The Acta Sanctorum or Acts of the Saints is a collection of documents examining the lives of saints, organised according to each saint's feast day. They were published by the Société des Bollandistes from 1643 till 1940. The Société is a group of Jesuit scholars, originally living in Antwerp, named after Jean Bolland. They were put on the web by the Bibliothèque Nationale de France.
| CAPUT III
 (Claudius Gothicus) iussit eos separari a congregatione iustorum, praecipiens Asterium cum omni domo sua duci vinctum in civitatem Ostiam, et ibi eum sub poenarum examinatione iudicium sumere.
 Et cum pervenissent ad locum, tradiderunt eos cuidam iudici, nomine Gelasio. Tunc suscipiens eos Gelasius, iussit mitti omnes in carcerem. Post dies autem viginti, iussit eos Gelasius suo conspectui praesentari. Qui dum praesentati fuissent, dixit ad eos: Audistis quid iusserunt victores reipublicae? Dixerunt: Nescimus. Dixit eis: Omnis quicumque diis immolaverit, vivat, et libertas ei concessa maneat, et facultatibus honoretur. Qui vero noluerit se humiliare diis, diversis poenis interficiatur. Beatus Asterius dixit: Sacrificent eis, et cum eis pereant, qui eorum similes sunt. Nam hoc scias, quia nosmetipsos sacrificium offerimus Deo omnipotenti et Domino Iesu Christo filio eius. Tunc Gelasius iudex iratus iussit Beatum Asterium in eculeo levari et torqueri; et omnes alios iussit fustibus caedi. Illi autem dicebant: Domine Iesu Christe, qui tribus pueris in camino aestuantes flammas ignium extinxisti, tu extingue minas istius tyranni, ut non glorietur super servos tuos, et ne separes nos a domino nostro Asterio.
 Statimque iussit eum deponi de eculeo, et iterum custodiae mancipari, dicens: Istis graviora sunt praeparanda tormenta. Et iussit ut omnis populus diluculo ad spectaculum convenirent. Tunc iussit sibi editionem in amphiteatro parari, et Beatum Asterium sibi et omnes Sanctos praesentari. Cui ita dixit: Defere amentiam vanitatis tuae, et te diis libaturum promitte, ut non in tormentis deficias, et isti omnes simul intereant. Respondit Beatus Asterius, et dixit: Nos omnes hoc desideramus, sicut Dominus noster Iesus Christus pro peccatoribus passus est, ita et nos immeriti peccatores pro nomine eius sustineamus tormenta; ut purgati ab inquinamentis seculi huius, securi ad desiderata regna caelorum pertingere mereamur. Hoc audiens Gelatius iudex, ira commotus iussit eos feris tradi. Et subito comprehenderunt eos ministri, et duxerunt ad locum qui appellatur Ursarius, iuxta fanum aureum, quia ibi ferae nutriebantur. Et dum introissent omnes Sancti in lacum, subito dimissae sunt ferae ut eos interficerent. Tunc Beatus Asterius facto signaculo Christi, voce clara dixit: Domine Deus omnipotens, qui misertus es famulo tuo Danieli in lacu leonum, et per Abacuc Prophetam eum confortasti, ita et servos tuos visita per Angelum tuum sanctum. Et currentes ferae coeperunt pedes Beati Asterii adorare, simul et omnium Sanctorum.
 Et cum vidisset Gelasius, dixit ad populum: Vidistis quomodo magicis artibus feras mansuetas fecerunt? Multi autem dicebant, quia Deus eorum liberavit eos. Tunc iussit Sanctos eiici de lacu, et flammis exuri. Tunc Beatus Asterius exclamans dixit ad Sanctos: Confortamini et nolite timere, quia ille quartus, qui inter tres pueros Hebraeos in camino ignis affuit, ecce nobiscum adest. Et confestim extinctae sunt flammae, ita ut nullum de membris eorum contaminaretur. Tunc videns Gelasius quia in omnibus victus erat, iussit eos foras muros Ostiae civitatis eiici, et ibi eos capitalem subire sententiam, alios vero lapidibus obrui. Tunc corpora eorum Christiani cum omni diligentia sepelierunt sub die XV Kal. Febr. In quo loco fabricata est ecclesia, et ibi florent beneficia Martyrum usque in praesentem diem.
 (Claudius Gothicus) ordered that they be separated from the congregation
of the just, stipulating that Asterius be taken to the city of Ostia in chains,
with his entire household, and that he should undergo a criminal investigation
by the judges there.
(1) Daniel 3:22-25.
Provisional translation by Jan Theo Bakker.
| Et iussit Diocletianus Augustus Iulio, ut ipse dirigeret milites, et tenerent omnes, ut tantum Caium Episcopum non tenerent. Sed tenuerunt Gabinium Presbyterum cum filia sua Susanna, et Claudium cum uxore sua vel filiis, et deportari in civitate Comos, quos iussit incendio concremari: Claudium et Praepedignam et Alexandrum et Maximum in Ostia in rheuma iactari. Gabinium vero Presbyterum et Susannam fecit in custodiae vinculo mancipari.||
 And the emperor Diocletian ordered Julius to lead the soldiers himself, and those soldiers to detain everyone, so that only the bishop Caius was not. But they did detain the priest Gabinius with his sister Susanna and Claudius with his wife and even the children, and Comos was carried off in the city. The emperor ordered them to be consumed by fire, to throw Claudius, Praepedigna, Alexander, and Maximus into the river (1) at Ostia. But the priest Gabinius and Susanna he put in jail, in chains.
(1) Literally a flowing, perhaps the sea.
| Tunc Imperator Augustus misit se in amplexus eius, referens universa, quae gesta sunt circa filias eius, et quomodo sunt Virgines Christo utiliter consecratae, et qualiter alias Virgines duas per ipsas per suam gratiam evocaverit Deus: et quomodo eruditionis summam arripientes, a perfectione coeperint, et quomodo universa perfecta inter rudimenta susceperint. Tunc cum Augusto intrante palatium Gallicano, decurrit Helena cum filia sua Constantia et filiabus ipsius Gallicani. Fundebantur lacrymae gaudiis plenae, nec permittitur ad domum reverti propriam Gallicanus, sed quasi gener Augustorum in palatio recessit, considerans filias suas in laudibus Dei flentes. Qui cum vellet privatus abscedere, rogatus ab Augustis consul processit, et in fascibus constitutus, quinque milia servorum liberos civesque Romanos effecit, quibus praedia domosque donavit: cunctasque facultates suas, excepto iure filiarum, distrahi ac donari pauperibus iussit, ac se in Ostiensi urbe manenti sancto viro cuidam, Hilarino nomine, sociavit: cuius habitaculum ampliari fecit ad peregrinorum susceptionem, quam ipse plurimis impendebat.||[to be translated]|
In this story from the twelfth century Waltherus, Canon Regular of the Order of Arrouaise in France, tells us how he retrieved the relics of Monica, the mother of Augustine, who died in Ostia in 387 AD (perhaps of malaria). Many details show that he did indeed visit the mediaeval village and the Roman ruins. What he does not tell us is, that it was impossible to retrieve the relics, that had been buried near the tomb of Aurea, and where a large inscription was placed, fragments of which were found near the church of Aurea in 1945. Waltherus then collected some bones in the Porta Romana necropolis and made up a story. Follow this link for more information about the church of Aurea.
 Inde ad mare descendimus, ut Dominum Papam navigio sequeremur, conducta quoque navi, in Ostia urbe multis diebus mansimus, tempus aptum navigatione expectantes. Cum igitur quadam die in porticu ecclesiae Episcopii, quae in honore S. Aureae Virginis constructa est, cum Canonicis eiusdem Ecclesiae sederemus; de pluribus colloquentes Phalere Abbas, qui ibidem similiter nobiscum navigaturus expectabat, inter loquendum ad Canonicos illos dixit: Nonne mater S. Augustini hic sepulta fuit? Cui unus eorum respondit: Non hic, sed in antiqua Ostia, que propinquior mari olim penitus destructa fuit. Cui ille, Quid est, inquit, quod dicit. Cum esset apud Ostia Tiberina pia mater eius defuncta est? Quid vocat, Ostia Tiberina? Respondit: Tiberis istic, cum loco huic appropinquat (sicut, et ipsi videre potestis) alveo uno decurrit in mare; alter autem iuxta locum istum pertransiens, similiter in mare defluit. Hos duos alveos qui diversis locis intrant mare, vocat Ostia, quasi plures introitus Tiberis in mare. At ille adiecit: Quo nomine appellatis eam? Et ille ait, Nos vocamus eam Primam. Cui Abbas: Non ita, inquit, nominavit eam in libro Confessionum S. Augustinus, sed Monicam. Tunc ille respondit: Ipse nominavit eam Graeca lingua; nos autem Latina: Monica enim Graece, Una vel Prima dicitur Latine. Ad quod Abbas: B. Augustinus asserit, vitam in Christiana religione multum fuisse laudabilem, plurimas virtutes eius enumerans: et nos credimus secundum testimonium eius, eam esse Sanctam. Cui ille dixit:
 From there (1) we went down to the sea, so that we could follow our Lord the Pope by ship. We hired a ship and stayed many days in the city of Ostia (2), waiting for the right time to sail. One day in the porticus of the Episcopal church, that had been built in honour of the Virgin S. Aurea (3), we sat down with the Clergymen of that same church. We discussed many things, and Abbas from Phalerum, who was waiting there to sail just like us, interrupted us and said to those Clergymen: "Isn't it true that the mother of S. Augustinus was buried here?" One of them replied to him: "Not here, but in ancient Ostia, that - a long time ago lying closer to the sea (4) - has been totally destroyed." Abbas said to him: "What does S. Augustinus mean? Didn't he say that his pious mother died near the Ostia Tiberina? What does he call 'Ostia Tiberina'?" The Clergyman replied: "That Tiber mentioned by you, when it approaches this place (as you yourselves have been able to see (5)) flows into the sea with one branch. There is another branch however, passing through immediately after that place, that likewise flows into the sea. Those two branches, that enter the sea at different spots, he calls Ostia, in the sense of several places of entrance of the Tiber into the sea (6)." Abbas went on: "What name do you give his mother?" The Clergyman said: "We call her Prima." Abbas said to him: S. Augustinus did not give her that name in the book of Confessions (7), he called her Monica." The Clergyman replied: "Yes, he gave her a name in the Greek language, but we in Latin. As you know the Greek Monica is Una or Prima in Latin (8)." Abbas said to him: "The Blessed Augustinus maintains, that her life in the Christian religion was most praiseworthy, and he enumerates several of her virtues. We believe, following his testimony, that she is Holy." The Clergyman said to him:
| Nos pro certo scimus ipsam esse Sanctissimam, et saepe multis ante locum illum itinerantibus visibiliter in religioso habitu apparuit, et familiariter, et absque ullo horrore eos alloquens rogabat se inde transferri. Praeterito quoque anno apparuit cuidam iuveni, illuc pertranseunti, in specie et habitu unius monachae, dixitque ei: Vade, et dic Clericis S. Aureae, ut me hinc attolant, et honestiori loco reponant. Cumque ille confidenter diceret, Quae estis vos? Et ubi, et quomodo invenient sepulchrum vestrum? Respondit: Ego sum Monica. Sepulchrum autem meum in imo est. Qui autem invenire voluerint, fodientes, primo reperient pilam de candido marmore, sed non est sepulchrum meum: postea invenient aquam scaturientem, quae ibidem iterum absorbetur a terra: quod emundantes invenietis sarcophagum meum de lateribus bitumine iunctis compositum. Et his dictis disparuit. Iuvenis autem veniens domum, indicavit matri suae. Illa vero ait: Vade ad Clericos S. Aureae, et Andream custodem, et dic eis quae audisti, et vidisti. Ille autem veniens ad nos cuncta ex ordine narravit nobis. Nos autem, sicut alia vice, etiam tunc negleximus; maxime quia ut prius per quemdam, cui similiter apparuit, mandasset dicens: Vade, et dic Clericis S. Aureae, ne unquam hinc me moveant, nisi honestissimo loco reponant. Tot autem sunt illo deserto Sanctorum Reliquiae, quod non facile invenire valeremus, ubi eas tam honestem quam deceret, poneremus. Nos enim ante paucos dies, et. B. Asterii, et aliorum duodecim Martyrum Reliquias inde attulimus; et nescientes ubi eas poneremus, fossa tantum humo in ecclesia recondimus. Sed cum post aliquantum temporis Andreas custos nocte iaceret in lecto suo, venit ei in mentem quod iuvenis ille narraverat. Patiebatur autem idem Andreas gravissimum malum in tibia: et cum fere per biennium adhibuisset medicamenta, curari non poterat. Dixit ergo in corde suo; quod si Sancta illa quae se tantopere transferri postulabat, una cum filio suo beatissimo Augustino, tibiam eius sanaret, iam non phantastico, sed evidenti indicio vere beneplacitum eorum agnosceret, et absque ulla ambiguitate transponeret. Nec tamen hoc ex fide ait, ut crederet hoc sibi fieri; sed leniter et quasi fortuito ita cogitans, obdormivit. Ille autem, qui non dormit, neque dormitat, audiens cogitationes hominum, et volens illis ostendere quanti meriti fuerit apud eum S. Monica, eadem nocte sanavit eum. Mane autem facto, cum idem Andreas pergeret ex more cum alio ad ecclesiam S. Cyriaci extra villam, ut Missam dicerent, non sentiens dolorem in tibia sicut consueverat, substitit: et demissa caliga, tibiam omnino sanam invenit. Laetus igitur admodum effectus, socio suo confestim indicavit; et cogitationem quam habuerat, et sanitatem quam meritis S. Monicae adeptus erat. Peracto itaque divino Officio domum regressus, narravit nobis similiter praefatus Andreas quaecumque acciderant. Acceptis ergo instrumentis, quae effossioni necessaria videbantur, statim illuc perreximus: et effodere incipientes primo invenimus pilam marmoream, deinde guttam ibi stillantem, postremo sepulcrum lateribus bituminatis paratum, omnia eo ordine, quo ipsa praedixerat: et sic allata tellure et cespitibus erant cooperta, ut nullus viventium sciret ita esse disposita. Effracto itaque sepulcro, tanti odoris suavitate respersi sumus, ac si omnium aromatum, et pigmentorum genera sentiremus. Cum igitur tanta sanctitatis eius documenta sentiremus ac videremus; eiusdem translatione praesentiam Domini nostri Episcopi adesse debere censuimus. Collegimus ergo ossa, et in simul ea a parte capitis ponentes, eisdem lateribus cooperuimus: et mandavimus Episcopo nostro, ut veniret quam citius posset, et pro tali occasione, ut ipso praesente cum debita veneratione solenniter transferretur, et honorifice in Ecclesia conderetur. Sed non multo post Dominus Papa Adrianus obiit, et statim tempestas istius schismatis, sicut videtis, emersit: et ob hoc postea Episcopo nostro ad nos venire non licuit, et sic adhuc ossa S. Monicae ibidem remanserunt, sicut inventa sunt. Ad haec Abbas, Libenter, inquit, videremus. At ille ait: Venite, et videte. Precessit ille, et nos secuti sumus, et ostendit nobis quae ipse narraverat. Non enim longe distabat ab oppido, sed quasi stadiis duobus. Erat autem spelunca multum profunda: et reversi sumus nil fraudis molientes.