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.