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St. Victor was a Roman officer in Marseilles. He ran afoul of Asterius and Eutychius, the Roman prefects, for his encouragement of Christians to stand firm in their faith during a visit by Emperor Maximian. For this, Maximian sentenced him to be dragged through the streets, placed on the rack, and imprisoned.

Victor converted his guards: Alexander, Longinus, and Felician. They were beheaded as a result and Victor again was tortured. Refusing to bring incense to the pagan god Jupiter, Victor was crushed by a giant millstone and beheaded in 290. A Benedictine monastery was built over his tomb. It became St. Victor’s Abbey.

Victor’s tomb became a holy center for pilgrims in ancient Gaul. Patron saint of Tallinn, Estonia, the High Altar of Tallinn’s St. Nicholas Church features depictions of his life. He also is considered a saint by the Eastern Orthodox Church. His feast day is July 21.

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