|| "We know for certain that she is most Holy, and often she has appeared to many travellers in front of that place, to be seen in a devout dress, and friendly. Addressing them without any horror she asked that she be moved from there. Also last year she appeared to some youngster passing by that place, with the appearance and dress of some nun, and said to him: "Go and tell the Clergymen of S. Aurea that they should take me away from here, and put me to rest in a more respectable place." When the boy, undaunted, said: "Who are you? And where and in which way can they find your grave?", she replied: "I am Monica. My tomb on the other hand is at the lowest point. Those who will want to find it, digging it up, will first find a column of white marble, but that is not my grave. Next they will find flowing water that, at that same place, is absorbed again by the earth. Cleaning that out you will find my sarcophagus, composed of sides joined by bitumen." Having said that, she disappeared. The youngster on the other hand went home and told the story to his mother. She said: "Go to the Clergymen of S. Aurea and to Andreas the custodian, and tell them what you have heard and seen." He came to us and told us everything, step by step. But we, as on another occasion, neglected it again, especially because she had given orders earlier, through someone to whom she had appeared in a similar way, saying: "Go and tell the Clergymen of S. Aurea that they should never move me from here, unless they put me to rest in a more respectable place." But the Relics of Saints in that deserted place are so numerous that we were not able to easily find a place where we could put them in the honourable way they deserve. You should know that a few days earlier we had removed the Relics of the Blessed Asterius (9) and twelve other Martyrs from that place. Not knowing where to put them, we buried them in the church in a simple trench in the earth. But when after some time Andreas the custodian lay in his bed at night, he remembered what that youngster had told. That same Andreas however suffered from great pain in his shin-bone. Although he had applied potions for about two years he could not be cured. Therefore he said in his heart that if that Saint, that so strongly demanded to be transferred, would heal his shin-bone, together with her son the most Blessed Augustinus, he would rightly recognize their good deeds - no longer imaginary, but with clear evidence -, and transfer her Relics without any uncertainty. This he said not from faith, believing that it would happen to him. Instead he fell asleep, thinking like this calmly and almost casually. He however who does not sleep and is not sleepy, hearing the thoughts of people and wishing to show them how deserving S. Monica had rendered herself towards Him, cured him that same night. Early in the morning, when that same Andreas, as usual, walked with someone else to the church of S. Cyriacus outside the village (10) to hold Mass, not feeling the usual pain in his shin-bone, took off his boot and discovered that his shin-bone had healed completely. Rejoicing accordingly, he immediately informed his companion about what he had been thinking and about the health that he had obtained through the merits of S. Monica. When the divine Favour had thus been accomplished this Andreas returned home and told us also what had happened. We collected the tools that seemed necessary for the excavation and immediately proceeded to that place. We started to dig and first found a marble column, next trickling drops, finally a grave made of sides impregnated with bitumen, everything in the order that she had predicted. It was completely covered with earth and vegetation in such a way, that not a living soul could know that it had been arranged like that. Next, having broken open the grave, we were beclouded by the sweetness of such an odour as if it came from all spices, and we could smell various unguents. When we noticed and saw in this way such clear evidence of her holiness, we judged it necessary that our Lord the Bishop (11) was present at her transferral. We then collected the bones, and at the same time laying them at the side of her head, we gathered at her sides. We sent word to our Bishop that he should come as quickly as possible for such an important occasion, so that she could be solemnly transferred in his own presence with due reverence, and could be placed in the Church in an honourable way. However, not much later our Lord Pope Adrianus died, and immediately the period of that schism began, as you know (12). Hereafter for that reason our Bishop was not able to join us. So until today the bones of S. Monica remained there, in the way they were found." Abbas then said: "We would love to see them." The Clergyman said: "Come and see." He led the way and we followed him, and he showed us what he had described. She was not far away from the fortress, but approximately 1250 feet (13). There was a very deep hollow. We returned without attempting something criminal.|
 Post aliquot dies, cum nautae dicerent, ut res nostras et victus necessaria navi imponeremus, quia navigare vellent, dixit mihi secreto quidam Clericus, nomine Ulricus, quem Abbas S. Mauritii ad serviendum sibi deduxerat: Tu cum sis Canonicus Regularis, saltem pro amore et honore Magistri tui beatissimi Augustini, deberes de Reliquiis suae matris tecum ad ecclesiam tuam deferre. Cui ego respondi: Eia frater, non recordaris quanta mala in veniendo passi fuerimus? Timeo ne in redeundo peiora patiamur. Praeterea si Romani isti aliquo modo id nos fecisse cognoscerent, rebus omnibus ablatis in nos ultra modum desaevirent. Et ad haec ille: Quidquid inde tollere volueris, ita recondam, quod a nullo unquam poterit reperiri. His, et aliis huiusmodi persuasus, considerata competenti hora, veni ad sepulcrum: et circumspiciens ne forte aliquis me videret, ingressus haesitabam quid potissimum inde tollerem: nam de toto non cogitabam. Et placuit mihi caput, quia principalis est [pars], tollere, et implevi [illud] minimis ossiculis, iuncturis scilicet articulorum, et ceteris. Quo sublato, visum est mihi vel unum os adhuc tollere posse. Post hoc, et aliud et ita singillatim omnia collegi. Nec sine magna admiratione considerandum est, quod haec Sancta, sui ipsius manifestatione revelata, ab indigenis quaesita et inventa est, quod nullo modo ab alienis fieri potuisset. Deinde cum effossum transferre deberent, tamquam meliori consilio, ut celebrius fieri posset, transponi dilata est, et ibidem ab eis dimissa, ut iam quasi praeparata nostrum expectaret adventum. Qui post longum tempus, occasione qua praedictum est, illuc venientes, fortuitu eorumdem Clericorum simplici relatione et ostensione cognovimus, ut quod aliorum manibus erat praeparatum, nobis praedestinatione divina fuerit reservatum. Reverentiam quoque, quam sibi ab illis fieri exigebat, ipsis negligentibus, ab aliis sibi exhibendam praevidebat.
 After some days, when the sailors told us to collect our belongings and take the necessary provisions to the ship, because they wanted to sail, a certain Clergyman called Ulricus, whom Abbas had taken with him for the service of S. Mauritius, spoke to me in secret. "Since you are a Canon Regular you should at least, for the love and honour of your Teacher the most blessed Augustinus (14), take with you some of the Relics of his mother to your church." I replied to him: "I am not so sure, brother, don't you remember how many misfortunes we have suffered in coming here? I'm afraid that in leaving we will suffer even worse things. Besides, if those Romans should somehow find out that we did that, their anger against us, who stole all those things, would have no measure." He responded: "Whatever you would like to take from there I could hide in such a way that it could not be found ever by anyone." Persuaded by this and other, similar arguments I established the suitable time and went to the grave. I looked around me to make sure that nobody could see me and entered. I was in doubt about what I would like to take from there above all. For I did not consider taking all. I decided to take the head, because it is the most important part, and I filled that with very small bones, namely connecting joints, and other bones. Having lifted that it seemed right to me to take one more bone. After that one I collected another one and so everything, one by one. Not without great admiration should it be observed that this Saint, by revealing her own presence, was sought and found by local people, what could not have been done by strangers in any way. Next, when that what had been excavated had to be transferred by them, with a better judgement that might be more frequent, the moving was postponed and on the spot dismissed by them, so that she awaited our arrival as good as prepared. We came there after a long time, on an occasion that was predicted (15). We then learned by chance, through a simple story and showing by those same Clergymen, that what had been prepared by the hands of others had been reserved for our hands by divine predestination. Also she foresaw that the respect she demanded to be shown towards her by them - about which they were indifferent - had to be provided by others (16).
| Cum igitur omnibus sublatis inde regrederer, subito audivi sonitum commotionis magnae, et multum timui ne forte ab aliquo visus fuissem, qui illos commovisset, ut me tamquam furem insequerentur. Et intravi dumetum densissimum, quod forte iuxta viam reperi: dispositaque sarcina quam ferebam, alia parte egressus. Cum ascensoq (?) monticulo trepidus expectabam, quid tantus ille clamor intenderet. Et ecce subito ingens bubalus, agitationem eorum fugiens, praecucurrit. Tunc ego animaequior factus, ad hospitium veniens, sociis meis indicavi, quid egissem. Vespere autem facto, venientes colligere Reliquias nostras, non sine nullo timore id ipsum peragere potuimus: audivimus enim quosdam e vestigio sequi, et metuentes ne nos comprehendere venirent, latuimus donec pretransirent. Et inde colligentes eas, posuimus in quodam peliciolo meo, ita ligantes et obvoluentes, ut nisi pannorum fasciculus posset aestimari.|| When I left that place, after everything had been lifted, I suddenly heard the noise of a great movement, and I was very scared that I might have been seen by someone who had urged the local people to follow me as if I were a thief. I entered very dense bushes that I found by chance next to the road. I put down my burden and exited on the other side. I then climbed a small hill and anxiously awaited what all that noise meant. And behold, suddenly a large gazelle, fleeing the chase of the locals, ran past me. Then I, having regained my courage, went to the inn and told my comrades what I had done. In the evening we went out to collect our Relics, something we could not accomplish completely free from fear. Indeed we heard some people following in our track. Fearing that they came to apprehend us we went into hiding until they had passed. We then collected the Relics and put them in a rag of mine, binding them up and covering them in such a way that they could only be held for a bundle of clothes.|
| Postera die navigavimus, sed circa mediam diem coepit ventus contrarius esse, et mare intumescere, et ob hoc dicebant nautae validam tempestatem imminere: et suadebant nauclero, ut, conversa nave, tempestati cederet, et demissis velis navem fluctuare permitteret: nihil enim tam timere deberet, quam ne navis terrae vel scopulis illideretur. At ille, conversa nave, cogitabat se posse intrare alveum Tiberis, unde mane exierat. Quod illi multum dehortabantur, dicentes nullo conamine id posse fieri: navem periclitari cum omnibus, si id intenderet. Quod postea rei probavit eventus: ille enim, neglecto aliorum consilio, suspensis duobus velis, putavit navem flumini se posse violenter immittere: sed impetus [maris] quod iam valde intumuerat, navem fortiter repulit, et transversam terrae assidere fecit. Quod cum sentirent nautae, statim vela deposuerunt et navicula, quae erat in navi exposita, pro mercede plurimos emiserunt. Nos quoque, videlicet Abbas S. Mauritii et ego, libentissime exissemus, si similiter navem intrare potuissemus. Et quia hoc fieri non potuit, nolebamus ab invicem separari: tanta enim erat instantia intrare volentium, ut unusquisque de se solicitus, quasi praesentem mortem fugiens, alium repelleret, et prior intrare satageret. Multotiens quoque, dum aliqui eorum saltu inconsiderato ad naviculam festinebant, in mare ceciderunt. Tumultus magnus, dolor ingens; navis ad singulos undarum impulsus hinc inde inclinata mergebatur.|| The next day we set sail, but about midday the wind started to blow from the opposite direction and the waves began to swell. For that reason the sailors said that a powerful storm was building up. They urged the skipper to turn the ship and avoid the storm, and to let the ship float with lowered sails. For nothing had to be feared more, than that the ship would be driven to the shore or the sand-banks in the sea. But the skipper, having turned the ship, thought he could enter the branch of the Tiber from which he had departed in the morning. The sailors strongly advised to the contrary, saying that no effort could make this a success, and that the ship with the entire crew would be put in danger if he would try that. Later the outcome proved this to be correct. For the skipper neglected the advice of the others and thought that he could make the ship enter the river with force, with two raised sails. But the force of the waves, that had already swollen considerably, pushed back the ship with force and brought it near the shore in a straight angle (17). When the sailors noted this they immediately lowered the sails and sent off many with a life-boat that was on the deck of the ship, in exchange for their wages. We too, namely Abbas of S. Mauritius and I, would gladly have left the ship, if we could have entered the life-boat like them. This was difficult, and we did not want to be separated from each other. For so great was the vehemence of those wishing to enter it that each man, caring about himself only, fleeing what seemed to be a certain death, drove away another man and focused only on entering the boat first. Often also they fell into the sea, hastily trying to get to the life-boat by a badly planned jump. Much excitement, enormous distress. The boat, pushed against one wave after another, rocking from left to right, was engulfed.|
| Tunc Abbas S. Mauritii dixit mihi secreto: Timeo ne pro peccato vestro, quia furtim Reliquias de Ostia attulistis, orta sit haec tempestas, maxime cum dicatur mare non portare corpora mortuorum. Cui paulo durius postea respondi: Numquid non multo melius est eas deferri ubi honorentur, quam ibi relinqui, ubi a porcis conculcabantur? Ad haec ille conticuit. Sed cum tempestas nimium invalesceret, et undarum volumina navi tam irruerent, ut iam de vita universi penitus desperarent, dixit iterum mihi Abbas: Reus eritis omnium istorum quos hic interire permittitis, nisi, sicut dixi, prius furtum abieceritis. Tunc ergo timore mortis coactus, et Domini Abbatis et aliorum, quos similiter videbam periclitari, miseratione commotus, clamans ad clericum dicens: Ulrice, proiice pelliciolum meum in mare: nec enim aliter fui ausus dicere, continens pro contento insinuans. Si enim nautae se pro facto meo periclitari intellexissent, mirandum esset si me absque ulla miseratione in undas non proiecissent. Sed clericus audito hoc verbo multum tristatus est, eo quod consilio eius illas acceperam. Accessit ergo ad locum ubi eas posueram, sicut postea nobis retulit, et flexis genibus, in oratione dixit: O S. Monica, si tuum et tui filii beatissimi Augustini beneplacitum est, ut ossa tua ad locum propositum devehantur, intercede pro nobis ad Dominum, ut tempestate sedata, de instanti periculo eruti, gratias Deo et tuae liberationi referre valeamus. Et confestim, tempestate mitigata, liberati sumus, ita ut mirarentur universi. Deinde emissi ad terram, tamquam ex mortuis viventes, accenso igne siccati, et recreati sumus. Multum enim afflicti, et attriti in tam horrenda tribulatione fueramus.|| Then Abbas of S. Mauritius took me apart and said: "I am afraid that this storm began because of your sin, because you secretly took the Relics away from Ostia, especially because they say that the sea does not carry the bodies of the dead." Later and somewhat more obstinate I replied: "Isn't it much better that they be taken to a place where they can be honoured, rather than staying here, where they would be trampled upon by pigs?" At that he was silent. But when the storm started to gain much strength and the whirls of the waves attacked the ship in such a way that all deeply feared for their lives, Abbas again said to me: "You will be responsible for all those who you allow to perish here unless, as I have said, you will have disposed of what you have stolen first." Then, forced by fear of death, both of Lord Abbas and the others, who I saw exposed to danger in the same way, moved by compassion, I shouted to the Clergyman: "Ulricus, throw my bundle into the sea!" I dared say nothing else, keeping the contents to myself and keeping vague. For if the sailors would have understood that they were in danger through my deed, they would probably have thrown me into the sea without any compassion. But the Clergyman became very sad after hearing my words, because I had acquired those Relics on his advice. Therefore he went to the place where I had put them, as he told us later, prayed on his knees and said: "S. Monica, if it pleases you and your most blessed son Augustinus that your bones are taken to the planned location, then be our intermediary with the Lord, so that when the storm has calmed down we, rescued from the imminent danger, can thank God and report your liberation!" And immediately we were liberated, because the storm calmed down in such a way that all were surprised. Next, released to the shore and as if returned from the dead, we lit a fire, dried up, and regained our strength. For we had become most miserable and exhausted in such a horrible tribulation.|
| Et recepti in navem, venimus ad portum qui dicitur Civitas-vetus.|| We boarded the ship and arrived at the harbour that is called Civitavecchia.|
(2) The mediaeval village Ostia Antica.
(3) This church was replaced by the present church of S. Aurea in the 15th century.
(4) Already in the 11th century the coastline had moved considerably seawards.
(5) The Tiber passed by the mediaeval village until 1557, when it changed its course during a flood.
