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Saint Emerentiana
British Museum Emerentiana stoned.jpg
Emerentiana's likeness on the Royal Gold Cup
Diedca. 304
Rome, Roman Empire
Venerated inRoman Catholicism, Antiochian Orthodox Church
Major shrineBasilica of Sant'Agnese fuori le mura, Rome, Italy
FeastJanuary 23
Attributesyoung woman with stones in her lap and lilies in her hand; young lady being stoned to death
Patronagestomach problems

Saint Emerentiana was a Roman martyr, who lived around the start of the 4th century. Her feast day is January 23.


According to the legend of St. Agnes, Emerentiana was her foster-sister. [1] St. Agnes was a rich Roman heiress who was martyred after refusing her engagement due to her Christian religion. Emerentiana’s mother was the wet nurse and nanny of Saint Agnes.[2]

A few days after Agnes' death, Emerentiana, who was a catechumen still learning about Christianity before being officially baptized, went to the tomb to pray and was suddenly attacked by the pagans, stoned to death by the crowd.[1]

Emerentiana with stones in her lap


Her feast day is January 23,[1] She is represented as a young girl who either has stones in her lap and lilies in her hand,[2] or as being stoned to death by a mob. Her tomb is in the church of Sant'Agnese fuori le mura in Rome.[3] An altar dedicated to her with a marble relief by Ercole Ferrata depicting her martyrdom is in Sant'Agnese in Agone.

Popular culture[edit]

Emerentiana had a tiny cameo role in Cardinal Nicholas Wiseman's novel, Fabiola, where she is seen mourning for Agnes right after the latter's martyrdom.


  1. ^ a b c Kirsch, Johann Peter. "St. Emerentiana." The Catholic Encyclopedia Vol. 5. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1909. 4 December 2015
  2. ^ a b "St. Emerentiana of Rome", Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America
  3. ^ David Farmer, Oxford Dictionary of Saints (Oxford University Press,1996) p157.

External links[edit]