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James, John, Thomas, James, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Simon and Jude; Linus, Cletus, Clement, Sixtus, Cornelius, Cyprian, Lawrence, Chrysogonus, John and Paul, Cosmas and Damian; Ignatius, Alexander, Marcellinus, Peter, Felicity, Perpetua, Agatha, Lucy, Agnes, Cecilia, Anastasia. We remember these name and honor them every time the priest prays the Roman Canon, also known as the Eucharistic Prayer I.
Who were these people? They are the "top of the iceberg," so-to-speak, the few names handed down to us from the many Christians who were martyred in Rome during three centuries of persecution. We remember them particularly today. They gave their lives so that today we could believe freely.
This is a more comprehensive listing, spanning various centuries of martyrs connected to Rome - hat tip to OrthodoxEngland.org, hence the "Eastern-Orthodox-centric" streak of the commentary and its penchant to highlight martyrs of Greek origin. But this is the best list I've come across. Just keep in mind that despite the counterclaims, Orthodoxy is Catholic and Catholicism, as we have received it today, is Orthodox, critics notwithstanding:
Clement Nov 23 (In the East Jan 4, Apr 22, Sept 10 and Nov 25) + c 101. One of the Seventy Apostles, he was the third Pope of Rome. Consecrated by the Apostle Peter, he is mentioned in Philippians 4,3 and wrote a letter to the Church of Corinth which still exists. He is venerated as a martyr and he is remembered in Rome by the church of San Clemente, which may have been built on the site of his home.
Evaristus Oct 26 + c 105. The fourth Pope of Rome and a martyr.
Zachary May 26 + c 106. By tradition the second Bishop of Vienne in France, martyred under Trajan.
Ignatius of Antioch Oct 17 + c 107. Called 'the God-bearer'. Bishop of Antioch for forty years, he was taken to Rome by order of Trajan and was thrown to the wild beasts in the amphitheatre. On his way to Rome he wrote seven letters which survive. His relics are in St Peter's in Rome.
Rufus and Zosimus Dec 18 + c 107. Citizens of Philippi brought to Rome with St Ignatius of Antioch and thrown to the beasts in the Roman amphitheatre two days before the latter's martyrdom.
Zosimus June 19 + 110. A martyr in Spoleto in Umbria in Italy under Trajan.
Antiochus Dec 13 + c 110. A martyr on Sulci, a small island near Sardinia, under the Emperor Hadrian. The island is now also known as Isola di Sant'Antioco.
Publius Jan 21 + c 112. Tradition identifies this saint with Publius, 'chief man of the island of Malta', who befriended St Paul after his shipwreck (Acts 28,7). He became the first Bishop of Malta and later Bishop of Athens, being martyred under Trajan.
Alexander, Eventius and Theodulus May 3 + c 113. Three martyrs buried on the Via Nomentana in Rome.
Alexander I May 3 (In the East March 16) c 115. The fifth Pope of Rome from c 107 to c 115.
Latinus of Brescia March 24 + 115. Flavius Latinus succeeded St Viator as the third Bishop of Brescia in Italy (84-115). He suffered imprisonment and torture with other Christians.
Rome (Martyrs of) Apr 10 + c 115. A number of criminals baptised by Pope Alexander during his imprisonment. They were taken to Ostia near Rome and put on board a boat which was then scuttled.
Quirinus March 30 + c 117. The jailer of Pope Alexander I, by whom he was converted with his daughter St Balbina. Shortly afterwards he was martyred in Rome under Hadrian.
Sulpicius and Servilian Apr 20 + c 117. Martyrs in Rome who were beheaded under Trajan.
Maurus, Pantaleimon and Sergius July 27 + c 117? Three martyrs venerated in Bisceglia on the Adriatic in Italy. Maurus is said to have been born in Bethlehem, sent by the Apostle Peter to be the first Bishop of Bisceglia. They were martyred under Trajan,
Terentian Sept 1 + 118. Bishop of Todi in Umbria in Italy. He was racked, had his tongue cut out and finally was beheaded under Hadrian.
Eustace, Theopistes, Agapitus and Theopistus Sept 20 + 118. Eustace was an officer, Theopistes, his wife, and Agapitus and Theopistus, their two sons, were martyred in Rome under Hadrian. Eustace owed his conversion to a vision of a stag with a cross between its antlers, seen by him while hunting.
