Protus and Hyacinth, Ss.

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Third-century martyrs mentioned in the Depositio martyrum (c. 350) as buried in the cemetery of Bassilla on the Via Salaria. The grave of Protus and Hyacinth was identified in 1845 in a double crypt; the loculus was intact with the epitaph of Hyacinth still in place; but the remains of the martyrs were carbonized. The tomb had been obstructed by a 4th-century landslide and had been repaired by Pope damasus i. In the late and legendary Passio S. Eugeniae (Bibliotheca hagiographica latina antiquae et mediae aetatis, 2 v. [Brussels 18981901; suppl. 1911]2666) they are described as brothers, who as eunuchs served the noblewoman St. Eugenia, accompanied her to Alexandria, and were given to the virgin (St.) Bassilla, whom they converted to Christianity. During the persecution of valerian (257) they were arrested after a popular uprising and taken to a temple to offer sacrifice. When their prayer reduced the statue of the god to dust, the prefect Nicetius had them executed.

Feast: September 11.

Bibliography: h. delehaye, Étude sur le légendier remain (Brussels 1936) 171186. a. ferrua, ed., Epigrammata Damasiana (Vatican City 1942) 190194.

[e. hoade]