Friday, 24 July 2015

St. Christina - Virgin and Martyr


 Today is the Feast of St. Christina. The following biography is taken from Catholic Online.

"St. Christina was the daughter of a rich and powerful magistrate named Urbain. Her father, who was deep in the practices of heathenism, had a number of golden idols, which our saint destroyed, and distributed the pieces among the poor. Infuriated by this act, Urbain became the persecutor of his daughter. He had her whipped with rods and then thrown into a dungeon. Christina remained unshaken in her faith. Her tormentor then had her body torn by iron hooks, and fastened her to a rack beneath which a fire was kindled. But God watched over His servant and turned the flames upon the lookers-on. Christina was next seized, a heavy stone tied around her neck, and she was thrown into the lake of Balsena, but she was saved by an angel, and outlived her father, who died of spite. Later, this martyred suffered the most inhuman torments under the judge who succeeded her father, and finally was thrown into a burning furnace, where she remained, unhurt, for five days. By the power of Christ, she overcame the serpents among which she was thrown; then her tongue was cut out, and afterwards, being pierced with arrows, she gained the martyr's crown at Tyro, a city which formerly stood on an island in the lake of Balsena in Italy, but was long since swallowed up by the waters. Her relics are now at Palermo in Sicily."
St. Chrisina is also associated with a Eucharistic Miracle, which took place at Bolsena in 1263, and is seen as a catalyst to the institution of the Feast of Corpus Christi. A priest named Peter of Prague was suffering doubts about the reality of Transubstantiation. While saying Mass in the Church of St. Christina at Bolsena (a station on a pilgrimage to Rome), he broke the consecrated Host, and experienced blood dripping from it onto his hands and the corporal.

In light of her life and this miracle, it may be good to invoke St. Christina's prayers for persecuted Christians, for the victims of so-called 'honour beatings' and 'honour killings', and for priests who are currently experiencing crises of faith or vocation.

Ora pro nobis.

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