Secundus March 29 + 119. A noble from Asti in Piedmont in Italy and an officer in the imperial army. He was beheaded in Asti under Hadrian.
Serapia July 29 + 119. A slave of Syrian descent who was beheaded in Rome under Hadrian.
Zoticus, Irenaeus, Hyacinth, Amantius and Companions Feb 10 + 120. A group of ten soldiers martyred in Rome and buried on the Via Lavicana.
Marcian March 6 + 120. By tradition he was a disciple of St Barnabas and the first Bishop of Tortona in Piedmont in Italy, where he was martyred under Hadrian after an episcopate of forty-five years.
Theodora Apr 1 + c 120? The sister of St Hermes (Aug 28) whom she helped in prison and under torture. She was herself martyred some months later. Brother and sister were buried side by side.
Getulius, Caerealis, Amantius and Primitivus June 10 + c 120. By tradition Getulius was the husband of St Symphorosa. He, his brother Amantius, and the two officers sent to capture him and converted by him, were clubbed to death in Tivoli in Italy under Hadrian.
Hermes and Companions Aug 28 + c 120. Martyrs in Rome under the judge Aurelian.
Philetus, Lydia, Macedo, Theoprepius (Theoprepides), Amphilochius and Cronidas March 27 + c 121. Martyrs in Illyria under Hadrian. Philetus was a senator, Lydia his wife, Macedo and Theoprepius their sons, Amphilochius a captain, and Cronidas a notary.
Sixtus I (Xystus) Apr 3 + c 125. Pope of Rome from 117 to c 125, sometimes referred to as a martyr.
Marcian of Ravenna May 22 + c 127. Fourth Bishop of Ravenna in Italy, where he is known as San Mariano.
Calocerus Feb 11 + c 130. A disciple of St Apollinaris, whom he succeeded as Bishop of Ravenna in Italy.
Balbina March 31 + c 130. By tradition the daughter of Quirinus the martyr, she was baptised by Pope Alexander and lived as a virgin in Rome. She was buried on the Appian Way near her father. Later her relics were enshrined in the church dedicated to her on the Aventine.
Justa, Justina and Henedina May 14 + c 130. Saints venerated in Sardinia where they were martyred under Hadrian (117-138), either in Cagliari or else in Sassari.
Gabinus and Crispulus May 30 + c 130. The Protomartyrs of Sardinia. They suffered in Torres where they had preached the Gospel under Hadrian.
Crescentian May 31 + c 130. A martyr in Sassari in Sardinia, at the same time as Sts Gabinus and Crispulus under the Emperor Hadrian.
Auspicius July 8 + c 130. By tradition the fourth Bishop of Trier in Germany and successor of St Maternus (c 130).
Juvenal of Benevento May 7 + c 132. A saint of Narni in Italy. His shrine is in Benevento.
Martin of Vienne July 1 + c 132. Third Bishop of Vienne in France.
Telesphorus Jan 5 (In the East Feb 22) + c 136. A Greek who was Pope of Rome for ten years and was martyred under Hadrian.
Faith, Hope and Charity Aug 1 (In the East Sept 17) c 137. The three girls, aged respectively twelve, ten and nine years, daughters of St Sophia who were martyred in Rome under Hadrian.
Castritian Dec 1 + 137. The predecessor of St Calimerius as Bishop of Milan. He was bishop for forty-two years.
Oliva March 5 + 138. Martyred, perhaps in Brescia in the north of Italy, under the Emperor Hadrian.
Corebus Apr 18 c 117-138. A prefect of Messina in Sicily, converted to Christ by St Eleutherius and martyred under the Emperor Hadrian.
Eleutherius and Anthia Apr 18 + 117-138. Eleutherius, Bishop of Illyria, his mother Anthia and eleven others were martyred in Illyria under Hadrian.
Peregrinus May 16 + c 138 (?) Bishop of Terni in Umbria in Italy and founder of its Cathedral.
Hyginus Jan 11 + c 140. Pope of Rome from c 138 to 140, he may also have been a martyr.
Seven Brothers July 10 (In the East Jan 25) + c 150. Seven early martyrs in Rome who became brothers through sharing martyrdom. Their names are: Januarius, Felix and Philip, scourged to death; Sylvanus, thrown over a precipice; Alexander, Vitalis and Martial, beheaded. They suffered in Rome under Antoninus Pius.
