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Saint Christina (Feast Day, July 24th)

The legend of Saint Christina dates to the later Fourth Century at Bofena, Italy where recent archeological evidence has shown that the patron of St. Christine's Church was indeed venerated.

She was the daughter of Urbain, a rich and powerful magistrate who was a palace official and descendant of a famous Bofena family. But he was a heathen, she a Christina, At age 11 the beautiful Christina found herself much desired as a bride by young nobles, whom she rejected. Angered , her father locked her and 12 servants in a tower, placing in her cell the expensive idols of his heathen worship. Christina smashed them after an angelic vision, and had the priceless pieces distributed among the poor.

This act seemed to have turned Urbain into the persecutor of his daughter. He had her whipped and thrown into prison. But Christina remained unshaken in her Faith, even after having her body torn and placed upon a grate over a fire (which miraculously was turned against her persecutors). After this, the unyielding, but pitiful girl was consoled by angels in her dungeon cell.

Next, she was thrown into the lake of Bolsena with a stone around her neck, but again was saved by an angel. Even after her father died, Christina was to suffer for Christ the most inhumane tortures under Urbain's successor. She finally was imprisoned, thrown into a furnace where she remained five days miraculously unhurt, survived in a pit of serpents, and had her tongue cut out. The martyr to be was slain by lances at Tyro, a city which once stood on an island in the lake of Bolsena, but which since has been covered by the waters.

Her relics now lie in Palermo in Sicily.

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