October 24, 2017

Sts. Chrysanthus and Daria, Married Early Martyrs

Sts Chrysanthus and Daria

According to the 1962 Missal of Saint John XXIII the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, October 25th is the feast of Saints Chrysanthus and Daria. As husband and wife they carried on an active apostolate among the noble families of Rome during the 3rd century. Denounced as devout Christians, they would undergo various tortures before being buried alive in a sandpit in the year 283.

According to legend these two saints belonged to the nobility. Daria received baptism through the efforts of her husband Chrysanthus. In Rome they brought many to the faith, for which cause they were cruelly martyred. Chrysanthus was denounced as a Christian to Claudius, the tribune’s leader. Chrysanthus' attitude under torture so impressed Claudius that he and his wife, Hilaria, two sons, and many of his soldiers became Christians, wherein the Emperor had them all slain.

Chrysanthus was sewn inside an ox's hide and placed where the sun shone hottest. Taken to a house of ill-fame, Daria was protected by a lion while she passed the time in prayer. Finally, both were buried alive in a sand-pit and together gained the crown of martyrdom. They were buried in the cemetery on the Via Saleria in Rome, at the same site where lay sixty-two soldiers who died as martyrs and also a group of faithful who had gathered for holy Mass on the anniversary of the saints' deaths, but were cut down by the enemies of Christ.

At least three Churches claim to possess the remains of Sts. Chrysanthus and Daria. In the 9th century, their remains were brought to Prüm in present-day Germany and are found in the church of Chrysanthus and Daria. In 1011, Pope Sergius IV gave the Count of Anjou, the relics of Chrysanthus and Daria upon his return from Jerusalem. They are in the monastery of Belli Locus. The cathedral of Reggio Emilia (in Italy) also has relics thought to be those of the martyr saints.

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