Julian of Sora Jan 27 + c 150. Born in Dalmatia, he was arrested, tortured and beheaded in Sora in Campania in Italy under Antoninus Pius (138-161).
Mark and Timothy March 24 + c 150. Two martyrs in Rome.
Alexander July 10 + c 150. An early martyr in Rome.
Novatus June 20 + c 151. Son of Pudens, senator of Rome, and brother of Sts Praxedes and Pudentiana.
Pius I July 11 + c 155. Pope from c 142 to c 155. He may have been a brother of Hermas, the writer of the work called The Shepherd. If so, Pius, like his brother, was born a slave. He opposed the Gnostics, notably the Gnostic Marcion. He may have been martyred.
Simitrius and Companions May 26 + c 159. A group of twenty-three martyrs in Rome, arrested while praying in the church of St Praxedes and beheaded without trial.
Pastor July 26 + c 160. A priest in Rome and by tradition the brother of Pope Pius I.
Justin the Philosopher or Justin Martyr June 1 c 100-165. Born in Nablus in Palestine of pagan parents, when he was about thirty he was converted by reading the Scriptures and witnessing the heroism of the martyrs. His Apologies for the Christian Religion and Dialogue with the Jew Trypho are among the most edifying of second-century writings. He was beheaded in Rome with other Christians.
Ptolemy and Lucius Oct 19 + c 165. Martyrs in Rome under Antoninus Pius. Ptolemy was put to death for instructing a woman in the Orthodox Faith. One Lucius and an unnamed man protested against the injustice of the sentence and were also martyred. Their story was written down by St Justin Martyr, their contemporary.
Anicetus Apr 17 + 166. A Syrian by descent, he was Bishop of Rome from about 152 till 166. During this period St Polycarp of Smyrna visited Rome to settle with him the question of the date of Easter. Anicetus took a firm stand against the Gnostics and may have been martyred.
Daniel Jan 3 + 168. A deacon who helped St Prosdocimus, the first Bishop of Padua in Italy. He was martyred in 168.
Pontian Jan 19 + 169. A martyr in Spoleto in Italy under Marcus Aurelius.
Constantius and Companions Jan 29 + 170. Constantius, first Bishop of Perugia in Italy, was martyred with numerous members of his flock under Marcus Aurelius.
Severinus, Exuperius and Felician Nov 19 + 170. Martyrs in Vienne in France under Marcus Aurelius.
Sophia Sept 30 (In the East Sept 17) + c 173. The mother of the virgin-martyrs Faith, Hope and Charity who were martyred in Rome under Hadrian. Three days later, while praying at their tomb, Sophia also reposed, martyred in her soul.
Soter Apr 22 + c 174. Like most Orthodox in Rome at this time, he was a Greek. He became Pope and corresponded with the Church of Corinth and traditionally he is regarded as a martyr.
Concordius Jan 1 + 175. A subdeacon martyred in Spoleto in central Italy under Marcus Aurelius.
Probus Nov 10 + c 175. Born in Rome, he became the sixth Bishop of Ravenna in Italy. His relics are venerated in the Cathedral in Ravenna.
Photinus (or Pothinus), Sanctius (Sanctus), Vetius, Epagathus, Maturus, Ponticus, Biblis (Biblides), Attalus, Alexander, Blandina and Companions June 2 + 177. Martyrs in Lyons in France under Marcus Aurelius. The details of their martyrdom are given in a letter written by the Churches of Vienne and Lyons to those in Asia. The writer may have been St Irenaeus. The martyrs were attacked by a pagan mob and later tried and condemned for their faith. Photinus, their leader, bishop of the city, an old man aged ninety, reposed in his dungeon. The others were thrown to the wild beasts in the amphitheatre at the public games.
Paschasia Jan 9 + c 178 (?) A virgin martyr venerated from ancient times in Dijon in France.
Epipodius and Alexander Apr 22 + 178. Two young friends and citizens of Lyons in France, martyred under Marcus Aurelius. St Epipodius was beheaded. St Alexander is also commemorated on April 24.
Alexander and Companions Apr 24 + 178. A Greek by birth and the friend and companion of St Epipodius of Lyons in France. He was arrested and martyred with thirty-four others.
