Martyr Priscilla of Rome

Saint Priscilla suffered at Rome with the hieromartyr Marcellus, Bishop of Rome, and the holy deacons Sisinius and Cyriacus; also Smaragdus, Largus, Apronian, Saturninus, Crescentian, Papias and Maurus and the holy women martyrs Lucina (Lucy), and the emperor’s daughter Artemia during the persecution of Diocletian and Maximian (284-305) and their successors, Galerius (305-311) and Maxentius (305-312).

The emperor Maximian, ruler of the Western Roman Empire, deprived all Christians of military rank and sent them into penal servitude. At this time the emperor’s daughter Artemia and another twenty-one prisoners were executed with St Cyriacus, then buried.

The bodies of the holy martyrs Cyriacus, Smaragdus and Largus were exhumed and reburied on the estates of two Christian women, Priscilla and Lucy, on the outskirts of Rome, after they had transformed Lucy’s house into a church.

Ascending the throne, Maxentius gave orders to destroy the church and turn it into a stockyard, and he sentenced the holy Bishop Marcellus to herd the cattle. Exhausted by hunger and cold, and wearied by the tortures of the soldiers, Marcellus became ill and died in the year 310.

The holy women Pricilla and Lucy were banished from Rome in disgrace, and their estates confiscated and plundered.