(6) This may well be the correct explanation for the unusual plural used by Augustinus (apud Ostia Tiberina, 'near the Tiberine Mouths'). The second branch is the so-called Fossa Traiana of Portus.
(7) Book IX, 8.
(8) This is not true. The name Mon(n)ica has a Berber origin. Waltherus' inspiration may have come from the two forms of the name of Ostia's protective saint: Chryse in Greek and Aurea in Latin. Or perhaps the clergymen believed that an inscription SANCTAE PRIMAE was related to Monica.
(9) Two martyrs of that name are known from Ostia.
(10) With the village the mediaeval village is meant. The very old church of Cyriacus, bishop of Ostia and martyr, was found to the south of the theatre (II,VII,1).
(11) The bishop of Ostia at this time was Ubaldo Allucingoli, the later pope Lucius III (1181-1185 AD).
(12) Pope Adrianus died in 1159 AD. Then for a long period (1159-1180 AD) several candidates for the papacy were supported by various monarchs.
(13) The tomb must have been situated between the mediaeval village and the church of Cyriacus to which Andreas walked, that is along the Via Ostiensis. The 1250 feet, i.e. 375 m., indicate that the tomb was in the necropolis along this road, outside the Porta Romana.
(14) The Order of Arrouaise of which Waltherus was a member lived according to the monastic rule of Augustinus.
(15) This seems to be a reference to a prediction known to the Order of Arrouaise.
(16) In the preceding lines Waltherus is working hard to conceal his deceit. Realising that there was no way in which he could lay his hands on the true relics of Monica, safely near the tomb of Aurea and commemorated by a large funerary inscription, he collected bones in a necropolis of Roman Ostia. He was now faced with two problems. First he had to explain how it was possible that the bones were found recently. This was solved by the appearance of Monica herself (already stating that she had little confidence in the Ostian clergymen) and the work of the local people. Next he had to explain why the bones had not been taken to safety. Here the bishop of Ostia comes to his rescue, by having to stay in Rome. Waltherus praises the clergymen for waiting for him, and simultaneously criticizes them for being indifferent. 'Se non e vero, e molto ben trovato', we might say.
(17) Later we learn that the ship is going to the north. This suggests that the storm was the Tramontana, blowing from the north.
Translation: Jan Theo Bakker.
 Tunc Imperator Constantinus misit se in amplexus eius, referens ei universa quae gesta sunt circa filias eius, et quomodo sint virgines Christo utiliter consecratae, et qualiter alias virgines duas, per suam gratiam evocaverit Deus; et quomodo eruditionis summam corripientes ad perfectionem coeperint, et quomodo universa perfectae vitae rudimenta susceperint. Tunc cum Augusto intranti palatium Gallicano occurrit Helena cum filia filii sui Constantia et filiabus ipsius Gallicani. Fundebantur lacrymae gaudiis plenae, nec permittitur ad domum reverti propriam Gallicanus; sed quasi gener Augustorum in palatio successit. Et considerans filias suas in laudibus Dei florentes, cum vellet privatus abscedere, rogatus ab Augustis Consul processit: in fascibus positus: quinque milia servorum liberos civesque Romanos fecit; quibus praedia domosque donavit: cunctasque facultates suas, excepto iure filiarum, distrahi ac donari pauperibus iussit; ac se in Ostiensi urbe manentem sancto viro cuidam Hilarino nomine sociavit; cuius habitaculum ampliari fecit ad peregrinorum susceptionem, quam ipse plurimis impendebat.
 Huic adhaeserunt multi ex servis, quos liberos fecit, et divulgata est fama eius per totum orbem; ita ut ab Oriente et Occidente venientes viderent virum ex Patritio et Consule, qui erat amicissimus Augustorum, lavantem pedes, ponentem mensam, aquam manibus affundentem, languentibus solicite ministrantem, exhibentem sanctae virtutis officia. Hic primus in Ostiensi urbe extruxit Ecclesiam, et dedicavit officia Clericorum. Huic se sanctus Levita Laurentius revelavit, adhortans eum, ut in eius nomine ecclesiam fabricaret in porta, quae nunc usque Laurentia nuncupatur. Rogatus autem ut ibi levaretur Episcopus, non consensit; sed ex sua voluntate ipse qui ordinaretur elegit; tantamque ei gratiam contulit Deus, ut daemonibus pleni, mox ut visi fuissent ab oculis eius, protinus mundarentur; multaque in eo erant sanitatum insignia.
 Sed cum a Constantio Iulianus Caesar tactus esset, dedit legem ut Christiani nihil in hoc seculo possiderent. Tunc Gallicanus habens in Ostiensi pago quatuor casas, quarum pensiones his operibus quibus diximus ministrabant, ita Deum habere meruit defensorem, ut quicumque ingrediebatur in eas malitiose ut poneret titulos fisci, aut exigeret pensiones, statim a diabolo repleretur; et quicumque actorum eius esset exactor, leprosus fiebat. Tunc interrogata daemonia dederunt responsum, quodsi sacrificare coactus fuisset Gallicanus, exactores redituum eius ista pericula evitarent. Et quoniam nullus audebat convenire de hoc scelere Gallicanum; mandavit ei Iulianus Caesar: Aut sacrifica diis, aut discede a finibus Italiae. Statim autem relictis omnibus petiit Alexandriam: et ibi iunctus est Confessoribus Christi per continuum annum; post etiam secessit in eremum; ibique a Rautiano Comite templorum, cum cogeretur sacrificare et contemneret, percussus gladio in corpore, Christi Martyr effectus est; atque ita perrexit ad dominum gaudens cum triumpho; cui statim basilicam sui nominis construxerunt, in qua exuberant beneficia Martyris ex eo tempore et nunc, usque in secula seculorum. Amen. Hilarinus autem, qui quondam Gallicanum in Ostiensi urbe susceperat, cum cogeretur a persecutoribus fidei Christianae sacrificare, et nollet, fustibus caesus martyrium sumpsit cuius corpus Christiani venerabiliter sepelierunt in Ostia.
|[to be translated]|
| Anno igitur ab incarnatione domini nostri Iesu Christi fere ducentesimo septimo Severus impiissimus adeptus est imperium, qui se Pertinacem appellari voluit. Hic natura saevus, multis saepe bellis lacessitus, fortissime quidem Rempublicam, sed superbissime rexit. Quintam post Neronem persecutionem in Christianos exercuit, plurimique sanctorum per diversas provincias martyrio coronati sunt. Ex quibus extitit virgo beatissima, Bonosa nomine, nobili quidem prosapia orta, nobilior sanctitate est facta, quae dum a cunabulis Christo credidisset, multis coepit po‹l›lere virtutibus, ac ieiuniis et orationibus insistens, omnipotenti Domino nostro Iesu Christo quotidie famulabatur.|| And so, in approximately the 207th year from the incarnation of our lord, Jesus Christ, the most impious [Septimius] Severus, who took the name Pertinax, seized power. He was a violent man by nature, challenged often by many wars. He ruled the state most bravely but very arrogantly. He undertook the fifth persecution against the Christians after Nero (1), and several of the saints were crowned with martyrdom throughout the many provinces (during that time). Among whom the most blessed virgin, Bonosa by name, stood out: born of a noble family, and made more noble still by her holiness, who, since she had entrusted her life to Christ from the cradle, began to acquire renown by means of her many virtues and, pursuing fasts and prayers, every day was a servant to our all-powerful lord, Jesus Christ.|
| Eodem quoque tempore, quo impiissimus rex sanctos Dei fortiter persequi fecerat, comprehensa est virgo Christi Bonosa ab impiis, atque cum summa velocitate ante conspectum regis adducta est. Quam cum impiissimus rex vidisset, interrogans eam dixit: quod nomen tibi est? Cui sancta virgo respondit: Bonosa famula Christi vocor. Imperator ait: Quis est Christus cui te famulari dicis? Bonosa virgo respondit, Christus est filius Dei, verbum patris altissimi, quod per uterum Mariae Virginis de sinu Patris ad terras veniens humanum genus a captivitate diabolica redemit. Severus imperator dixit: Et quare non adoras Deos immortales, quos universus orbis adorat? Bonosa virgo Christi respondit: Et qui sunt illi quos immortales esse dicis? Imperatur respondit: Iovem, Herculem, Esculapium, atque Saturnum. Virgo Christi respondit: Hos quos tu asseris esse Deos, nos qui fidem Christi tenemus, impios, maleficos, atque sceleratos esse decernimus atque iudicamus. De istis enim dicit propheta: Dii qui caelum et terram non fecerunt, pereant. De vobis autem psalmista ait: 'Confundatur omnes, qui ‹adorant› sculptilia qui gloriantur in simulacris suis.'|| Likewise, at that same time, when the most impious king had made the decision to persecute the holy men and women of God, that same virgin of Christ, Bonosa, was seized by unholy men and was brought with the greatest haste before the presence of the king (2). After the king took sight of her, he questioned her, saying: "What is your name?" The holy virgin answered him: "My name is Bonosa, servant of Christ." The emperor said, "Who is this Christ whom you are saying you serve?" Bonosa the virgin answered: "Christ is the son of god, the word of the father most-high, who, through the womb of the virgin Mary, coming to the earth from the bosom of the father, redeemed human kind from the captivity of the devil." Emperor Severus said, "And why do you not worship our immortal gods, whom the whole world worships?" The virgin of Christ, Bonosa, answered, "And who are those whom you say are immortal?" The emperor answered: "Jupiter, Hercules, Aesculapius, and Saturn." The virgin of Christ answered, "Those whom you think are gods, we who hold the faith of Christ consider and judge them to be impious, evil-doing, and wicked. About whom, indeed, the prophet has said: 'The gods who did not make the heaven and earth, may they perish (Jeremiah 10:11).' And about you, moreover, the Psalmist said: 'Everyone will be put to shame who makes their boast in worthless idols (Psalm 96:7).'"|
| Ad haec imperator iratus iussit eam mitti in carcerem, praecepitque non panem, neque aquam ei dari usque ad diem septimum. Cumque introisset beata Virgo in carcerem, ponens genua sua in terram, expansis in caelum manibus ait: Omnipotens Deus, qui caelum et terram creasti, et ex nihilo cuncta fecisti, qui sedes super Cherubin, et iudicas orbem terrae in aequitate, iustoque moderamine cuncta disponis, qui omnibus te in veritate clamantibus prope semper assistis, et voluntatem time‹n›tium te facis, et orationes eorum exaudis, atque salvos eos esse concedis, exaudi me famulam tuam humiliter deprecantem; custodi corpus meum a potestate inimici, ut non corrumpatur, sed integrum et inviolabile, quod tibi consecratum est; servetur ut cum sanctis virginibus in conspectu gloriae tuae accensis lampadibus mereatur possidere perpetuum regnum. Per Dominum nostrum Iesum Christum unigenitum filium tuum, qui tecum et cum Spiritu sancto semper vivit et regnat in aeterna secula. Amen.|| The emperor, angered at these things, ordered her to be sent to prison and instructed that no one give her bread or water for seven straight days. And after the blessed virgin had entered the prison, putting her knees on the ground, she said, with her hands spread open to the sky: "All-powerful god, you who created the heaven and earth and you who made everything from nothing, you who sit above the Cherubim and judge the globe of the world with fairness, who set everything right with a just helm, who nearly always come to the aid of all those who call out to you in truth; you who do the wishes of those who fear you and who hear their prayers and who grant that they are saved — hear me, your humble servant praying out to you. Protect my body from the power of the enemy so that it will not be corrupted but rather, that it be whole and inviolable, that which has been consecrated to you. And let it be protected so that it may merit an everlasting reign with the holy virgins in the sight of your glory, lamps ablaze. Through Jesus Christ our lord, your only-born son, who lives with you always and the holy spirit, and reigns throughout the unending ages. Amen."|
| Statim apparuit ei angelus Domini confortans eam et dixit: Noli timere, exaudita est oratio tua quemadmodum postulasti; pugna viriliter ut coroneris feliciter; quia nostri quanta omnes sancti passi sunt tormenta ut possiderent aeternae vitae palmam. Illa autem corroborata visione Angelica reddidit omnipotenti Deo gratiam. Post septimum vero diem iussit imperator duci eam de carcere, cogitans eam iam esse defunctam. Quam cum vidisset, dixit ei: Quis tibi panem dedit? Bonosa virgo respondit: Dixit Dominus in euangelio: Quia non in solo pa‹e›ne vivit homo, sed in omni verbo, quod procedit de ore Dei. Dixit ei imperator, sacrifica diis immortalibus et accipe sponsum nobilem secundum generositatem tuam, cum quo frui possis huius seculi divitiis. Bonosa virgo respondit: Me ipsam offero in sacrificium Deo vivo et vero caelesti sponso meo. Dicit ei imperator: Ergo sponsum habes? Christi virgo respondit: Habeo immortalem sponsum Dominum Iesum Christum.|| Immediately, an angel of the lord appeared to her, comforting her and said: "Don't be afraid. Your prayer has been heard just as you asked. Fight like a man so that you can be happily crowned, since so many torments have all the saints endured in order to obtain the palm of eternal life." And she, made strong by this angelic vision, gave thanks to the all-powerful god. After seven days, the emperor ordered her to be brought out from prison, thinking that she had already died. When he saw her, however, he said: "Who gave you bread?" Bonosa responded: "The lord said in the gospel that 'man does not live on bread alone but by every word which comes from the mouth of God (Matt 4:4, Luke 4:4, quoting Deut 8:2)." And the emperor said to her: "Sacrifice to these immortal gods and take a noble husband, appropriate to your nobility, with whom you can enjoy the riches of this age." Bonosa the virgin answered: "I offer myself as a sacrifice to the living god and to my true husband in heaven." The emperor said to her: "So, you already have a husband?" The virgin of Christ answered: "I have an immortal husband, the lord Jesus Christ."|
| Tunc iratus imperator [Septimius Severus] iussit eam expoliari, et fortiter caedi. Quae dum expoliata fuisset, ita operuit eam Angelus Domini, ut nullus posset videre nuditatem eius corporis. Satellites vero imperatoris nimium ceciderunt eam. Sed Christi virgo nec terroribus concutiebatur, erat enim speciosa nimis, et pulchra aspectu. Mox imperator tradidit eam suo Praesidi dicens: Accipe hanc puellam, et suade ei sacrificare diis nostris, quod si contempserit, diversis poenis eam interficies. Praeses autem accipiens eam laetus effectus est, cogitans eam revocare posse a Dei sui cultura, et lateri suo sociari. Alia autem die iussit sibi praeses tribunal parari iuxta Romanum portum ante forum, et sanctam Virginem suis orationibus sisti praecepit. Cui etiam dixit: Consule pulchritudini tuae, et sacrifica deo Herculi, atque consenti mihi, et possidebis copias auri et argenti, et habebis hereditarios filios. Bonosa virgo sancta respondit: Pro certo scias praeses, quia numquam sacrificabo diis vanis, neque polluar sordibus alienis; aurum et argentum tu posside fili diaboli, qui possidere debes aeternum supplicium. Ego autem habeo aeternam hereditatem in regnis caelestibus.|| Then, the angered emperor ordered her to be stripped of her clothes and to be lashed, harshly. But after she had been stripped, an angel of the lord came to her aid in such a way that no one was able to see the nakedness of her body. The assistants of the emperor beat her severely, but the young virgin of Christ was not struck by these terrors for she was too pretty and beautiful in her appearance. Soon, the emperor handed her over to his assistant, the governor, telling him: "Take this girl and persuade her to sacrifice to our gods. Because if she holds them in contempt, you can kill her with an assorted array of punishments." The governor then, taking her into his custody, was made joyous, thinking that he would be able to call her away from worshipping her own god and that she would be joined to his side. So, on the following day, the governor ordered a tribunal to be erected at Portus (portum Romanum) in front of the Forum (3) and he ordered the holy virgin to be brought forward for his message. And he said to her: "Take heed of your beauty and sacrifice to the god Hercules (4) and join with me, and you will have an abundance of gold and silver and sons for your heirs." The holy virgin Bonosa responded: "May you know for certain, governor, that I will never sacrifice to empty gods. Nor will I be polluted by foreign, unclean things. Possess gold and silver yourself, you son of the devil, who ought to possess eternal torment. I, however, have an endless inheritance in heavenly realms above.|
