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Saint Pudentiana
Pudentiana, detail of a mosaic in Santa Pudenziana.jpg
Saint Pudentiana in the mosaic of the apse of the Santa Pudenziana
Virgin, Martyr, Friend to the Apostles
Honored in Roman Catholic Church
Eastern Orthodox Church[1]
Beatified Pre-Congregation
Feast 19 May
Attributes Lamp, Laurel Wreath (for Christ)
Patronage The Basilica of Santa Pudenziana, Rome
Philippine Islands (Second Class Patronage)
Controversy Martyrdom for refusing to worship the Roman Emperor

Pudentiana is a traditional Christian saint of the 2nd century. She is sometimes called Potentiana and is often coupled with her sister, Praxedes the martyress.


According to her acta, published by the Bollandists (dating from the 8th century) and the Martyrology of Reichenau,[2] she was a Roman virgin of the early Christian church, daughter of Saint Pudens, friend of the Apostles, and sister of Praxedes. Praxedes and Pudentiana, together with presbyter Pastor and Pope Pius I, built a baptistry in the church inside their father's house, and started to baptize pagans. Pudentiana died at the age of 16, possibly a martyr, and is buried next to her father Pudens, in the Priscilla catacombs on the via Salaria.

While there is evidence for the life of Pudens, there is no direct evidence for either Pudentiana or Praxedes. It is possible that the early Church's "ecclesia Pudentiana" (i.e., the Church of Pudens) was mistaken for "Saint Pudentiana".

Saint Pudentiana. From the church of Santa Pudenziana in Narni, Italy.


Pudentiana has a commemoration in the General Roman Calendar of 1962 on 19 May. Pudentiana is not included in the Roman Catholic calendar of saints nor in the present edition of the Roman Martyrology. Her basilica in Rome is Santa Pudenziana.

The Spanish Conquistador Miguel López de Legazpi, who founded the city of Manila in 1571, gained possession of the territory on 19 May of that year, the feast of this saint (in Spanish "Potenciana"), and declared her patron saint of what is now the Philippines.[3] Pope Pius XII rescinded the then-secondary patronage for Our Lady of Guadalupe in July 1935 and re-affirmed this patronage as second-class in September 1942.

A Titular see was established in her honour on 15 November 1958 and the first appointee was Mario Casariego y Acevedo, who was subsequently elevated as Cardinal and has since deceased. The current Titular Bishop of Pudentiana is Peter Ingham, a bishop in Australia.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ (Greek) Ἡ Ἁγία Πουδενδιάνα ἡ Μάρτυς. 19 Μαΐου. ΜΕΓΑΣ ΣΥΝΑΞΑΡΙΣΤΗΣ.
  2. ^ Saint Prudentia
  3. ^ Manila Cathedral History
  4. ^ Cheney, David M. (23 November 2011). "Pudentiana". The Hierarchy of the Catholic Church. Retrieved 20 May 2012. 

External links[edit]