Saint Regina: Virgin and Martyr
On September 7, we celebrate the feast day of Saint Regina (also known as Saint Reine, died in 386), virgin and martyr. Saint Regina is the patroness of poor people, shepherdesses, and torture victims.
Tradition tells us that Regina was born in the third century in eastern France. Her mother died in childbirth, and she was left to be raised by her father, Clement Alise, a wealthy pagan. He placed her in the care of a Christian nurse, who secretly baptized her. When her father learned of her Christianity, he threw her out of the house and forced her to live with the nurse who raised her. Due to the family’s poverty, Regina helped out by working as a shepherdess.
When she was fifteen, the local prefect, Olybrius, became captivated with her and insisted that she marry him. When she refused, she was arrested as a Christian, tortured, and beheaded.
In art, Saint Regina is portrayed as a maiden bound to a cross with torches applied to her sides, imprisoned with a dove appearing on a shining cross, scourged with rods, or in a boiling cauldron. She is venerated at Autun, France, and in southern Germany.
Her relics are enshrined in Flavigny Abbey, where they have been rendered famous by miracles and pilgrimages. There is a miraculous spring with powers to heal many illnesses, with a hospital nearby dedicated to Saint Regina founded by Saint Vincent de Paul.
Lord, we come before you in recognition of the courage of your humble martyr Regina. May we imitate her faithfulness and love for You as we pray for the courage and strength to follow You, regardless of the cost. We ask this in the holy name of Jesus. Amen.