| Iratus ad haec praeses vehementer iussit alapis caedi sanctam Virginem. Ministri autem Praesidis cum vellent eam caedere, obstupebant eorum brachia prae nimio dolore, et non valebant inferre aliquod malum in sanctam Virginem. Sancta autem Bonosa respondit ministris: Numquid non videtis virtutem Domini mei Iesu Christi, miserrimi? Quare non creditis in Dominum meum Iesum Christum? At illi respondentes dixerunt: Credimus in Deum, quem tu praedicas o beata virgo. Et crediderunt in illa die quinquaginta milites in Dominum Iesum Christum, et baptizati sunt a Pontifice urbis Romae [et] Praesule, quos omnes beata Bonosa de sancto fonte suscepit, et docuit eos omnem legem divinam.|| The governor, angered at these words, impetuously ordered the holy virgin to be beaten with blows. But when his assistants tried to beat her, their arms were struck numb on account of excessive pain and they were unable to bring about anything evil against the holy virgin. The holy virgin meanwhile answered the assistants: "Do you not see the power of my lord, Jesus Christ, you pitiful men? Why do you not believe in my lord, Jesus Christ?" And they answered her: "We believe in the god whom you are telling about, blessed virgin." And on that day, 50 soldiers believed in the lord Jesus Christ and were baptized by the priest and president of the city of Rome, all of whom the blessed Bonosa raised from the holy font [of baptism] and taught them the divine law.|
| Audiens haec praeses iussit satellitibus suis, ut cum nimia iniuria ducerent beatam Bonosam ante suum conspectum, quae cum praesentata fuisset dixit ei praeses: Ego te cogitavi sapienter et rationabiliter arguere, ut ab insania tua recederes; tu autem arrogans effecta tuis magicis artibus delusisti famulos meos recedere a cultura deorum meorum. Bonosa respondit: Insensate et impiissime tyranne, quare non vereris loqui, qui daemonia asseris Deos esse? Num audisti quid sanctus Propheta dicat: Omnes dii gentium daemonia, Deus autem noster caelos fecit? Ad haec indignatus praeses iussit eam suspendi in eculeo et torqueri. Quae cum torqueretur beatissima Virgo hilari vultu dicebat: Gratias tibi ago Domine Iesu Christe Salvator meus, qui me dignatus es aggregare in numero ancillarum tuarum. Altera vero die sedens praeses pro tribunali dedit capitalem sententiam super eos, qui nuper baptizati erant, qui ducti sunt foras portam civitatis et decollati sunt octavo Idus Iulii, accipientes in Domino victoriae palmas, quorum corpora sepulta sunt non longe a Portu Romano stadio uno.|| Hearing these things, the governor ordered his assistants to bring the blessed Bonosa before him with excessively harsh treatment. When she had been presented to him, he said to her: "I thought that you were wisely and rationally making clear that you were going to withdraw from your earlier state of madness. Arrogant, however, and accomplished in your magic skills, you have deceived my servants into withdrawing from the worship of my gods." Bonosa answered: "You irrational and most impious tyrant, why are you afraid to speak, you who assert that lesser beings (daemonia) are gods? Surely you have heard what the holy prophet says: 'All the gods of the nations are demons, but our god made the heavens (Psalms 96:5)?'" Indignant at these words, the governor ordered her to be hung on the rack and tortured. While she was being tortured, the most blessed virgin was calling to god with a cheerful face: "I give thanks to the lord Jesus Christ, my savior, you have deemed it worthy to count me among the number of your servants." On the next day, the governor, sitting at the tribunal, passed a sentence of capital punishment for those who had recently been baptized; they were led outside the gate of the city and decapitated on the eighth day before the Ides of July [July 8th (5)], taking their palm of victory for the lord, and their bodies were buried not far off, at one mile from the Roman port.|
| Beatam vero Bonosam in tenebroso loco trudi praecepit. Quae cum esset reclusa apparuit ei Angelus Domini confortans eam, deditque ei panem caelestem, quae cum comedisset recreata sunt omnia viscera eius. Praeses autem nimis iratus quid ageret ignorabat. Iussit satellitibus suis, ut plumbatis cederent sanctam Bonosam. Ministri autem diaboli fecerunt sicut imperatum eis fuerat. Beata vero Bonosa pulcherrimo vultu dixit ad Praesidem: Iniquissime quid contra me insanis, putasne me vincere? Iam nimirum constat me signatam et consecratam a Domino Iesu Christo. Tunc praeses ait ei: Impia quare ultronea conaris, et amittis tantam pulchritudinem? Abnega Deum tuum, et nega te esse Christianam, et accipe maritum sponsum iuvenem, qui dabit tibi pretiosa vestimenta, et cuncta quae necessaria sunt; sin alias, deservi in templo deae Vestae cum aliis virginibus, cum quibus habere poteris quidquid tibi libitum fuerit.|| But the governor ordered blessed Bonosa to be shut up in a dark place. And when she had been closed up there, an angel of the lord appeared to her, comforting her, and gave her bread from heaven. And after she had eaten it, all her inner organs were restored. The governor, however, excessively angered, was ignorant of what happened. He ordered his assistants to go to the holy Bonosa with lead scourges. These demon assistants, moreover, did just as the emperor ordered them. But the blessed Bonosa with her most beautiful face said to the governor: "Most unjust man, why do you rage against me? Do you think that you can conquer me? Already it is well known that I have been marked and made holy by the lord Jesus Christ." Then the governor said to her, "Impious woman, why are you choosing to struggle of your own accord, and why are you forfeiting such great beauty? Renounce your god, and deny that you are a Christian, and take a young husband as your betrothed, someone who will give you nice clothes and all the things which are related to such a position. And if not, then serve in the temple of the goddess Vesta with the other virgins, with whom you will be able to have whatever is pleasing to you."|
| Ad haec Virgo sancta respondit: Absit a me, absit ut Creatorem meum negem, qui est creator, et recreator, formator et reformator cunctorum omnium, perfecit caelum et terram, mare, et omnia, quae in eis sunt, visibilia et invisibilia. Qui Luciferum superbientem a sublimibus caelorum sedibus cum suis satellitibus in infernum deposuit; cum quibus et vos o miseri estis arsuri, ubi est luctus et gemitus, dolor, et tristitia inconsolabilis, miseria ac poena irremediabilis, ubi sunt dracones, serpentes, vermes, qui numquam moriantur, ubi perpetua flamma, quae numquam extinguitur, et unde evadere poteritis si credideritis in Deum Patrem omnipotentem, et in Iesum Christum filium eius, et in Spiritum sanctum omnium vivificatorem, qui praestat omnium peccatorum remissionem, insuper etiam regnum condonat aeternum, ubi ipsa sancta Trinitas aequalis regnat in maiestate sua, ubi gaudent Angeli, laetantur Archangeli, tripudiant Patriarchae atque Prophetae, et exultant omnes in gloria sine fine, ubi adest plurimarum rosarum, vernantium florum, et violarum multarum fragrantia, ubi non est dolor neque tristitia, sed ibi est aeternum gaudium, sempiternaque laetitia.|| To these words, the holy virgin answered: "Let it be far from me, far from me, that I deny my creator, who is the creator, and re-creator, fashioner and re-fashioner of all things, who made the heaven and earth, the sea and everything which now exists on them, visible and invisible; who deposed haughty Lucifer with his attendants from the lofty seats of heaven into hell; with whom even you, miserable man, will be burnt; where there is mourning and groans, grief and inconsolable sadness, suffering and unchecked punishment; where there are dragons and snakes and worms, who never die; where there are unending flames which are never extinguished; and from where you will be able to escape only if you believe in the all-powerful god the father, and in his son, Jesus Christ, and in the holy spirit, the maker of all life, who excels at the remission of all sins; and who delivers up the eternal kingdom above, where the holy trinity itself reigns, all equal, in its majesty; where the angels rejoice, and the archangels are joyful, the patriarchs and prophets dance, and where everyone exalts in glory without end, where there is the fragrance of a great number of roses, blossoming flowers, and many violets; where there is neither grief nor sadness but eternal joy and eternal happiness."|
| Et praeses ad haec respondit: Haec sunt verba, quae numquam audivi, nec aliquando sum expertus; sed ideo te puto talia loqui, ut possis evadere tormenta, quae tibi parata sunt. Beata virgo respondit: Cuncta quae a me audisti profecto credere poteris, si donum baptismi Christi consequeris. Praeses dixit: Iubeo te cum meretricibus tradi, atque cum lusoribus in contubernio lupanari concludi, et postquam corrupta fueris ad nostrum reverteris consilium. Sancta Bonosa respondit: Numquam virginitatem meam, quam Christo Domino consecravi, amittam; numquam ad vestrum declinabo consilium. Tunc praeses iussit venire lenones, ut acciperent sanctam Virginem suis amplexibus, quod facere Deo iuvante minime potuerunt. Videns autem haec praeses praecepit ingeri flammas circa latera eius, cumque positae essent laminae candentes ut sanctae virginis corpus exurerent, ait beata Virgo ad Praesidem: Tormenta tua pro nihilo computo, quia Redemptoris mei coronam, quam repromisit expecto; sed quia mentem tuam ‹video› in felle amaritudinis, et in diabolico consilio permanere, quidquid tibi videtur exerce. Ad haec praeses iracundia succensus iussit eam iterum in eculeo suspendi, et attrahi nervis, et ungulis ferreis eius carnes radi, ut dolore compuncta idolis hostias immolaret. Cum autem vidisset praeses eius mentem prorsus immolabilem et impiis tormentis exultare cordis laetitia, praecepit eam deponi, et in arctissima custodia retrudi.|| And the governor responded to these things: "These are words which I have never heard, nor have I experienced them at any other time. But for that reason, I think that you're saying such things to be able to avoid the tortures which have been prepared for you." The blessed virgin responded, "Everything which you heard, certainly you can believe, if you pursue the gift of the baptism of Christ." The governor said, "I order you to be handed over to the prostitutes and to be shut up with those who work in the sex trade (6). And after you have been corrupted, you will turn back to our course of action." The holy Bonosa responded: "Never will I lose my virginity, which I consecrated to my lord, Christ. Never will I bend to your plan." Then the governor ordered the lions to come to take the holy virgin in their jaws, which they were scarcely able to do since God was at her side helping. Seeing this, however, the governor ordered flames to be poured around her. And, after white hot sheets of metal had been brought near to burn the body of the holy virgin, the blessed virgin said to the governor, "I count your tortures worth nothing since I am awaiting the crown of my redeemer, which he promised me in return. But since I see that your mind is steeped in the gall of bitterness (Acts 8:23) and that you remain fixed in your devilish plan, do whatever seems fit for you to do." At this, the governor, enflamed with anger, ordered her again to be hung from the rack and her muscles pulled and her flesh scraped off with iron nails so that, stung with pain, she would offer sacrifice to the images. When, however, the governor saw that her mind was by all means fixed and that she was delighting at these wicked tortures in the joyfulness of her heart, he ordered her to be taken down and to be thrown back into the strictest confinement.|
| Angelus autem Domini in custodia carceris ei apparuit, magnumque ibi lumen refulsit, et ait ad Christi Virginem: Constans esto Christi virgo Bonosa, modicum et ad tempus sustine tormenta, ut accipias aeternae gloriae coronam, quam dabit tibi Christus sponsus et Deus tuus. At illa congaudens reddidit omnipotenti Deo laudes et gratias, dicens: Omnipotens Deus, qui sedes super Cherubin, et profunditatem prospicis abyssi, qui cunctarum stellarum nomina nosti, cunctorumque hominum cogitationes a longe cognoscis, qui sathan ab sanctorum tuorum pedibus tua virtute conculcasti, et miseros, qui clausi in inferni claustra detinebantur, ad superos revocasti, exaudi me ancillam tuam, et concede mihi misericordiam tuam, ut cum finis vitae meae advenerit, ab angelis tuis sanctis in pace suscipi iubeas animam meam, atque in requiem collocare digneris aeternam. Qui vivis et regnas per aeterna seculorum secula. Amen.|| Then, an angel of the lord appeared to her while in custody, and there shined forth a great light, and the angel said to the virgin of Christ: "Be steady, virgin of Christ, Bonosa. Withstand your torments with proper measure and endure them for the time being so that you will receive the crown of eternal glory which Christ, your groom and your god, will give to you." And she, overwhelmed with joy, gave praise and thanks to the all-powerful god, saying: "All-powerful god, you who sit above the Cherubim and who look down at the depth of the bottomless pit, who know all the names of the stars and the thoughts of all men at a distance, you who trampled Satan with the feet of your holy men and women by means of your virtue (virtus); you who have called back to the realm of those above all the wretched who were detained, shut up in the gates of hell — hear me, your servant. And grant me your pity so that when the end of my life comes, you may order my spirit to be taken up by your holy angels in peace, and so that you may deem it worthy to place me in eternal peace. You who live and reign through the eternal ages of the ages. Amen."|
| Praeses autem altera die iussit sibi in foro civitatis tribunal parari, et sedens in iudiciaria sede sanctam virginem praecepit afferri, cui etiam dixit: Quod consilium invenisti, vivendi, aut moriendi? Sancta Bonosa respondit: Consilium inveni, ut cum Christo vivam in aeternum. Praeses autem dixit: Tu deis sacrifica, aut sententiam accipe mortis. Bonosa virgo respondit: Non sunt dii, sed daemonia pessima comprobantur, quia nec sibi, nec aliis prodesse poterunt neque in hoc seculo, neque in futuro, sed erunt in aeterna damnatione et tribulatione omnes, qui colunt eos. Praeses dixit: Iniuriam meam patienter sustinui, sed deorum meorum iam ferre non possum. Accede et affer libamina diis, sin autem, statim meo gladio interibis.|| On the next day, the governor ordered a tribunal to be set up in the forum of the city and, sitting on his judge's seat, ordered the holy virgin to be brought forth. And next he said to her: "What plan have you decided upon: life or death?" Holy Bonosa responded, "I have decided to live with Christ in eternity." And the governor said, "Sacrifice to the gods, or receive the sentence of death." And Bonosa the virgin responded: "These things are not gods, but rather the worst kinds of lesser demons since neither for themselves nor for others are they able to bring aid, neither in this age, nor in the future. And everyone who worships them will live in eternal damnation and distress." The governor said: "I have patiently put up with the insult to me, but I cannot bear any more the insult to my gods. Come and offer a libation to the gods. If not, however, you will die by my sword immediately."|
| Sancta Bonosa virgo respondit: Minister sathanae, cur hortaris Dei famulam fidem mutare, quam ab infantia Christo domino cognoscis esse firmatam, et cum quo ero aeternaliter regnatura? Ad haec praeses iratus dixit: Sacrilegam Bonosam, blasphemiam diis inferentem, et decretis imperatorum obsecundare nolentem, iubeo capite caedi. Tunc praecepit spiculatori, ut suo proprio ense decollaret eam. Educta est igitur virgo Christi foras urbis portas, et capitalem subiit sententiam Idibus Iulii. Ipse autem imperator, qui eam comprehendi fecerat eodem anno apud Eboracum oppidum morbo percussus obiit. Sic enim Dominus N. Iesus Christus suos vindicat Sanctos, et dat eis gloriam sempiternam. Qui cum Patre, et Spiritu sancto vivit, et regnat per omnia secula seculorum. Amen. Gloriosissima virgo Bonosa ora pro nobis miseris peccatoribus, cuius festum celebratur die quintadecima mensis Iulii.|| The holy virgin Bonosa answered, "Minister of Satan, why do you urge a servant of God to change her faith, which you know was established from infancy to Christ the lord, with whom I will reign eternally?" To these words the governor, angered, said, "Sacrilegious Bonosa, speaking blasphemy to the gods, and unwilling to follow the orders of the emperors, I order you to be beheaded." Then he instructed his assistant to decapitate her with his own sword. And so, the virgin of Christ was led out of the gates of the city and she received the death penality on the Ides of July [July 15th]. The emperor himself, however, who had instructed her to be seized, died during that same year, struck by sickness at the town of Eboracum (7). For in this way, our lord Jesus Christ vindicates his holy men and women and gives them eternal glory. Who, with the father and holy spirit, lives and reigns through all the ages of the ages. Amen. The most glorious virgin Bonosa, pray for us wretched sinners, whose feast is celebrated on the 15th day of the month of July (8).|
(1) the fifth persecution after Nero Counting Domitian, Trajan, Hadrian and Marcus Aurelius, from the author's point of view.
