Saint Martina of Rome

detail from 'Virgin and Child with Saint Martina and Saint Agnes' by El Greco, 1597-1599, oil on canvas, National Gallery of Art, Washington, District of Columbia, USAMemorial


Wealthy daughter of a Christian Roman consul. On her parent’s death, she gave away her riches to the poor and devoted herself to prayer. Tortured and martyred in the persecutions of Alexander Severus for refusing to sacrifice to pagan gods. A basilica is dedicated to her at the Roman forum.

In the time after her death there were a series of biographies and descriptions of her martyrdom written, each more extravagant that the last, and none with historical value. Assorted miracles were ascribed to her, and her story was blended with those of other early martyrs, especially Saint Prisca and Saint Tatiana of Rome. One of the writers claimed that when she was beheaded, her body bled milk, a tale that led to her patronage of nursing mothers.





Additional Information

MLA Citation

  • “Saint Martina of Rome“. CatholicSaints.Info. 14 May 2020. Web. 8 March 2021. <>