St. Zoe of Rome

St Zoe of Rome IconSt. Zoe of Rome was a noblewoman married to a top Roman jurist named Nicostratus. Her husband was also the jailer of St Sebastian. She was mute for six years, but had her voice restored when St. Sebastian made the Sign of the Cross on her forehead. Now able to speak, she praised the Lord Jesus Christ and told of seeing an angel holding an open book in which everything said by St. Sebastian was written.

Zoe and Nicostratus asked Sebastian for baptism. Sebastian urged them to serve the lord not the Eparch. Her husband brought their family, the family of his clerk, and the condemned prisoners over whom he had responsibility to their home. There they all heard of Zoe’s healing. In the evening the priest Polycarp baptized all sixty-four who were present. Devout and faithful, Zoe was taken prisoner on religious grounds while visiting the tomb of St. Peter. She was put on public trial where she refused to renounce her faith. She was martyred over fire, dying of smoke inhalation. Her body was tossed into the Tiber River.

Killed in 286, Zoe appeared in a vision to St. Sebastian while he was in prison anticipating execution. He noted this so the example of her faith and bravery could inspire others. Her feast day is July 5.

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