(2) rex If this text, drawn from the acts of the martyrs (gesta martyrum) was redacted during the end of the fifth century and beginning of the sixth century, as scholars believe, then the use of the word rex may be a sign of redaction during the period of the Ostrogothic kings (476–552 CE). This introduction may, however, have been appended to an earlier text, beginning midway through §2, at which point Septimius is named imperator, a title more consistent with the imperial period.
(3) Portus Epigraphic evidence (see note 8, below) was discovered here which associated Bonosa's martyrdom with the site.
(4) Hercules For the cult of Hercules at Portus, see CIL 14.4288 (early first century CE), found near the canal; and CIL 14.13 and 14.16 (end of the second century CE).
(5) 8th of July ... outside the gate of the city The date of the purported execution falls between 5-13 July, the period of the Late Antique Ludi Apollinares, according to the codex calendar of 354. Note that, at the time the martyrdom is alleged to have taken place (during the reign of Septimius Severus, 193–211 C.E.) Portus did not have town walls. In fact, the extant walls, traditionally attributed to Constantine, are now dated between the late fourth and mid fifth century. See A. Martin "Evidenza ceramologica per la datazione delle mura 'costantiniane' di Portus" in La Storia economica di Roma nell'alto Medioevo alla luce dei recenti scavi archeologici, 201–02. Edited by L. Paroli and P. Delogu (Florence 1993).
(6) handed over to the prostitutes Compare the martyrdom of Agnes in Rome (AASS "January II," pp. 351–54: "Symphronius praefectus dixit: unum tibi e duobus elige, aut cum virginibus deae Vestae sacrifica, aut cum meretricibus scortaberis in contubernio lupanari," 2.7).
(7) Eboracum York, Roman Britain. Septimius Severus visited the town in 211; he died there that same year; see Herodian 3.15.4-5 and Dio 77.1.1. Constantine was proclaimed emperor at York (Eutropius 10.1.3).
(8) 15th of July Bonosa's martyrdom also falls during a festival period: the Ludi Francici, 15-20 July. See note 5, above. For the tomb of the martyr at Portus, where her death was commemorated with Eutropius and Zosima, see the description of the Basilica of Eutropius, Bonosa and Zosima on this website.
Translation by Douglas Boin (Georgetown University), 2012.
 Crescentius, Philippus, Eugenius, Titus, Aurelia virgo et martyr, et Eusebius Papa et martyr. Quae quidem sacra corpora fuerunt a me dicto notario Apostolico propriis manibus e coemeterio sancti Sebastiani extra muros almae Urbis desumpta cum licentia et supplicatione sanctissimi D.N. Pauli Papae quinti. An hic Eugenius, cuius corpus extractum est e coemeterio sancti Sebastiani extra muros almae Urbis, idem dici potest cum Eugegio vel Eugenio, qui primam sepulturam habuit in suburbio Ostiensi, et cuius corpus inde iam a multis seculis ad dioecesim Aretinam translatum est, ut ex antiquis instrumentis discimus?
 [SS. Flora et Lucilla] Quarum exemplo, martyrii desiderio incensus Dionysius et alii socii Christum libere praedicantes, eiusdem iudicis iussu decollati sunt: quorum corpora cum SS. Virginum corporibus apud Ostiam a Christianis sepulta sunt.
|[to be translated]|
 [Baronius scripsit] Extat et invisitur memoria olim celebris puteus ille, seu profunda fovea aquis plena, in qua sanctus Hippolytus martyrii coronam accepit; modo autem frequentibus piratarum incursionibus, diruta eius ecclesia, apparet ignobilis.
 Christiani vero noctu levaverunt corpus eius de puteo occulte, et cum hymnis et laudibus omnique veneratione sepelierunt in eodem loco non longe ab ipsa fovea, quasi pedes plus minus sexaginta in insula, quae uno latere mare habet, a duobus divisione alvei Tyberis cingitur, vigesima secunda die mensis Augusti; ubi quotidie praestantur Christi beneficia, et fructus orationum sancti Martyris exuberant usque in praesentem diem.
|[to be translated]|
|CAPUT I||CHAPTER I|
| Tempore, quo iniquissimus Claudius Romanae urbis sumpsit imperium, tali a diabolo repletus est ira circa Christianos, ut penitus Christi nomen nec audire potuisset. Tunc iussit mitti praecones per vicos et plateas, ut universus populus diis victimas immolaret. Si quis autem sacrificare noluisset, diversis poenis interficeretur: et alii quidem ferarum morsibus laniati interirent; alii in alveo Tiberis demergerentur; alii vero exilio deportarentur, et, si quis aleret Christianum, diversis poenis interiret. Tunc coeperunt ministri curiose quaerere Christianos, ut una cum populis idolis immolarent. Et inventi sunt multi Christiani nolentes sacrificare: qui diversa sustinuerunt tormenta, et cum gloria martyrii pervenerunt ad Christum. Inter quos inventa est virgo sacratissima, nobili genere orta, imperatorum filia, et a cunabulis Christiana, nomine Aurea. Quae contempsit praecepta iniquissimi iudicis, dicens: Ego Deum confiteor labiis, et corde invocare non cesso: neque daemoniis inclinabo cervices meas, de quibus Scriptura testatur, dicens: Similes illis fiant, qui faciunt ea, et omnes qui confidunt in eis.|| In that time when the most evil Claudius took power over the Roman city, he was filled by a demon with such an anger towards Christians that he couldn't even tolerate to hear Christ's name. At that time, he ordered his heralds to be sent through the towns and streets so that the whole population might offer sacrifices to the gods. Moreover, if anyone did not wish to make a sacrifice, he or she would be killed with various punishments - some indeed would die torn to pieces by the attacks of wild beasts; some would be drowned on the banks of the Tiber; and others would be sent off into exile. And if anyone of them harbored a Christian, he or she would die by various punishments. So then his agents began diligently to seek out Christians to make them sacrifice to the idols at the same time as other folks. And many Christians were found who were unwilling to sacrifice, who endured various tortures and went to Christ as martyrs with glory - amongst whom was found a most holy young woman, born of a noble line, the daughter of emperors and a Christian from the cradle, named Aurea. She scorned the commands of her most evil judge, saying: "I confess God with my lips and I will not cease from calling upon him with my heart. Nor will I bend my neck to demons, about whom scripture speaks, saying: "Let those who do these things and everyone who trusts in them become similar to them." (1)|
| Hoc audientes ministri renuntiaverunt Augusto, quae gesta fuissent. Statim iussit eam in uno carcere recludi: et per septem dies neque aquam ei porrigere. Completo vero die septimo, suis eam iussit aspectibus praesentari. Quae cum praesentata fuisset, dixit ad eam Claudius: Cur deseruisti deos immortales, quos parentes tui a cunabulis coluerunt, quos principes adorant, per quos respublica semper floruit, et Romano imperio victoria tributa est, et Romani omnium gentium feritatem cum suis opibus subiugaverunt? Cui beata Aurea fiducialiter dixit: O infelix, si sciebas Deum creatorem caeli et terrae, et hominum conditorem, qui ista omnia operatus est, quae tu dicis per deos tuos facta fuisse, qui sunt lapides vel aeramenta, qui nec sibi nec aliis opitulari potuerunt; terram et cinerem capiti tuo aspergebas, et sic provolutus pavimento poenitentiam ageres de sanguine Sanctorum, quem effudisti, et te idolis sacrificasse poenituisset, et crederes in Iesum Christum Dei Filium, natum de Spiritu santo et Maria Virgine.|| The ministers, hearing this, reported back to the Emperor what had happened. Immediately, he ordered that she be imprisoned and that for seven days and nights no water be offered to her. After the seventh day, he ordered that she be brought forth to him. After she had been presented, Claudius said to her, "Why have you forsaken the immortal gods, whom your parents cultivated from their cradles, whom the emperors worship and through whom the state has always flourished and through whom victory has always been afforded the Roman empire and with whose help the Romans have subjugated the savagery of all people?" To whom blessed Aurea said confidently, "Unlucky man, if you knew God, the creator of heaven and earth and the founder of the human race, who has performed all those things of yours which you say have been accomplished through your gods - gods who are stones or bronze, who are unable to assist either you or others; [if you knew God,] you would be pouring earth and ashes on your head and, in this way, humbled on the ground, you would be both doing penance for the blood of the saints - blood which you have poured out and blood that would have atoned for the fact that you had sacrificed to idols - and you would believe in Jesus Christ the son of God, born of the holy spirit and the virgin Mary.|
| Dicit ei Claudius imperator: desere vanitatem istam et humiliare; et sacrifica diis, et accipe virum, et laetare in vita tua. Beata Aurea respondit: Ego habeo iam caelestem sponsum, a cuius amore nullus hominum me separare potest. Dixit ei imperator: Nisi quia nobili genere orta es, a diversis poenis te faciam, interire. Beata Aurea respondit: Semel dixi caesar, quia nec minas tuas timeo, nec terrores tui me separant a caritate Domini mei Iesu Christi. Tunc indignatus imperator iussit eam in eculeo levari: erat autem pulchro aspectu et speciosa nimis, ita ut omnes pulchritudinem eius conspicerent: et necesse fuit, ut, quam Deus perfuderat gratia sua, ab omnibus amaretur: et cum attraheretur nervis, nihil aliud dicebat, nisi tantum, Christe, adiuva me, et exclamans dixit: Gratias tibi ago, Domine Iesu Christe, qui me dignatus es famulam tuam inter servos tuos dinumerare. Et cum deposita fuisset de eculeo, iussit eam iterum retrudi in carcerem dicens, Si haec extincta non fuerit, multi peribunt.|| Claudius the emperor said to her: "Forsake that vanity and be humbled. Sacrifice to the gods, find a husband and be happy in your life." Blessed Aurea answered, "I already have a heavenly spouse, from whose love no man can separate me." The emperor said to her, "Except that you were born of a noble lineage, I would make you die by various punishments." Blessed Aurea answered, "Once and for all I have said, Caesar, that I neither do fear your threats nor can your terrors separate me from the love of my lord, Jesus Christ." Then the enraged emperor ordered her to be raised up on a wooden torture rack. However, her appearance was so beautiful and exceedingly good-looking that everyone took notice of it. And it was inevitable that everyone fell in love with her, the girl whom God had filled with his grace. And after she had been stretched to the sinews, she said nothing except, finally, "Christ, sustain me," and shouting out, she said, "I thank you, lord Jesus Christ, you who have thought it worthy to count me as servant among your servants." And after she had been taken down from the rack, Claudius ordered her again to be sent back into prison, saying, "If she will not die, many others will."|
| Altera autem die iussit eam a suis apparitoribus coarctari, quam sic aggreditur dicens: Aut acquiesce, et sacrifica diis, aut variis te suppliciis interire faciam. Beata Aurea respondit: Ego semper sacrificavi, et sacrificabo Domino Iesu Christo, et meipsam offero sacrificium immaculatum Deo in odorem suavitatis: quia sacrificium Deo est spiritus contribulatus. Videns autem imperator quia in omnibus victus fuerat, iussit eam exspoliari, et fustibus caedi dicens: Modo videbo si Christus tuus liberabit te. Tunc beata Aurea elevans oculos suos ad caelum dixit: Qui liberasti tres pueros de camino ignis ardentis, et Susannam de falso crimine, et Danielem de lacu leonum; tu da virtutem cordi et corpori meo sufferre tormenta, ut non praevaleat draco iste iniquitatis in ancillam tuam confidentem in te. Iratus Claudius iussit eam levari a terra, et vinctam catenis in Hosteam exilio deportari cum viris religiosis, et sacris virginibus, et omni familia sua: et coepit habitare foras muros Hostiae civitatis in loco, qui vocatur Euparisti in praedio suo, et ibi die noctuque ieiuniis et orationibus epulabatur.|| On the next day he ordered her to be confined by his own personal guards and he came before her, saying, "Either give in and sacrifice to the gods or I will make you die by various humiliations." Blessed Aurea responded, "I have always sacrificed and I will now sacrifice for the lord Jesus Christ, and I offer to God me, myself, as an offering unstained in the scent of sweetness [like other sacrifices] because the sacrifice to God is a contrite heart." The emperor, seeing he had been defeated in everything, ordered her to be stripped and to be struck with cudgels, saying, "Soon I'll see if your Christ will free you." Then blessed Aurea, raising her eyes to the sky, said, "You who have freed three boys from the furnace of the burning fire and freed Susanna from a false charge and freed Daniel from the lions' den; give me strength of heart to endure even the torments of my body so that that serpent of iniquity does not gain the upper hand over your servant, who puts her trust in you." Angry, Claudius ordered her to be raised from the ground and bound in chains, to be carried off in exile to Ostia with other religious men and holy young women and her entire family. And she began to live outside the walls of the city of Ostia in that place which is called Euparisti - on her own farm and there, day and night, she had her fill of fasts and feasted on prayers.|
| Erat autem in civitate Hostea episcopus, nomine Cyriacus, timens Deum, cum sacerdotibus suis Maximo, Eusebio et Concordio presbyteris, et Archelaio diacono: quorum orationibus multa mirabilia Dominus operatus est. In eodem loco sanabantur infirmi orationibus eorum a languoribus suis, expellebantur daemonia, caeci illuminabantur. Dum haec beata Aurea agnovisset, gaudio repleta, veniens ad sanctum Cyriacum episcopum coepit pedibus eius prostrata cum lacrymis rogare, ut precem super eam effunderet. Tunc beatus Cyriacus expandens manus suas ad caelum dixit: Domine Iesu Christe, rex angelorum, amator castitatis, qui post resurrectionem tuam multis apparuisti, et omnibus in te credentibus vitam promisisti aeternam; adesto supplicationibus nostris, et huic famulae tuae auxilium tuae virtutis impende, ut cum palma martyrii regni caelestis ianuas ingredi mereatur, et ad tuum t[h]alamum cum illis prudentibus virginibus, accensis lampadibus suis obtinet tibi Christo Domino, qui vivis et regnas Deus per omnia secula seculorum. Et omnes dixerunt: Amen. Tunc sanctus episcopus agens quae Dei sunt: participati sunt corpore et sanguine Domini nostri Iesu Christi, et gratias agentes Deo, coeperunt omnes simul in unum in Dei laudibus permanere. In diebus illis magna persecutio orta est Christianis: et quia non possunt lucernae ardentes in absconso neque sub modio poni, sed super candelabrum, ut luceant omnibus qui in domo Dei sunt.|| There was, moreover, a bishop in the city of Ostia whose name was Cyriacus, who feared God along with his priests; Maximus, Eusebius, and Concordius, his presbyters, and Archelaus his deacon - by whose sermons God had performed many remarkable things. In that very place, the sick were healed from their infirmities by their prayers, demons were driven out, the blind were given sight. Although blessed Aurea was unaware of these things, she, filled with joy, coming to the holy bishop, Cyriacus, and lying prostrate at his feet, began to ask him with tears to pour out his prayers upon her. Then, blessed Cyriacus, stretching out his hands to the sky, said, "Lord Jesus Christ, king of the angels, lover of the chaste, you who have appeared after your resurrection to many people, and you who have promised to all who believe in you eternal life; be present now at our prayers and offer the help of your strength to this your servant so that she may deserve to enter the doors of your heavenly kingdom with a martyr's palm branch; and at your bedchamber with those wise young maidens she will hold her own kindled torches for you, lord Christ, you who live and reign as God through all the ages of the ages." And everyone said, "Amen." Then the holy bishop performed those things which are God's: They were made partners in the body and blood of our lord, Jesus Christ, and thanking God, everyone at the same time began in unison to keep themselves together in the praises of God. In those days a great persecution arose against Christians, and [yet they continued to do these things] since no burning lamps can be placed in hiding nor under any bushel (2) but rather they are placed on the lamp stand in order that they might shine on everyone who is in the house of God.|
