St. Susanna

St. Susanna is believed to be the daughter of St. Gabinius, a priest, and niece of Pope Caius. A beautiful virgin, she refused Emperor Diocletian’s command to marry Maximian, his son-in-law. When the emperor sent court officers Maximus and Claudius, who were her uncles, she converted them to Christianity.

According to lore, Diocletian became angry about the situation and sent a trusted official, Julian, to deal with the problem. Julian ordered Claudius and his wife Praepedigna, and Maximus burned to death, then beheaded Susanna and her father at Cumae around 295.

Along with the adjoining house of the prefect Caius, an uncle, her house became a church called the church of St. Susanna ad duas domos in Rome. Susanna’s story often is paired with that of St. Tiburtius also beheaded on orders of Diocletian at the same location. It’s one of the earliest places of worship. Her feast day is Aug. 11.

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