Baring-Gould’s Lives of the Saints – Saint Marciana, Virgin Martyr


(about 300)

[Roman, Spanish, German, and other Martyrologies. There is some difficulty as to whether the African Saint Marciana and the Saint of the same name, honoured at Toledo, are to be distinguished; but probably they are the same. Some hagiographers have supposed that there were two, because at Toledo, Saint Marciana is commemorated on July 12th, but that is in all probability the day of her translation. The Acts of the African Saint and the Toledan hymn to Saint Marciana, as well as the account of her in the Mozarabic Breviary, relate the same incidents. None of these are of any great authority.]

Saint Marciana was a native of Rusuccus, in Mauritania. When at Caesarea, in Mauritania, she was brought before the governor on the charge of having overthrown a marble statuette of Diana, which stood above a drinking fountain in the public street.

For this outrage on the established religion, she was scourged, and then delivered over to the lust of the gladiators, but was miraculously delivered, for God was as careful to protect the modesty of his servant, as was she to proclaim the honour of His name.

She was exposed in the amphitheatre to a lion, which, however, spared her; but a bull gored her with its horns, and a leopard despatched her.

Patroness of Tortosa, in Spain.

MLA Citation

  • Sabine Baring-Gould. “Saint Marciana, Virgin Martyr”. Lives of the Saints, 1897. CatholicSaints.Info. 8 January 2014. Web. 16 January 2019. <>