Saints of the Day – Marius (Maris), Martha, Abachum and Audifax

Martyrs of the Via CorneliaArticle

Died c.270. A rich Persian family – husband, wife, and two children – who were converted to the faith and distributed their possessions to the poor. They decided to visit Rome to venerate the tombs of the martyrs even though the Emperor Claudius was persecuting Christians. Claudius ordered his legions to gather Christians in the amphitheater, where they were killed and their bodies burned. The Persian family gathered together the ashes and buried them. For this, the governor Marcian apprehended and tortured the whole family before putting them to death. The three men were beheaded and Martha was drowned 13 miles from Rome at a place now called Santa Ninfa (Nympha). Reverent Christians honored the bodies of these martyrs with respect: They were buried on the Via Cornelia. Thirteen centuries later (1590) their bones were discovered and now lie honored in churches as far apart as Rome, Cremona, and Seligenstaedt in Germany (Attwater, Attwater2, Benedictines, Bentley, Coulson, Encyclopedia, Husenbeth).

In art this group generally is represented as a Persian noble family visiting prisoners. Sometimes they may be shown (1) burying Christian martyrs in Rome or (2) being executed with an axe (Roeder).

MLA Citation

  • Katherine I Rabenstein. Saints of the Day, 1998. CatholicSaints.Info. 15 May 2020. Web. 10 May 2021. <>