St Cristina (July 24)


Lorenzo Lotto, 1505
From the Roman Martyrology:

At Tiro in Tuscany, on Lake Bolsena, St. Christina, virgin and martyr. Because she believed in Christ, and broke up her father's gold and silver idols to give them to the poor, she was cruelly scourged at his command, subjected to other most severe torments, and thrown with a heavy stone into the lake from which she was drawn out by an angel. Then under another judge, who succeeded her father, she bore courageously still more bitter tortures. Finally, after she had been shut up by the governor Julian in a burning furnace for five days without any injury, after being cured of the sting of serpents, she ended her martyrdom by having her tongue cut out, and being pierced with arrows.

There is however another St Cristina whose feast is also celebrated on July 24, St Cristina the Astonishing (1150-1224), patroness of those with mental illnesses.  Here is a little of her story:
 
"Born a peasant, Christina was orphaned at age 15. She is said to have suffered a massive seizure when she was in her early 20s. According to the story, her condition was so severe that witnesses assumed she had died. A funeral was held, but during the service, she "arose full of vigor, stupefying with amazement the whole city of Sint-Truiden, which had witnessed this wonder. "She levitated up to the rafters, later explaining that she could not bear the smell of the sinful people there. Then "[t]he astonishment increased when they learned from her own mouth what had happened to her after her death."  She related that she had witnessed Heaven, Hell and Purgatory."
 
Please say a prayer for all whose nameday it is.

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