Home  »  Volume XII: December  »  SS. Dionysia, Dativa, Æmilianus, Boniface, Leontia, Tertius, and Majoricus, Martyrs

Rev. Alban Butler (1711–73). Volume XII: December. The Lives of the Saints. 1866.

December 6

SS. Dionysia, Dativa, Æmilianus, Boniface, Leontia, Tertius, and Majoricus, Martyrs

[Under the Arians in Africa.]  IN the year 484, King Huneric banished the Catholic bishops; and soon after commanded those who refused to comply with certain impious orders which he published, to be tormented and put to death. Dionysia, a lady remarkable for her great beauty, but much more so for her holy zeal and piety, was so long scourged in the most conspicuous place of the forum, that every part of her body was covered with wounds and blood. Seeing Majoricus, her only son, tremble at the sight of her torments, she said to him: “Son, remember that we have been baptized in the name of the holy Trinity, in the Catholic church, our mother. Let us not lose the clothing of our salvation, lest the master of the feast, finding us without the nuptial garment, command his servants to cast us into outer darkness.” The young man being strengthened by her words, suffered a most cruel martyrdom with constancy. The courageous mother embracing his body, gave thanks to God with a loud voice, and buried him in her own house, that she might frequently pray upon his tomb. Dativa, sister to Dionysia, Æmilianus a physician, who was her cousin, Leontia, Tertius, and Boniface suffered, with great constancy, horrible torments for the faith. A nobleman of Suburbis, named Servus, was tortured by the persecutors with the utmost fury. After his body was bruised with clubs, he was hoisted in the air by pulleys, and then let down again, that he might fall with all his weight on the pavement; and this was repeated several times. After this, he was dragged along the streets, and torn with flint stones and pebbles, insomuch, that his flesh and skin hung down in many places from his sides, back, and belly, and his ribs appeared bare. At Cucusa there was an infinite number of martyrs and confessors. Among these a courageous lady, named Victoria, was suspended in the air whilst a fire was kindled under her. All this while her husband, who had apostatized from the Catholic faith, talked to her in the most moving and passionate manner, conjuring her at least to have pity on him and her innocent babes, and save herself by obeying the king. The martyr stopped her ears not to hear his seducing words, and turned her eyes from her children, that she might more perfectly raise her heart to heaven. The executioners seeing her shoulders dislocated, and several of her bones broken, and not perceiving her to breathe, thought she was dead, and took her down. But she came to herself, and afterwards related, that a virgin had appeared to her, who, touching every part of her body, immediately healed it. See St. Victor, Vitens. De Persec. Vandal, l. 5. Baron, ad an. 484, and the Roman Martyrology on this day.  1