Daughter of a wealthy and influential magistrate, St. Christina the Astonishing rebelled against her father’s worship of golden idols. Because of her faith in Christ she was subjected to numerous tortures.

She was whipped severely and tossed in a dungeon. Torture included tearing her body with iron hooks while she was held in a rack above fire. Christina’s suffering continued when she was tied down with a large stone and thrown into Lake Bolsena. However, according to lore, an angel saved her. Still, a judge ordered her thrown into a hot furnace. She was unharmed for five days even in that fiery environment. Her tongue was cut out and yet she survived. Thought she eventually succumbed and died a martyr she lived longer than the father she defied.

With a feast day on July 24, Christina is the great martyr of the 3rd Century whose relics are preserved in a specially built tomb in an underground cemetery at Bolsena. A virgin martyr, scholars believe much of her legend is fictional, but no less stirring.