Daughter of an imperial Roman official, Romana was drawn to Christianity. Around age 16, to avoid marriage, she fled her family home. With the help of an angel, she made it to the cave on Mount Soracte where Pope Saint Sylvester was hiding from the persecutions of Diocletian. She explained to him her desire for Christian religious life; he baptized her and left, leaving her the cave as a home. Her reputation for holiness soon spread, and she attracted so many students that they founded a community around her cave.
While such a saint may well have lived in the cave, and such people certainly attracted would-be students and followers, the tales that grew up around her are likely pious fiction that was later mistaken for history.
- c.324 in her cave on Mount Soracte near Rome, Italy of natural causes
- her parents were brought to the cave, and buried her there
- Book of Saints, by the Monks of Ramsgate
- Catholic Online
- Medieval Religion Listserv, by John Dillon
- Our Sunday Visitor’s Encyclopedia of Saints
- Santi e Beati
- “Saint Romana“. CatholicSaints.Info. 22 February 2009. Web. 31 May 2016. <>