| Erat autem vir praepositus magisteria potestatis et occulte Christianus, timens Deum et credens in virtute Domini Iesu Christi: qui quotidie in absconditis suis orationibus et ieiuniis atque eleemosynis suis epulabatur. Hoc audiens imperator, ira commotus, iussit eum teneri, et ante conspectum suum praesentari. Hic autem non recedebat a Claudii conspectu; sed si quos vidisset de Christianis ad necem trahi, vel ad custodiam, occulte confortabat, et quantum ei victum in carceribus, in custodiis, et in vinculis ministrabat. Cui ita dixit: Tu es vir ille Censurinus deorum cultor: et nostrae maiestati semper affabilis. Mansuetudo nostra nullum sibi servientem despicit: sed in cultura deorum semper hanc rem publicam gubernantes propagavit. Tunc beatus Censurinus respondit: Ego Christianus sum et testimonium dico de Domino meo Iesu Christo, quia ipse est verus Deus, qui crucifixus est, et sepultus, et die tertia resurrexit, ipsis videntibus, qui eum crucifixerunt, quod post mortem viveret, et quadragesimo die ascendit in caelum, et sedet ad dextram Patris.|| There was, moreover, a man, a prefect of magisterial power (3) and secretly a Christian, who feared God and believed in the strength of the lord Jesus Christ, who daily feasted on his own secret sermons and fasts and his own charities. The emperor, hearing this and moved by anger, ordered him to be held and that he be presented before him. This man, however, did not shrink from the sight of Claudius. If he had seen a Christian being drawn to their death or to a jail, he secretly used to comfort them and minister to them as much as he could in their prison, jail or chains. The emperor addressed him with the following: "You are that man, Censurinus, a cultivator of the gods, and always courteous to our Majesty. Our Grace looks down upon no one who serves it; but it has always encouraged those who govern the state in honoring the gods." Then blessed Censurinus answered, "I am a Christian and I am giving testimony about my lord, Jesus Christ, since he himself is the true God who was crucified and was buried and on the third day rose again and even those who crucified him saw that he lived after death and on the fortieth day he ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of the father.|
| Hic nostris temporibus dignatus est venire ad terras, et se induit servili corporis indumento, ut nos a servitute diaboli liberaret. Iratus Claudius dixit: Insanis, Censurine. Beatus Censurinus dixit: Ego non insanio, sed de insania ad veram mentem reversus sum ad creatorem Dominum meum Iesum Christum, qui caecos illuminavit, et mortuos suscitavit, leprosos mundavit, et pedibus suis super mare ambulavit, et multa alia et innumerabilia, et de aqua vinum fecit: ipsi confiteor in aeternum. Tunc iussit eum propter militare consortium in Hostea custodiae mancipari, non longe ab urbe Roma miliario quintodecimo. Ille autem in custodia et in vinculis obligatus Deo laudes die noctuque canebat.|| "This man deemed it worthy to come to earth in our times and he robed himself in the dress of a servant so that he would free us from devilish servitude." Claudius, angry, said, "You're crazy, Censurinus." Blessed Censurinus said, "I am not crazy but I have been turned away from insanity to my true mind, to the creator, my lord Jesus Christ, who has given sight to the blind and has raised the dead, has healed lepers and has walked on water with his own feet, and even many other and innumerable things, and he even made wine from water: I will testify to him forever." Then Claudius ordered him to be remanded to an Ostian prison, not far from the city of Rome at the 15th milestone, near a military outpost. He, however, though bound in prison and in chains kept singing night and day praises to God.|
| Erat tunc in civitate Hostea quaedam matrone de genere regiae potestatis, nomine Aurea, quae iam multas persecutiones experta inscriptionibus fuerat damnata, et cum viris religiosis et sacris virginibus in praedio suo vacabat. Haec quotidie sancto Censurino die noctuque victualia et alimoniam ministrabat: cuius vincula manu sua aqua lavans, in oculis et in facie sua mulcens, cum gaudio revertebatur in domum suam. Erat autem in civitate Hostea Maximus presbyter, et Archelaus diaconus, qui quotidie sacrificia Deo cum hymnis et laudibus offerebant: et ibi beatus Maximus multa mirabilia in nomine Domini exercebat. Dum autem introisset ad beatum Censurinum, statim vincula de manibus et pedibus eius solvebantur. Tunc beatus Maximus aperiens os suum coepit dicere ad custodes: Fratres, derelinquite daemones temporales, et cognoscite Deum creatorem Dominum, et Iesum Christum. Filium eius, qui fuit ante saecula, et semper est, et venturus est iudicare vivos et mortuos, et saeculum per ignem. Nam saeculum nostrum transiet, caelum et terra transibunt, Dominus autem Iesus Christus semper et idem est.|| At that time there was in the city of Ostia a certain matron of imperial lineage - her name, Aurea - who, having experienced many persecutions, had already been sentenced by imperial orders; and she was free wandering with holy men and women in her town. Daily, she served food and nourishment to the holy Censurinus, day and night, washing his chains with water with her own hand, comforting him with her eyes and her beautiful form and she used to return home with joy. There was, moreover, in the city of Ostia, a presbyter, Maximus, and Archelaus, a deacon, who were offering daily sacrifices to God with hymns and praises, and the blessed Maximus was doing many marvelous things there in the name of the lord. When he had entered to see the blessed Censurinus, immediately the chains were released from his hands and feet. And at the same time blessed Maximus, opening his mouth began to tell the guards: "Brothers, give up your worldly demons and recognize God the creator, lord and Jesus Christ. His son, who existed ages before and always is and will come to judge the living and the dead and the age with fire. For our age will pass, the sky and the earth will pass, however, the lord Jesus Christ always will stay the same.|
| Responderunt custodes et dixerunt ad Maximum presbyterum: Quid faciemus, ut cognoscamus eum, quem tu praedicas, per quem cognovimus in dictis orationibus tuis vincula dissolvi? Maximus presbyter dixit: Poenitentiam agite, et baptizetur unusquisque vestrum, et credat Iesum Christum crucifixum Filium Dei, et idola vana derelinquat, quia nescientes blasphemastis nomen eius, cuius Sanctos cruciabatis. Tunc Felix, Maximus, Taurinus, Herculanus, Benerius, Storacinus, Mennas, Commodus, Hermes, Maurus, Eusebius, Rusticus, Monaxius, Amandinus, Olimpius, Cyprius et Theodorus tribunus miserunt se ad pedes beati Maximi presbyteri, cum lacrymis, et dixerunt: Nos ex toto corde credimus non esse alium Deum, nisi Dominum Iesum Christum, qui est redemptor nostrarum, qui nobis videntibus ferrea claustra comminuit. Tunc omnes gratias egerunt Deo, et Sanctis eius, quorum orationibus aeternum lumen viderunt. Tunc beatus Maximus indixit eis triduanum ieiunium, et secundum consuetudinem impletis omnibus, catechizavit eos renuntiantes idolis et omnibus mundi commerciis. Baptizati sunt autem in nomine Patris et Filii et Spiritus sancti: et suscepit eos beata Aurea, et vestibus et alimoniis ornavit. Tunc veniens beatus Cyriacus episcopus chrismate Christi eos perungens, signavit illos verbis fidei: et participati sunt omnes sacrosanctis mysteriis.|| The guards responded and said to Maximus the presbyter, "What should we do so that we may know him, this one whom you are heralding, through whom we have watched the chains be dissolved by your spoken prayers?" Maximus the presbyter said, "Make penance and let each one of you be baptized and believe in Jesus Christ, the crucified son of God, and let him leave behind vain idols since you unknowingly profane the name of the one whose saints you were torturing." Then Felix, Maximus, Taurinus, Herculanus, Benerius, Storacinus, Mennas, Commodus, Hermes, Maurus, Eusebius, Rusticus, Monaxius, Amandinus, Olimpius, Cyprius and Theodorus the tribune threw themselves to the feet of the blessed Maximus the presbyter and with tears, said; "We believe with our whole heart that there is no other God except the lord Jesus Christ, who is our redeemer, who shattered the iron bonds as we were watching." Then everyone gave thanks to God and to his saints, by whose prayers they were able to see eternal light. Then blessed Maximus led them in a three day fast and with all things having been done according to custom, he taught them to renounce idols and all the dealings of the world. Moreover, they were baptized in the name of the father and son and holy spirit, and blessed Aurea received them and bestowed upon them clothes and food. Then blessed Cyriacus, the bishop, coming to them, anointing them with the oil of Christ, marked them with the words of the faith, and they all took part in the sacred mysteries.|
|CAPUT II||CHAPTER II|
| Sutor autem erat in eodem loco, cuius filius eadem hora mortuus est. Transeunte beato Cyriaco, et Maximo et beata Aurea, militibus Christi, lamentabatur sutor in morte filii sui. Tunc beatus Maximus presbyter dixit ad sutorem: Tu crede in Dominum Iesum Christum coram nobis omnibus, et tu vives, et filium recipies. Ille autem dixit: In quem credamus, numquid in illum, quem a iuventute mea blasphemavi? Beatus Maximus dixit: Poenitentiam age, quia Deus poenitentium est, non reddens secundum nostra peccata; sed secundum magnam misericordiam suam. Sutor autem dixit: Baptizate me in nomine eius, ut credam. Tunc baptizatus etiam factus Christianus, cum accepisset signum Christi, gaudens duxit illos ad filium suum. Quem cum vidissent beatus Cyriacus, et beatus Maximus, cum lacrymis dixerunt: Domine Iesu Christe, qui dignatus es formam servi accipere, ut nos a servitute diaboli liberares, respice in opera manuum tuarum, ut cognoscant te factorem suum et creatorem ac restauratorem suum.|| There was, moreover, a shoemaker in that same place, whose son had died at that very hour. While the blessed Cyriacus and Maximus and Aurea, soldiers of Christ, were passing through, the shoemaker was lamenting the death of his son. Then blessed Maximus the presbyter said to the shoemaker: "Believe in the lord Jesus Christ as we all do and you will live and you will receive your son back." However, that man said, "In whom should we believe, surely not in that one whom I have blasphemed against since my youth?" Blessed Maximus said, "Make penance since God is all powerful, repaying us not according to our sins but according to his great compassion." The shoemaker said, "Baptize me in his name so that I may believe." Then, having been baptized and also become Christian, after he had received the sign of Christ, happily he led them to his son, whom, when blessed Cyriacus had seen him and blessed Maximus, they said with tears, "Lord Jesus Christ, you who deemed it worthy to take the shape of a servant, so that you might free us from devilish servitude, look on the work of your hands so that these people might recognize you as agent and creator and restorer.|
| Tunc beatus Cyriacus dixit: Domine, in nomine tuo flectimus genua nostra. Cumque orassent diu, dixit beatus Cyriacus: Domine Iesu Christe Nazarene crucifixe, qui Lazarum foetentem resuscitare dignatus es, et filium unicum viduae resuscitasti; ostende in hunc famulum tuum virtutem tuam, ut cognoscat te Dominum vivum et verum creatorem suum, in regeneratione sua, quia tu regnas per omnia saecula saeculorum. Et cum dixissent omnes, Amen, statim revixit qui erat mortuus: et coepit loqui dicens: Ego vidi Dominum Iesum Christum reducentem me de tenebris ad lucem. Tunc catechizavit eum et baptizatus est, et accepit signaculum Christi: quem suscepit beata Aurea. Erat autem plus minus annorum decem, nomine Faustinus.|| Then blessed Cyriacus said, "Lord, in your name we genuflect." And after they had prayed for a while, blessed Cyriacus said: "Lord Jesus Christ of Nazareth, crucified, who deemed it worthy to raise foul-smelling Lazarus from the dead, and you who have raised the only son of the widow; show your strength in this servant so that he might recognize you as living lord and as his true creator in his own rebirth since you rule for all the ages of the ages." And after everyone had said Amen, immediately the boy who had died was revived, and began talking, saying, "I saw the lord Jesus Christ leading me from the shadows to light." Then he taught him and the boy, whom blessed Aurea supported as her own, was baptized and he received the sign of Christ. He was about 10 years old, Faustinus by name.|
| Eodem tempore nuntiatum est Claudio, quod in Hostea mortuus suscitatus fuisset per orationem Sanctorum, et dixit: Hoc non est nisi ars magica. Tunc vocavit ad se vicarium urbis Romae, nomine Ulpinum Romulum: cui haec praecepit dicens: Perge in civitatem Hosteam, et quoscumque Christianos ibidem reperire potueris, diversis poenis eos constringe: ita ut qui sacrificaverint diis, divitiis et facultatibus atque honoribus locupletentur; qui vero noluerint, diversis poenis macerati, capite puniantur. Sacrilega vero Aurea, quae obscuravit genus regiae potestatis suae, et elegit per magica mori [potius], quam vita una nobiscum frui; si adoraverit deos deasque, inscriptio in ea firmata aboleatur. Qui autem inventi fuerint in ea societate permanentes, simul in unum poenis crucientur. Veniens ergo Ulpinus Romulus in civitatem Hosteam, iussit omnes Sanctos custodiae mancipari. Diluculo autem surgens, praecepit sibi beatam Auream praesentari: cui ita dixit: Insaniam artis magicae, quae in te floret, ut perderes regiam maiestatem suam, et natales claros obscurares, depone. Beata Aurea respondit: Ego obscuravi daemones, et idola vana respui, et cognovi unum Deum vivum et verum, et Dominum Iesum Christum Filium eius, qui venturus est iudicare vivos et mortuos; et patrem tuum diabolum una cum Claudio in tenebris damnare.|| At that same time it was announced to Claudius that at Ostia a dead man had been brought back to life through an oration of the holy men and he said, "This is nothing but magic." Then he called the vicar of the city of Rome to him, Ulpinus Romulus, to whom he gave the following instructions: "Go to the city of Ostia and whatever Christians you can find there, sentence them to various punishments in such a way that whoever sacrifices to the gods will be enriched with riches and resources and honors; and anyone who doesn't, seize them so that they may be punished and torment them with various punishments. But wicked Aurea, who has blocked out her noble lineage and chosen to die through magic rather than to enjoy a life together with us - if she worships the gods and goddesses, let the order signed against her be commuted. However, whoever is found to have been permanent members of her group, let them be tortured with one punishment all at the same time." Therefore, Ulpinus Romulus, coming into the city of Ostia, ordered all the holy people to be remanded to custody. However, rising at dawn, he ordered blessed Aurea be brought before him, to whom he said: "Lay aside the insanity of magic which flourishes in you so that you should obscure your imperial dignity and cloud your distinguished birth." Blessed Aurea responded, "I have covered the demons and I have spit on the empty idols and I recognize one living true God and the lord Jesus Christ, his son, who will come to judge the living and the dead; and will sentence your father, the devil, together with Claudius to the shadows."|
| Vicarius Romulus dixit: Inducta es ab insania magicae artis; nunc desere vanitatem istam, et consule generositati tuae. Beata Aurea insufflavit in faciem vicarii dicens: Miser, si scires Deum creatorem caeli et terrae, non proferres ex ore tuo blasphemiam. Iratus Romulus iussit eam in eculeo levari, et cum diu torqueretur, facie alacri et speciosa coepit dicere: Gratias tibi ago, Domine Iesu Christe, qui de inferis ad sublimia caeli me dignatus es elevare. Cui Romulus dixit: Ubi est, quem praedicas, Christus tuus? Liberet te. Beata Aurea dixit: Ego indigna sum; sed ille, qui dignatus est me de caligine huius mundi eripere, potens est et te, et Claudium, destruere. Hoc cum dixisset, confractus est eculeus, et deposita est exinde, et iussit eam fustibus caedi sub voce praeconia dicens: Sacrilega Aurea, quae blasphemavit deos, et regnum Iovis gubernatoris totius mundi, acerrimis tormentis debet extingui.|| The vicar Romulus said, "You have been led astray by the insanity of magic; now, lay aside that vanity and look after your high birth." Blessed Aurea puffed up with anger, saying to the face of the vicar, "Poor man, if you knew God, the creator of heaven and earth, you would not release this blasphemy from your mouth." Angered, Romulus ordered her to be placed on the rack and after she had been tortured there for a while, she began to speak with a beautiful and cheerful countenance: "I thank you, lord Jesus Christ, you who have deemed it worthy to elevate me from infernal depths to the heights of the sky." To whom Romulus said, "Where is he, the one whom you are invoking, your Christ? Let him free you." Blessed Aurea said, "I am not worthy, but that one, who has deemed it worthy to snatch me from the darkness of this world, he is powerful and able to destroy you and Claudius." After she had said this, the torture rack was broken to pieces and she was taken down from there; and he ordered her to be lashed with cudgels, speaking in an authoritative voice: "Wicked Aurea, you who have profaned the gods and the reign of Jupiter, the ruler of the whole world, it is decided that you are going to be killed with the most bitter tortures."|
