Saint of the Day: St. Bibiana, Virgin and Martyr
Tradition tells us that Bibiana (Vivian) was born in the 4th century in Rome. Her parents, Flavian and Dafrosa, zealous Christians, were martyred in the persecution of Julian the Apostate. Bibiana and her sister Demetria were turned over to a woman named Rufina, who tried to force her into prostitution. Upon her continued refusal, Vivian was imprisoned in a mad house.
She was later tied to a pillar and beaten with leaden whips. Her dead body was left to be devoured by the dogs, but after it lay two days in the market place, it remained untouched. It was then secretly taken by a holy priest named John and buried in the night near the palace of Licinius.
St. Bibiana’s basilica in Rome was constructed during the pontificate of Pope Simplicius (468-483); when alterations in the structure were made by Bernini under Urban VIII in 1625, the body of the saint was found. Her relics and those of her whole family now lie under the high altar.
Patronage: Diocese of Los Angeles, California; epilepsy; epileptics; hangovers; headaches; insanity; mental illness; mentally ill people; single laywomen; torture victims.
Collect for the Feast of St. Bibiana
O God, the giver of all good gifts, in Your servant Bibiana You joined the flower of virginity with the palm of martyrdom; be pleased, by her intercession, to join our souls by charity to You, so that all dangers being removed, we may obtain our eternal reward. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, for ever and ever. Amen.