Saint Bibiana


In the year 363, Julian the Apostate made Apronianus Governor of Rome. St. Bibiana suffered in the persecution started by him. She was the daughter of Christians, Flavian, a Roman knight, and Dafrosa, his wife. Flavian was tortured and sent into exile, where he died of his wounds. Dafrosa was beheaded, and their two daughters, Bibiana and Demetria, were stripped of their possessions and left to suffer poverty. However, they remained in their house, spending their time in fasting and prayer.

Apronianus, seeing that hunger and want had no effect upon them, summoned them. Demetria, after confessing her Faith, fell dead at the feet of the tyrant. St. Bibiana was reserved for greater sufferings. She was placed in the hands of a wicked woman called Rufina, who in vain endeavored to seduce her. She used blows as well as persuasion, but the Christian virgin remained faithful.

Enraged at the constancy of this saintly virgin, Apronianus ordered her to be tied to a pillar and beaten with scourges, laden with lead plummets, until she expired. The saint endured the torments with joy, and died under the blows inflicted by the hands of the executioner.

Afterwards, Bibiana’s body was left out in the open for wild beasts to devour, however, after two days, a holy priest named John came at night and buried her body near the palace of Licinius. Later a chapel was erected over her tomb. In 465, Pope Simplicius built a church there called Olympina, named after a pious lady who helped pay for the building of the church. In 1628, Pope Urban VIII had the church rebuilt since it was in very poor condition. He then had the relics of Bibiana, her sister and her parents brought and placed in the church. These relics had been discovered in the place that was sometimes called St. Bibiana’s cemetery.



  1. There are people today suffering persecution because of their Christianity. Pray daily for the multiplication of their spirit to enfold humanity in Christ’s name for the Kingdom of God here on earth as in heaven. I do believe that is where we can go if we but pray and share with our children God’s divine hand in the tumult of this world. God is the final victor. It isn’t hearalded from the daily news. Bless and multiply the message of hope and love to all you meet this Christmas. Echo Joy and Love of knowing the real “rest of the story”. pbgs

  2. How sad that so many of us abandon our Faith which was founded by
    so many such wondrous Saints & Martyrs????? How pathetic I am when
    I don’t even suffer the mildest of deprivations with good grace.

  3. With such a recorded history of her devotion, why was this Saint, Bibiana, denounced and “un-sainted” along with the likes of St Christopher so many years back. In the St. Joseph Missal I used as a child I believe her memory was celebrated on December 2nd. She certainly died for her faith. I am delighted to see this report. P.S. She is who I was named after and is my patron saint.