Lives of the Saints

Our Models and Protectors

August 11
  

Saint Tiburtius

Martyr
(† 286)

A certain pagan prefect of Rome, by the name of Agrestius Chromatius, saw arrive before his tribunal a holy man named Tranquillinus. The prefect had already condemned a number of Christians to martyrdom, among them the twin brothers, Marcus and Marcellianus; but when Saint Tranquillinus, who was their father, told him how he had recovered from the gout through his baptism, Chromatius listened to him. He himself had the same malady. He sent for a priest, and he too was freed from his infirmity when baptized. He then liberated 400 slaves and retired to a country home, where he sheltered many Christians who feared they could not resist tortures during the persecutions.

Saint Tiburtius, whom the Church honors today, was the son of Chromatius, and was baptized with him. He was later ordained a subdeacon, and one day raised to life a man whom he found on the ground, his body broken by a fall from the upper story of a residence. Under Diocletian, Tiburtius was betrayed to the persecutors by an unfaithful Christian. He courageously confessed his ardent faith, saying, I sacrifice only to one God, the Creator of the world, who reigns over heaven and earth, and my greatest desire is to be immolated and sacrificed myself for this confession. After being condemned to walk on hot coals, which he did without suffering any pain, he was beheaded at a site three miles from Rome. A church was afterward built at this site and named for him.