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Sunday, February 26, 2012

Saint Emerentiana also known as St. Emerentia

Feast Day: January 23

Patronage: against abdominal pains/colic

Saint Emerentiana was the milk sister of Saint Agnes for Emerentiana's mother was the nanny and wet nurse of Saint Agnes. One of the obscure saints and a Roman virgin- martyr, who lived in the 3rd century,

Emerentiana was much of the same age as St. Agnes when she suffered martyrdom. This little girl was a catechumen and was still learning about Christianity before she was even officially baptized. Martyrs, as catholic believe, are "baptized by blood".

A few days after St Agnes' death, Emerentiana she was found weeping and praying by her tomb.  The pagans who were as furious as ever, attacked the little girl but Emerentiana refused to leave the place, claiming she was a Christian. Emerentiana was stoned to death by the crowd of pagans and her
body was buried alongside Agnes.

Emerentiana's relics were recovered near the Church of Saint Agnes on the Via Nomentana when it was being restored during the reign of Pope Paul V. The relics were later transfered to the Basilica of Saint Agnes. The body of Saint Agnes lies under the altar, together with that of her milk sister Saint Emerentiana.

Emerentiana is represented as a young girl who either carries stones in her lap, also with a palm/lilies in her hand, or a girl being stoned to death by a mob.

Reflections:  St Agnes lived her faith by example and Emerentiana is the first fruit of her labor.  Emerentiana stood up to the pagans out of love and fidelity to what Agnes believed in. These two saints bore witness to
their faith and it is through the witness of lives such as these that others will come to believe and find salvation as well.

As Christians, it is through our works that others will come to see the faith that we have in God.  May others see our good works and give glory to our God.


  1. Baptism of blood can only occur if one is baptised. See Ephesians 4:5 One God one Faith one Baptism.
    The idea of baptism of blood as stated in this article is a heresy, a vatican 2 and or modernist novelty.
    Jesus teaches in John 3:5 water is necessary, also see Mark 16:16. This fact is a teaching in The Magisterium too, which is The Proximate Rule of Christian Faith.

  2. St. Emerentiana is water baptised, and martyred as the story correctly says, but is certainly wrong to say she wasn't baptised.
    A neophyte is the correct term for one baptised but still learning the basics of The Catholic Faith.
    St. Emerentiana was a neophyte Catholic at her death.

  3. Thanks for your comment.

    Baptism is necessary for salvation; but we also know that there are 3 types of baptism:
    1) sacramental (water) baptism
    2) baptism of desire (you desire to be baptized but die before having it happen)
    3) baptism of blood (you're martyred before getting baptized).

    Quoted from the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) # 1258

    "The Church has always held the firm conviction that those who suffer death for the sake of the faith without having received Baptism are baptized by their death for and with Christ. This Baptism of blood, like the desire for Baptism, brings about the fruits of Baptism without being a sacrament."

    So, Baptism of blood presupposes the absence of the Sacrament of Baptism. It comes in so that, although it is not a sacrament, it confers the fruits of the Sacrament of Baptism on the martyred person.

  4. Emerentiana was a catechumen, still learning about Christianity before being baptized. A catechumen is one receiving instruction from a catechist in the principles of the Christian religion with a view to baptism.