Cantius, Cantianus, and Cantianilla

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Saints Cantius, Cantianus, and Cantianilla
Martyrium Cantii, Cantiani, et Cantianillae.jpg
Martyrdom of Cantius, Cantianus, and Cantianilla, from Krainburger Altar, 1510
Died c. 304 AD
Aquae Gradatae (San Canzian d'Isonzo)
Venerated in Roman Catholic Church
Major shrine San Canzian d'Isonzo
Feast May 31
Attributes Cantius and Cantianus are depicted as two youths; Cantianilla as a girl; Protus as a tutor with a staff and faggot; sword; the group fleeing in a chariot; beheaded before an idol; palms and sword; Protus is sometimes depicted as a bishop.
Patronage children; Catholic youth

Saints Cantius, Cantianus, and Cantianilla (all died May 31, circa 304 AD) are venerated as saints and martyrs by the Christian church. Tradition states that the three were orphaned siblings, and members of a noble Roman family, the Anicii. They were related to the Emperor Carinus. Protus was their tutor or guardian. He was a Christian who converted the three siblings.

When Diocletian began to persecute Christians, the four left Rome, selling their home and giving most of the proceeds to the poor. They reached their estate in Aquileia. However, they were captured at a place called Aquae Gradatae (now called San Canzian d'Isonzo). They were beheaded after they refused to offer sacrifice to the civic gods.


A priest named Zoelus embalmed and buried their bodies at the site. Saint Maximus of Turin subsequently preached a panegyric in their honor, and the saints are also mentioned by Venantius Fortunatus. Their cult was anciently diffused in Lombardy, France, and Germany. A paleochristian basilica and tomb was discovered at San Canzian in recent times; it contained the remains of three individuals.[1]


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Coordinates: 46°14′17.91″N 14°21′21.14″E / 46.2383083°N 14.3558722°E / 46.2383083; 14.3558722