Marcellus Sept 4 + c 178. A priest in Lyons in France who escaped from prison but was arrested again. He was buried up to his waist on the banks of the Saône, where he survived for three days before he died.
Valerian Sept 15 + 178. A companion of St Photinus (Pothinus) of Lyons in France. He succeeded in escaping from prison and reappeared at Tournus near Autun, where he again preached to the people. He was captured a second time and beheaded.
Leucius of Brindisi Jan 11 + c 180. Venerated as the first Bishop of Brindisi in Italy where he had come as a missionary from Alexandria.
Hegesippus Apr 7 + c 180. A Jew born in Jerusalem, he spent twenty years of his life in Rome. He is considered to be the father of Church History but only a few chapters of his work remain.
Namphamon and Companions July 4 + c? 180. Of Carthaginian descent, he was martyred with several compatriots at Madaura in Numidia in North Africa and called 'the Archmartyr'.
Scillitan Martyrs July 17 + 180. Twelve martyrs, seven men and five women, who suffered at Scillium in North Africa under Septimius Severus. Their names are: Speratus, Narzales, Cythinus, Veturius, Felix, Acyllinus, Laetantius, Januaria, Generosa, Vestina, Donata and Secunda. The official Acts of these martyrs still exist.
Herculanus Sept 5 + ? c 180. A martyr in Porto near Rome, probably under Marcus Aurelius.
Antoninus Aug 22 + 186. A converted executioner in Rome.
Eleutherius May 26 + 189. A Greek who became a deacon in Rome and succeeded St Soterius as Pope in 175.
Apollonius the Apologist Apr 18 + c 190. A Roman senator, denounced as a Christian by one of his own slaves and condemned to be beheaded. His eloquent defence of Orthodoxy, delivered before the Senate at his trial is a priceless document of the Faith.
Dathus (Datus) July 3 + 190. Bishop of Ravenna in Italy. His election was due to the miraculous appearance of a dove hovering over his head.
Pantaenus July 7 + c 190. Born in Sicily, Pantaenus became the head of the Orthodox School in Alexandria.
Calimerius July 31 + c 190. A Greek who became Bishop of Milan in Italy. He is the Apostle of the Po Valley. He was martyred under Commodus by being thrown into a well. He is buried under the altar of his church in Milan.
Faustus Aug 7 + c 190. A soldier martyred in Milan in Italy under Commodus.
Julius Aug 19 + c 190. An early martyr in Rome.
Eusebius, Pontian, Vincent and Peregrinus Aug 25 + 192? Martyrs in Rome.
Dionysius May 8 + c 193. The successor of St Justus as Bishop of Vienne in the Dauphiné in France.
Victor I July 28 + 198. Born in North Africa, he was Pope of Rome for ten years (189-198).
Irenaeus of Lyons June 28 c 130-200. Born in Asia Minor, he was a disciple of St Polycarp, who was a disciple of the Apostle John the Divine. He went to France and became Bishop of Lyons (c 177), where he was later martyred. His writings against Gnosticism are a witness to Apostolic Tradition.
Symphorian Aug 22 + c 200. A member of a senatorial family in Autun in France, he was martyred under Marcus Aurelius for refusing to sacrifice to a pagan goddess.
Rufus of Avignon Nov 12 + c 200. Venerated as the first Bishop of Avignon in France.
Lucius Dec 3 ? + c 200. A noble in Britain. According to tradition, he asked that missionaries be sent to Britain and they founded the dioceses of London and Llandaff.
Liberius Dec 30 + c 200. Bishop of Ravenna in Italy, venerated as one of the founders of that diocese.
Elvan and Mydwyn Jan 1 2nd cent. By tradition they were two Britons sent to ask for missionaries for Britain.
Patiens Jan 8 2nd cent. Venerated as the fourth Bishop and patron-saint of Metz in France.
Paul, Gerontius, Januarius, Saturninus, Successus, Julius, Catus, Pia and Germana Jan 19 2nd cent. (?) Martyrs in Numidia in North Africa.
Modestus Feb 12 2nd century? Modestus was martyred in Carthage in North Africa and venerated as the patron-saint of Cartagena in Spain.
Eleuchadius Feb 14 2nd cent. A Greek, he was converted by St Apollinaris of Ravenna in Italy and succeeded St Adheritus as third Bishop of that city.