| Illa autem dicebat: Benedictus es, Domine Deus, Iesu Christe, quem ego video. Romulus dixit: Date flammas ad latera eius. Et cum applicuissent flammas, voce clara dixit ad Romulum: O infelix, pudor tibi non est conspicere membra corporalis genitricis tuae et in conspectu tuo ignibus assari. Romulus dixit: Tua infelicitas hoc meretur, quae deseruisti deos immortales, et regiam maiestatem tuam, et desiderasti magicis artibus coinquinari. Tunc iussit eam recipi in custodiam. Et praecepit adducere ad se Maximum presbyterum, et Archelaum diaconum, quibus ita dixit: Per vos, et per doctrinam vestram blasphemantur numina deorum, et circumducitis homines, ut non credant secundum morem antiquitatis. Maximus presbyter dixit: Non nos seducimus homines, sed, quantum gratia Dei donat, per ipsum Dominum Iesum Christum liberamus de errore saeculi huius, et mancipamus nomini sancto eius. Tunc iratus Romulus dixit: Isti quidem digni sunt morte: et iussit sibi milites Christi praesentari, qui per beatum Cyriacum et Maximum et Archelaum, et beatam Auream crediderunt.|| However, that girl kept saying, "You are blessed, lord God, Jesus Christ, whom I see." Romulus said, "Ignite the flames at her sides." And after they had applied the flames, she said in a clear voice to Romulus, "Unfortunate man, do you not have any shame in seeing the limbs of your earthly mother being roasted even in your sight?" Romulus said, "Your misfortune deserves it, you who have deserted the immortal gods and your imperial dignity and you who have longed to be befouled with magic." Then he ordered her to be taken back into custody. And he ordered that they bring in the presbyter Maximus and Archelaus the deacon, to whom he said: "Through you and through your teaching the divine will of the gods is being profaned and you are leading men astray so that they no longer believe according to the custom of antiquity." The presbyter Maximus said, "We are not the ones seducing men but, as much grace as God gives us, we are freeing them through the lord Jesus Christ himself from the mistake of this age and we are releasing them in his holy name." Then angered Romulus said, "Indeed, these foolish men are worthy of death." And he ordered the soldiers of Christ brought forth those who trusted in the blessed Cyriacus, Maximus, Archelaus and Aurea.|
| Quibus ita dixit: Sacrificate diis, aut diversis poenis vos cruciabo. Respondentes dixerunt: Iam semel obtulimus nosmetipsos sacrificium Deo et Domino Ieus Christo; qui nos per Sanctos suos illuminavit. Iratus Romulus iussit eos expoliari [= explorari?], et fustibus caedi. Illi autem dicebant: Gratias tibi agimus, Domine Iesu Christe, quia meruimus socii fieri Sanctorum tuorum. Eadem hora iussit eos duci ad arcum ante theatrum , et ibi eos capitalem fecit subire sententiam. Tunc omnes quasi ex uno ore dixerunt: Domine Deus omnipotens, receptor innocentium animarum, suscipe spiritum nostrum. Et decollati sunt in eodem loco, gratias agentes Deo. Romulus vero iussit beatum Cyriacum in custodia truncari. Tunc beatus Eusebius collegit noctu corpora sanctorum Cyriaci episcopi, Maximi presbyteri, et Archelai diaconi: et cum omni diligentia sepelivit. Corpora vero Sanctorum militum iussit Romulus in mare iactari: quos beatus presbyter sollicitus collegit ad litus maris, et in campo Hosteae abscondit, atque sepelivit iuxta Urbem in crypta Ostense, sexto Idus Augusti: Taurinum vero et Herculanum in portu Romano abscondit, beatum Theodorum tribunum posuit in miseleo (mausoleo) suo: et omnes alios collegit, et posuit iuxta corpora sanctorum Cyriaci et Maximi sub die decimo Kalendas Septembris.|| To them all, Romulus said the following, "Make a sacrifice to the gods or I will torture you by various punishments." Answering him, they said, "We have already offered us, ourselves, once and for all as a sacrifice to God and to lord Jesus Christ, who has illuminated us through his holy saints." Angry, Romulus ordered them to be tested and to be beaten with cudgels. However, they kept saying, "We thank you, lord Jesus Christ, since we have deserved to become fellows with your saints." At that same hour, Romulus ordered that they be brought to the arch in front of the theatre and there he made them undergo their death sentence. Then everyone spoke as if with one voice: "All powerful lord God, receiver of our innocent spirits, accept our souls." And they were beheaded in that very spot, giving thanks to God. But Romulus ordered the blessed Cyriacus to be beheaded in jail. Then, blessed Eusebius at night gathered up all the bodies of the saints - bishop Cyriacus, presbyter Maximus and deacon Archelaus. And he buried them with every care. But Romulus ordered the bodies of the holy soldiers to be tossed into the sea - the bodies of whom the blessed presbyter, out of concern, gathered up at the seashore and hid in a field in Ostia and he buried them next to the city in an Ostian crypt, six days before the Ides of August [8 August]. But he hid Taurinus and Herculanus at the Roman harbor, placed the blessed Theodorus in his own mausoleum, and gathered up all the others and placed them next to the bodies of the holy Cyriacus and Maximus, doing this latter ten days before the Kalends of September [23 August]. (4)|
| Eadem die iussit sibi Romulus beatam Auream praesentari. Quae cum praesentata fuisset aspectibus eius, gaudens dixit ad Romulum: O miser, ut quid perdidisti dies tuos? Agnosce creatorem tuum Christum Deum, et noli adorare lapides et aeramenta et aurum aut argentum, sed adora Dominum Iesum Christum, qui resurrexit tertia die, et ascendit ad caelos, et inde venturus est indicare vivos et mortuos, et saeculum per ignem. Cui Romulus dixit: Modo videbis, si Christus tuus liberabit te: si non sacrificaveris diis. Beata Aurea respondit: Bene dixisti, miser: tu aliquando protulisti vertitatem ex ore tuo dicens: Si non sacrificaveris daemoniis, videbis Christum. Videns Romulus quia in dictis suis victus fuerat, iussit ut cum lapide maxillae eius caederentur. Clamavit autem dicens: Gloria tibi, Domine Iesu Christe; quia merui caelestis regni ianuas introire. Romulus dixit: Iam consule generositati tuae, et adora deos, et accipe virum et laetare in vita tua. Beata Aurea respondit: Ego iam virum habeo Deum caeli et terrae, Dominum Iesum Christum, perpetuum regem: quem tu negas te scire: nec cognoscis misericordiam eius, sed cognoscis daemones, qui cor tuum insania et rabie impleverunt. Eadem hora iussit in conspectu suo plumbatis eam deficere: quae cum diu caederetur, magis confortabatur.|| On that same day, Romulus ordered the blessed Aurea brought before him; and when she had been presented for his inspection, she gladly told him, "Wretched man, how have you spent your days? Recognize your creator, Christ, God. Don't worship stones and bronze, gold or silver, but worship the lord Jesus Christ, who rose from the dead on the third day and ascended to the heavens, and from there he will come to judge the living and the dead and the world with fire." To whom Romulus said, "You will soon see if your Christ is going to free you, if you do not make a sacrifice to the gods." Blessed Aurea answered, "You have spoken well, wretched man. You have at last offered the truth from your mouth, saying, 'If you do not sacrifice to the demons, you will see Christ.'" Romulus, seeing that he had been defeated with his own words, ordered that her jaw be struck with a stone. However, she called out, saying, "Glory to you, lord Jesus Christ, since I have deserved to enter the doors of your heavenly kingdom." Romulus said, "Think now of your noble birth and worship the gods and find a husband and be happy in your life." Blessed Aurea answered, "I already have a husband, God of heaven and earth, lord Jesus Christ, eternal king, whom you deny that you know. You do not recognize his compassion but you recognize demons, who have filled up your heart with insanity and sickness." At that very hour he ordered them to wear her out in his sight with lead scourges; (5) and although she was struck for a long while, the more she kept being comforted.|
| Tunc dedit in eam sententiam dicens: Lapis magnus ligetur ad collum eius, et demergatur in mare: cuius corpus sanctum pervenit ad litus: quam beatus Nonosus [= Nonnus] collegit: qui etiam Ypolytus nuncupatur, et cum omni diligentia sepelivit in praedio eius, ubi habitaverat, quarto Kalendas Septembris. Tunc Romulus tenuit quemdam Sabinianum agricultorem loci illius, et coepit ab eo quaerere facultates beatae Aureae, dicens: Sacrilega Aurea, quae noluit sacrificare diis, nec principum praecepta servare, tuas amicitias semper communes habuit: thesauros eius vel ornamenta ante conspectum nostrum declarare festina, et sacrifica diis, et vive: et humiliare ad iussa principum. Sabinianus dixit: Ego semper humilitatem doctus sum a beata Aurea, quae me docuit confiteri Dominum meum Iesum Christum, qui natus est de Spiritu Sancto ex Maria Virgine. Nam aurum nobis, aut argentum, vel margaritas non esse scias. Romulus dixit: Succurre tibi, et occultos thesauros principum redde, et sacrifica diis, et recede ab insania falsa.|| Then he sentenced her, saying "Let a great stone be tied to her neck and let her be thrown into the sea," but her holy body floated to shore, which the blessed Nonnus (also called Hypolytus) gathered up and buried with every care in that town of hers where she had lived, four days before the Kalends of September [29 August]. Then Romulus held a certain Sabinianus, a farmer of that place and he began to ask him about the property of the blessed Aurea, saying, "Wicked Aurea, who didn't wish to make a sacrifice to the gods, nor wished to obey the teachings of the emperors, always shared a friendship with you. Quickly reveal her treasures or belongings to us, sacrifice to the gods and live; and humble yourself at the orders of the emperors." Sabinianus said, "I always learned humility from blessed Aurea, who taught me to confess my lord Jesus Christ, who was born from the holy spirit from the virgin Mary. But now you may not know that there was any gold or silver or pearls." Romulus said, "Help yourself and hand over the hidden treasures that belong to the emperors, sacrifice to the gods and draw yourself back from this vain insanity."|
| Sabinianus dixit: Ego quidem non mereor pro peccatis meos; sed quantum gratia Domini mei Iesu Christi largitur, quam mihi donare dignatus est, sic crede me idoneum esse ad cognoscendam misericordiam eius: qui mihi suam gratiam in baptismo donare dignatus est. Nam hoc aurum temporale non me habere, nec dare, nec daemoniis flectere cervices meas [scito]. Romulus iratus iussit, ut cum plumbatis cervices eius caederentur, cum voce praeconia dicens: Deos et deas principum blasphemare noli. Eodem die hoc audiens beatus Ypolytus, qui etiam Nonnus vocatur, obtulit se in conspectu Romuli, et ita voce clara dixit: O miser, si scires, non cruciares cervices Sanctorum, et te ipsum humiliares Deo et Domino Iesu Christo, et servires ei, et non lapidibus vanis. Iratus Romulus praecepit, ut manibus et pedibus ligaretur, et vivus in fovea mergeretur. Tunc beatus Ypolitus episcopus, elevans oculos ad caelum dixit: Domine Iesu, rex regum et Dominus dominantium, gratias ago tibi ego peccator, quia dignatus es me famulum tuum in loco mundo inter aquas coronare. Te deprecor Filium Dei summi, suscipe spiritum meum: et dum mersus fuisset in foveam ante muros Urbis, iuxta alveum Tyberis, audita est vox quasi infantium per unius horae spatium, dicentium, Deo gratias.|| Sabinianus said, "I certainly am not worthy because of my sins, but inasmuch as the grace of my lord Jesus Christ is conferred upon me as which he deemed worthy to give me, believe me when I say that I am capable of recognizing his compassion, he who deemed it worthy to bestow upon me his grace in baptism. For know that I do not have nor do I will hand over any worldly money nor will I bend my neck to your demons." Romulus, angered, ordered that his neck be struck with the leaden cudgels, saying in an authoritative voice, "Don't profane the gods and goddesses of the emperors." On that same day the blessed Hypolytus (who is also called Nonnus), hearing this, offered himself before Romulus and spoke in a distinguished voice: "Wretched man, if you knew, you wouldn't torture the necks of the holy men and you would humble yourself before God and the lord Jesus Christ and you would serve him and not these empty stones." Romulus, angered, instructed him to be bound in his hands and feet and while still live, to be buried in a pit. Then, blessed Hypolytus the bishop, raising his eyes to heaven, said, "Lord Jesus, king of kings and lord of all rulers, I, a sinner, thank you, since you have deemed it worthy to crown me as your servant in this worldly place surrounded by the waters. I pray to you, son of the highest God, receive my spirit." And after he had been sunk into the pit in front of the walls of the city, next to the bank of the Tiber, his voice, like that of children praising God, was heard for the course of an hour.|
| Romulus dixit: Hoc insaniam magicae artis cognosco. Ecce nunc audistis consolationes daemonum. Tunc Christiani occulte noctu levaverunt corpus de puteo cum hymnis et Dei laudibus, cum omni diligentia sepelierunt in eodem loco, non longe ab ipso puteo, sed quasi pedes plus minus sexaginta, sub die decimo Kalendas Septembris. In quo loco multa mirabilia Dominus operatus est eius orationibus ad laudem et gloriam nominis sui. Tunc iratus Romulus coepit cum furore dicere: Hic Sabinianus, qui captus cupiditate magicae artis et libidine thesaurorum, in momento eum dissolvam a sua insania, si non se humiliaverit et sacrificaverit diis. His autem dictis iussit eum fustibus caedi, sub voce praeconia dicens: Redde thesauros principum, et humiliare diis, quibus gubernatur respublica. Ille autem cum gaudio dicebat: Gratias tibi ago, Domine Iesu Christe, qui dignatus es me cum servis tuis numerare. Et cum diu caederetur, firmus erat in fide, et alacri facie.|| Romulus said, "I recognize in this man the madness of magic. See, now you have heard the consolations of the demons." Then the Christians, under the cover of night, with hymns and praises to God dug up his body from that pit and with every care they buried him in that same place, not far from the pit itself but approximately sixty feet (more or less) from there on the tenth day before the Kalends of September [23 August] in the place where the lord brought about many marvelous things through Hypolytus' sermons, directed at the praise and glory of God's name. Then Romulus, angered, began to speak with fury, "This Sabinianus, who was captured because of his enthusiasm for magic and because of his wanton desire of hidden wealth, in a moment I will release him from his madness, if he does not humble himself and sacrifice to the gods." And he ordered him to be lashed with cudgels, speaking to him with an authoritative voice, "Give back the treasure chest that belongs to the emperors and humble yourself before the gods, by whom the state is rightly governed." However, that man replied with delight, "I thank God, lord Jesus Christ, you who have deemed it worthy to count me among your servants." And after he was beaten for a while, he grew strong in his faith and assumed a cheerful appearance.|
| Tunc iussit eum in eculeo levari et torqueri. Ille autem gratias agebat Deo et Domino Iesu Christo. Romulus dixit: Iste insanus securus est de magicis consiliis, atque mox iussit, ut flammis ureretur, et cum applicatae fuissent flammae ad latera beati Sabiniani, coepit Romulus clamans dicere: Iam consule tibi, et redde thesauros. Ille autem gratias agebat Deo dicens: Domine Iesu Christe, suscipe spiritum meum. Et subito emisit spiritum; cuius iussit corpus in puteum iactari. Quem beatus Concordius presbyter noctu levavit de puteo et sociavit beatae Aureae martyri sub die quinto Kalendas Septembris, regnante Domino nostro Iesu Christo; cui est honor et gloria, potestas et imperium in saecula saeculorum. Amen.|| Then Romulus ordered him to be raised up on the rack and to be tortured. However, that man kept giving thanks to God and to the lord Jesus Christ. Romulus said, "That silly crazy man is sure about his magical science." And he soon ordered him to be torched; and after the flames had been applied at the sides of the blessed Sabinianus, Romulus began to shout out, "Come to your senses already and give up the money." However, that man was still giving thanks to God, saying, "Lord Jesus Christ, receive my spirit." And immediately he gave up his spirit; his body Romulus ordered to be tossed into a pit - which blessed Concordius the presbyter, at night, dug up and reunited with the body of the blessed martyr Aurea on the fifth day before the Kalends of September [28 August] - during the reign of lord Jesus Christ, who possesses honor and glory, power and empire throughout all the ages of the ages. Amen.|
(1) Psalms 115: 4-8 ("They that make them are like them; [so is] every one that trusteth in them."). For the exact reference, I am thankful for David Armstrong's keen eye and ear; he also proofread the final typescript. All remaining errors are my own.
