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Saint Pudentiana in the mosaic of the apse of the Santa Pudenziana
Virgin, martyr
Venerated in
Major shrineSanta Pudenziana
Feast19 May
AttributesOil lamp, laurel wreath (for Christ)

Pudentiana is a virgin and martyr of the 2nd century who refused to worship the Roman Emperors Marcus Aurelius and Antoninus Pius as deities. She is sometimes locally known as "Potentiana" and is often coupled with her sister, Praxedes the martyr.


Praxedes and Pudentiana, by Antiveduto Grammatica

According to her acta and the Martyrology of Reichenau,[2] she was a Roman virgin of the early church, daughter of Saint Pudens, friend of the Apostles, and sister of Praxedes.

Praxedes and Pudentiana, together with 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 (Latin for 'the church of Pudens') was mistaken for "Saint Pudentiana".


Saint Pudentiana, Fresco of the 15th century, from the church of Santa Pudenziana in Narni, Italy

Santa Pudenziana, a basilica in Rome, is named for her, and her commemoration in the General Roman Calendar fell on 19 May until its 1969 revision.[3] Pudentiana is still mentioned on 19 May in the Roman Martyrology.[4]

The Spanish Conquistador Miguel López de Legazpi, the founder of the modern City of Manila, gained possession of the territory on 19 May 1571. As it was the feast of Saint Pudentiana (in Spanish: Potenciana), Legazpi declared her the patroness.[5]

By the Apostolic Letter Impositi Nobis of 12 September 1942, Pope Pius XII, at the request of the Philippine episcopacy, declared the Virgin Mary under the title of the Immaculate Conception as principal patroness of the country, with Saints Pudentiana and Rose of Lima as secondary patronesses, mentioning that historical documents indicated Pudentiana as patroness from the 16th century and Rose of Lima from the 17th.[6] Intramuros, the walled Spanish citadel that was the nucleus of Manila, still has a street that bears her name.[citation needed]

Homonymous town in Numidia[edit]

The name Pudentiana is also the name of an unrelated ancient town and episcopal see in the Roman province of Numidia, which is among the titular sees listed in the Annuario Pontificio.[7] Two holders of the titular see have become cardinals: Mario Casariego y Acevedo and Oscar Andrés Rodríguez Maradiaga.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Ἡ Ἁγία Πουδενδιάνα ἡ Μάρτυς [Saint Pudendiana the Martyr]. synaxarion.gr (in Greek). Retrieved 3 April 2024.
  2. ^ "Saint Pudentia". Archived from the original on 2011-10-03. Retrieved 2011-08-02.
  3. ^ https://www.vatican.va/content/paul-vi/en/motu_proprio/documents/hf_p-vi_motu-proprio_19690214_mysterii-paschalis.html
  4. ^ https://www.ecatholic2000.com/roman-martyrology/05-may.shtml
  5. ^ "The Church before it became a Cathedral : 1571". Manila Metropolitan Cathedral-Basilica. Archived from the original on 21 October 2011. Retrieved November 24, 2011.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  6. ^ "III. Insularum Philippinarum Beatissima Virgo Maria Titulo Immaculata Conceptio Primaria Universalisque Patrona et Sanctae Virgines Pudentiana ac Rosa Limana Patronae Secundarias Declarantur" [III. The Most Blessed Virgin Mary of the Philippine Islands with the title Immaculate Conception is declared the Primary and Universal Patroness and the Holy Virgins of Pudentiana and Rosa Limana are declared Secondary Patronesses]. Acta Apostolicae Sedis 1942 [Acts of the Apostolic See] (PDF) (in Latin). pp. 336–337.
  7. ^ Annuario Pontificio 2013 (Libreria Editrice Vaticana 2013 ISBN 978-88-209-9070-1), p. 956
  8. ^ "Pudentiana". Catholic-Hierarchy.org. Cheney, David M. 25 January 2024. Retrieved 3 April 2024.

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