Faustinus and Jovita Feb 15 2nd cent. Two brothers, belonging to the nobility of Brescia in Italy, zealous preachers of Orthodoxy, they were beheaded in their native city under Hadrian.
Felix of Metz Feb 21 2nd cent. The third Bishop of Metz in France for over forty years.
Alexander and Theodore March 17 2nd century? Early martyrs in Rome.
Flavia Domitilla, Euphrosyna and Theodora May 12 2nd cent. Flavia Domitilla was a great-niece of the Emperors Domitian and Titus and St Flavius Clemens. She became Orthodox. On refusing to marry a pagan she was exiled from Rome and martyred with her foster sisters, Euphrosyna and Theodora, in Terracina in Italy.
Pudentiana (or Potentiana) May 19 2nd cent. A holy virgin in Rome, daughter of the senator St Pudens. By tradition she died at the age of sixteen.
Baudelius May 20 2nd (or 3rd) cent. Born in Orleans in France, he was married and worked zealously for Orthodoxy. He was martyred in Nîmes. Veneration for him spread throughout France and the north of Spain and some four hundred churches were dedicated to him.
Dyfan (Deruvianus, Damian) May 26 2nd cent. By tradition an early missionary in Britain. His church in Merthyr Dyfan shows the popular tradition that he ended his days as a martyr.
Fugatius and Damian May 26 ? 2nd cent. By tradition they were missionaries sent to Britain from Rome.
Cominus June 3 2nd century. A companion of St Photinus (Pothinus) and martyr in Lyons in France.
Gervase and Protase June 19 ? 2nd cent. In 386, during the episcopate of St Ambrose, the relics of Sts Gervase and Protase, the protomartyrs of the city, were discovered in Milan in Italy.
Praxedes July 21 2nd cent. The daughter of the Roman senator Pudens and sister of St Pudentiana. One of the ancient churches in Rome is dedicated to her.
Peregrinus July 28 2nd cent. (?) A priest near Lyons in France at the time of St Irenaeus and during the persecution under Severus. He lived as a hermit on an island in the River Saône.
Maximus of Padua Aug 2 2nd cent. Successor of St Prosdocimus as Bishop of Padua in Italy.
Florus, Laurus, Proculus and Maximus Aug 18 2nd cent. The former were twin brothers and stonemasons in Illyria. Proculus and Maximus were their employers. They handed over a temple on which they had been working to Christian worship and as a punishment were drowned in a well.
Flocellus Sept 17 2nd cent. A youth martyred in Autun in France under the Emperor Marcus Aurelius (161-180). After being tortured, he was flung half-dead to the wild beasts in the amphitheatre.
Alexander Sept 21 2nd cent. A bishop in the neighbourhood of Rome. His miracles attracted the attention of the people and he was arrested and martyred on the Claudian Way, some twenty miles from Rome. His relics were enshrined in Rome.
Andochius, Thyrsus and Felix Sept 24 2nd cent. Andochius, a priest, and Thyrsus, a deacon in Smyrna, were sent to what is now France by St Polycarp. They settled in Autun where they converted their host, a rich merchant, by name Felix. All three were martyred and were venerated throughout Gaul.
Herculanus Sept 25 2nd cent. A soldier martyred in Rome.
Adhentus (Abderitus, Adery) Sept 27 + 2nd cent. A Greek by birth, he succeeded St Apollinaris as Bishop of Ravenna in Italy. His relics are enshrined in the basilica of Classe near Ravenna.
Paternus Sept 28 2nd cent. Born in Bilbao in Spain, he was one of the earliest Bishops of Auch in France.
Benignus Nov 1 2nd cent. A martyr venerated in Dijon in France from early times, over whose tomb the Cathedral of St Benignus was built.
Agrippinus (Arpinus) Nov 9 2nd or 3rd cent. Bishop of Naples in Italy, where he has been greatly venerated from time immemorial. His relics are enshrined under the altar of the Cathedral of Naples with Sts Eutychius and Acutius, companions of St Januarius.
Veneranda Nov 14 2nd cent. An early martyr in France.
Fidentius Nov 16 2nd cent. An early saint in Padua in Italy.
Cecilia Nov 22 2nd-3rd cent. One of the most famous virgin-martyrs of Rome. Having suffered for Christ, she was buried in the cemetery of St Callistus. Her relics are beneath the altar of the basilica of St Cecilia in Trastevere. She is the patron-saint of musicians.