Victoria and Anatolia, Ss.

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Virgin martyrs. Though the passio of St. Anatolia and St. Victoria is worthless, there seems to be reason enough to believe that the two saints existed. According to their acts, when Anatolia refused to marry her suitor, Aurelius, the young man asked her sister, Victoria, to plead his case. But Victoria was converted to her sister's Christian views on virginity and broke off her engagement to her fiancé, Eugenius. The two suitors then seized the girls and attempted to starve them into submission. Finally, denounced as Christians, Victoria and Anatolia were put to the sword. The martyrs enjoyed a cultus in several parts of Italy, but the facts concerning their martyrdom are unknown. The doctrine on marriage, as outlined in the passio, reflects the rigorous teaching of the Encratics rather than Christian teaching. St. aldhelm of Sherborne (709) used the passio of St. Victoria for his De laudibus virginitatis.

Feast: Dec. 23.

Bibliography: p. paschini, La "Passio" delle martire Sabine Vittoria ed Anatolia (Rome 1919). h. delehaye, Étude sur le légendier romain (Brussels 1936) 5960; ed., Commentarius perpetuus in martyrologium Hieronymianum (Acta Sanctorum; Paris 1863] Nov. 2.2; 1931) 364, 654. a. butler, The Lives of the Saints, rev. ed. h. thurston and d. attwater, 4v. (New York 1956) 4:599600.

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Victoria and Anatolia, Ss.

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