A Garner of Saints – Saint Justina of Padua

the painting 'Santa Giustina with the unicorn and a devotee' by Il Moretto, c.1532, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, AustriaArticle

(Italian: Giustina): Born at Padua about the middle of the first century, her father Vitalian being a rich nobleman and prefect of Padua. Her parents were converted to Christianity by the preaching of Saint Prosdocimo, and not having been blessed with children up to that time, they received Justina in answer to their prayer. She was devoted to religion from her earliest years and obeyed Prosdocimo in all things, and ultimately she took the vow of perpetual virginity. At this time arose the persecutions of the Christians by Nero, and Maximian the prefect who had succeeded Vitalian, proved himself particularly brutal. As Justina had distinguished herself by acts of piety, entering the prisons to comfort and encourage the Christians there, Maximian ordered her arrest. While she was passing by the Pont Marin near Padua she was seized by the soldiers and dragged out of her chariot. They gave her some moments for prayer, and she prayed with such fervour that the marble on which she knelt grew soft as wax and retained the impression of her knees. When she was brought before Maximian he was struck by her beauty and endeavoured by every means to shake her constancy. However she remained firm against all attacks and the prefect caused her to be slain with the sword. Her body was carried to the grave by Prosdocimo. 7th October.

Attributes

  • With a dagger in the throat and sometimes accompanied by a unicorn, though this arises from confusing her with Justina of Antioch.

MLA Citation

  • Allen Banks Hinds, M.A. “Saint Justina of Padua”. A Garner of Saints, 1900. CatholicSaints.Info. 20 April 2017. Web. 29 May 2017. <>