(2) The theme is scriptural (see Matt 5.14-16 and Luke 14: 34-35), and the language is particularly relevant to an Ostian audience (modius, grain measuring device).
(3) The office, belonging specifically to the Late Antique period, is attested in CTh 3.13.6, 3.24.3 and 6.8.1.
(4) A chapter of my dissertation explores the relationship between Aurea's feast day and the Ostian festival in honor of Vulcan. See, for example, the work of Michele Salzman on time in the Roman and Christian worlds of Late Antiquity. I look forward to sharing my research with the group (Salzman, On Roman Time, 1990).
(5) See CTh 18.104.22.168 for cudgels with metal scourges affixed to them for torture.
Translation by Douglas Boin (University of Texas at Austin).
|Quod quum in vulgo rescitum est, captus est ipse etiam et e ponte sublicio, ex quo ordinarie malefactores projiciebantur, in Tiberim praecipitatus est et aquis Ostiam usque devectus. Sustulerunt ibi beatum eius corpus christiani et honorifice sepelierunt die 19 Octobris anni 222. Quum autem lapsu temporis interiisset Ostia, sub annum 1159 clerici S. Aureae in Nova Ostia eius exuvias cum reliquiis duodecim aliorum Martyrum effoderunt et in sua basilica recondiderunt sub humo.||[to be translated]|
 Tunc iratus imperator [Trebonianus Gallus] iussit illum civitatem Ostiam deduci, quinto decimo miliario ab urbe Roma positam, et ibidem vinculis alligatum custodiae mancipari. Erant autem in Ostia civitate Maximus presbyter et Archelaus diaconus et cum eis quaedam Dei famula, nomine Aurea. Hi assiduae servitutis Dei merito tantam virtutum gratiam obtinebant, ut signa et mirabilia per eos plurima in nomine Domini Iesu quotidie fierent. Cum ergo beatus Censurinus positus esset in custodia, praedicti famuli Christi, Maximus presbyter et Archelaus diaconus, una cum sancta Aurea impetraverunt a custodibus, cum eo colloqui permitterentur.
 Sermocinantibus autem eis et in hymnis et orationibus Dominum collaudantibus, subito nutu divino soluta sunt vincula, quibus S. Censurinus fuerat alligatus. Quo facto vehementer obstupefacti custodes, invicem conferunt, quaenam esset virtus, per quam haec repentina vinculorum solutio invisibiliter fiebat? Erant quidem ex ipsis custodibus numero decem et septem, quorum nomina haec sunt, Felix, Maximus, Taurinus, Erculanus, Venerius, Storocinus, Menna, Commodus, Hermes, Maurus, Eusebius, Rusticus, Monachius, Amandinus, Olippius Cyprius et Theodorus tribunus.
 Qui cum starent attoniti de miraculo solutorum insueto more vinculorum, beatus presbyter Maximus inspiratione divina afflatus, superno respectu animoseque praeventos intelligens, salutari eos doctrina coepit instruere, dicens: Audite me, fratres, de quo dicit Propheta, quod venerit in lucem gentium, ut sit salus earum usque ad extremum terrae, ut dicat his qui vincti sunt: Exite, et qui in tenebris: Revelamini? Qui caecis visum, surdis auditum, mutis loquelam, cunctisque debilitatibus hominum congrua adhibuit levamina, daemones effugavit, super mare ambulavit, mortuos suscitavit, multisque aliis operibus, quae nemo alius facere potuit, verum secundum omnipotentiam de caelis descendisse et dispensationem humanae salutis per carnem suam explesse comprobavit. Qui nos ad tolerandas pro nomine eius iniurias et poenas persecutionem in Evangelio suo confortat, dicens: Beati estis, cum maledixerint vobis et persecuti vos fuerint et dixerint omne malum adversum vos, mentientes propter me, gaudete in illa die et exultate, quoniam merces vestra multa est in caelo. Et alibi dicit: Eritis odio omnibus propter nomen meum, qui autem perseveraverit usque in finem hic salvus erit; itemque promittit dicens: Qui perdiderit animam suam propter me, in vitam aeternam custodit eam.
 Hinc Apostolus eius Petrus ait: Karissimi, nolite mirari ardorem accidentem vobis, qui ad tentationem vestram fit: nec excedatis tamquam novi vobis aliquid contingat; sed quotiescumque communicatis Christi passionibus, per omnia gaudete, ut et in revelatione claritatis eius gaudentes exultetis: si improperatur vobis in nomine Christi, beati estis quia maiestatis et virtutis Domini nomen in vobis requiescit. Plus etiam nos accipere in passionis mercede, quam quod hic sustinemus in ipsa passione, probat apostolus Paulus, dicens: Non sunt condignae passiones huius temporis ad futuram gloriam, quae revelabitur in vobis. Item dicit Propheta: Oculus non vidit absque te, quae praeparasti expectantibus te. Sed vos, fratres, horum melius capaces eritis, si ex toto corde vera esse omnia, quae de Christi commemorata sunt, credentes, deinceps etiam animum praeparetis ad suscipiendum plenius fidem, quam ad Deum habemus.
 Tunc omnes pariter milites, qui custodiebant beatum Censurinum, iactantes se ad pedes beati Maximi presbyteri, et eorum, qui cum ipso erant, cum lachrymis aiebant: O lugendam nobis vitam, quam hucusque transegimus, in qua nullus unquam nobis istam salutis viam ostendit, quam vos secure ac feliciter gradientes, ita Deo appropinquastis, ut sicut ille est omnipotens, sic et vos per gratiam ipsius totius boni effectus possibilitatem habeatis! Ecce enim solo voluntatis vestrae nutu, tanta celeritate vincula ista dissiluerunt, ut nulla hominum festinatione tam cito solvi potuissent. Quapropter optamus nos instrui, qualiter cognitionem eius primo percipere, ac deinde in eius famulatu permanere debeamus, in cuius nomine tanta miracula faciendi mira gratia praediti estis.
 Sanctus Maximus respondit: Quia Deo largiente mentis oculos ad veram lucem fidei Christianae aperire cepistis, ne pigeat iam vel triduano ieiunio eosdem plenius expurgare a sordibus, quibus eos propter spurcissimos idololatriae ritus obfuscari inevitabile fuit. Triduo autem expleto, in nomine sanctae Trinitatis, Patris videlicet et Filii et Spiritus sancti, percipietis sacrum baptisma, per quod ab omnibus peccatorum contagiis abluti, spiritali generatione, quae per ipsum baptisma agitur, filii Dei efficiemini. Ad haec milites, propere ieiunio suscepto, toto triduo fide Domini catechizabantur.
 Quo expleto, baptismi gratiam per beatum Maximum perceperunt, et a fonte sacro eos beata Aurea suscepit. Adveniens etiam beatus Cyriacus episcopus, fidei verbo eos confirmavit, et sacro Chrismate consignavit, et participati sunt omnes sacrosancta mysteria Corporis et Sanguinis Domini: coeperuntque primitivae Ecclesiae ducere vitam, abiectis videlicet omnibus mundi commerciis, in timore Domini et sancta conversatione unanimiter permanere: sed et in signis atque miraculis supparem quodammodo gratiam habentes, vitam suam cunctis quotidie gratificabant.
 Interea etiam contigit ab eis mortuum suscitari: cuius claritudo facti famam virtutum, quas per eos Dominus operatus est longe lateque diffudit. Quo etiam Imperator audito, furore repletus, dixit: Magicam artem exercent, et severiori eam disciplina reprimi oportet. Et accito vicario urbis Ulpicio Romulo, misit eum Ostiam civitatem ut quoscumque ibidem Christianos reperisset, ab hac professione eos revocare satageret; et si qui vel sine vi consentirent, vel poenarum illatione coacti cederent, divitias et honores consequerentur: acquiescere vero nolentes diversis cruciatibus perirent.
 Veniens autem Ulpicius Romulus Ostiam civitatem, sanctum Cyriacum episcopum, Maximum presbyterum, Archelaum diaconum et famulam Christi Auream, una cum beato Censurino et militibus per eos conversis, comprehendi et sibimet praesentari iussit. Qui cum adstarent, interrogantur a iudice, si essent Christiani. At illi se veraciter ita esse, clarissima voce testantur. Ad haec iudex: Dominus, ait, noster imperator praecepit, ut ab hac cultura recedentes, deos, quos ipse colit, honoretis. At illi: Quando, inquiunt, imperator contra Deum non iusserit, lege sanciente ei parere debemus: quando vero iussa eius divinis reluctantur praeceptis, deliberatum nobis et ex paternis legibus confirmatum scias, ut obtemperemus Deo magis quam hominibus. Cum ergo Deus iubeat, ut nullum praeter ipsum colamus deum, numquam audiemus vel te vel imperatorem tuum, ut profana simulacra caeremoniis aliquibus veneremur.
 Iratus iudex, iussit eos in carcerem retrudi. Ducuntur itaque de tribunalibus ad vincula, aliaque mox die de vinculis ad tribunalia revocantur: et interrogante iudice, si adhuc in sua sententia permanerent; illi fiducia mercedis aeternae constanter ac fortiter Christum confitentur: tuncque gaudentes confessione decorari, numquam se idolis immolaturos esse testabantur. Tunc iubente iudice, ad verbera denudati, flagrisque hinc inde, inspectante populo, adeo cruciantur, ut finem vitae inter ipsa verbera habituri putarentur. Videres inter haec fortissimos Christi milites exemplo Apostolorum exultasse, quoniam digni habiti sunt pro nomine Iesu contumeliam pati.
 Quibus insultans iudex: Ubi est, inquit, modo, quem colitis? Quare vos de his poenis non liberat? Sancti Martyres dixerunt: Et quare vocas poenam, in quo nos vides gaudere? Nam verbera ista, vel quidquid acerbitatis pro nomine Christi fuerit nobis ingestum, non dolores, sed delicias nobis praebere sentimus. Sed et si quid grave vel asperum patimur, forti patientia sustinere iubemur, dicente Scriptura: Patientes estote usque ad adventum Domini: ecce, Iudex ante ianuam assistit. Qui et ipse alibi dicit: Ecce venio cito et merces mea mecum est, reddere unicuique secundum facta sua. Unde et in persecutionibus constituti patienter expectamus ultionis diem: qui tamen antequam veniat, ipsos persecutores nostros converti optamus; ne ipsa eos vindicta in suo reatu inveniat; quod si fiet, quanto maior fuerit persecutionis nostrae iniuria, tanto et iustior et gravior erit pro ipsa persecutione vindicta.
 Contra haec iudex nequaquam conpunctus, sed in sua crudelitate persistens, capitalem eos sententiam subire praecepit. Illi autem ducti ad arcum, qui erat ante theatrum, secundum quod ex divinis Scripturis fuerant instituti, in agonibus perseverantes et oculum mentis suae in Deum habentes defixum, gladiis cervices sacras supponunt et mortem pro pietate absque timore suscipiunt: decollati sunt autem Nonas Septembris.
 Et collegit corpora eorum beatus presbyter Eusebius, et Taurinum quidem et Erculanum in portu Romano sepelivit, sanctum vero Theodorum in mausoleo suo posuit, reliquis omnibus cum sancto Cyriaco episcopo apud Ostiam civitatem monumenta extruxit: quorum corporibus in pace sepultis, nomen eorum vivet in secula, quoniam crebris passionibus suis et cruciatibus glorificantes Dominum, non dilexerunt animas suas usque ad mortem pro nomine eius, qui cum Patre et Spiritu sancto vivit et regnat Deus per omnia secula seculorum.
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24 February, in Portus: Primitivus (or Primitiva), Paulus
24 May, in Portus: Vincentius
18 October, in Portus or Ostia: Agnes
15 July: Eutropius, Zosima, Bonosa in porto Romano, hoc est in hiscla
16 July: in civitate Ostia Hilarini
19 October: in Hostia Asteri
22 November and 22 December: et in Ostia Demetri et Honori (or Honorati)
13 December, in Portus: Ariston.