomless pit. The terror of those present was so great that they became Christians.
St. Simplicius is represented in art with a pennant, on the shield of which are three lilies, called the crest of Simplicius; the lilies are a symbol of purity of heart. St. Beatrix is portrayed with a cord in her hand, because she was strangled.