Key to Umbria: Massa Martana

Saints of Massa Martana

Umbria:  Home   Cities    History    Art    Hagiography    Contact 


Massa Martana:  Home    History    Saints    Around Massa Martana    Monuments

Silvestro Nessi (reference below) lists the most important hagiographic records that refer to the city called Civitas Martana or variants thereof.  These include those listed below, plus:

  1. St Severus (BHL 7675d), in which he is described as “militiae gerens officium, civis Martanus” (a military officer, citizen of Martanus); and

  2. St Brictius, who is recorded in the early martyrologies as dying at: Civitate Martulana (the Martyrology of Florus); “Martulana Civitate” (the Martyrology of Adon); and “Civitate Martula” (the Martyrology of Usuard).  In BHL 1620, he preached “sub montana Martulanæ” (below the Monti Martana) and his oratory was  “in civitate Martulana”.

St Faustinus (29th July)

St Faustinus was a follower of St Felix, Bishop of Civitas Martana (see below).  He was martyred in the reign of the Emperors Diocletian and Maximian and buried in the Christian cemetery near the catacombs that are named for him.  A Roman villa nearby was later adapted as the church of San Faustino.

St Felix of Civitas Martana (30th October)

St Felix, Bishop of Civitas Martana, was decapitated in the forum of the city in the reign of the Emperors Diocletian and Maximian on the orders of the prefect Tarquinius.  He was buried near a church that stood on the site of the present church of San Felice.   The relics seem to have been translated to San Felice di Giano in the 6th century.  The crypt of this church still houses the sarcophagus of St Felix, [although the relics it contained were transferred to Spello in the 17th century]. 

SS Fidentius and Terence (27th September)

SS Fidentius and Terence came from Cesarea in Cappadocia to Rome to seek martyrdom in the reign of the Emperors Diocletian and Maximian.  They were arrested and imprisoned outside the city but miraculously escaped.  An angel guided them towards Todi, but they were beheaded “in civitate Martane, Tuderto proxima” (in Civitas Martana, near Todi).  Their relics are venerated in what became the Abbazia di SS Fidenzio e Terenzio

St Illuminata (29th November)

St Illuminata was imprisoned when she converted to Christianity and refused to marry Sebastian, the Prefect of Ravenna.  An angel freed her and she fled to Civitas Martana but the prefect there arrested and executed her.  She was buried in a place called "Papinianus".   One version of the legend says that this was later the site of a church dedicated to her (the Abbazia di Sant’ Illuminata).

Read more: 
S. Nessi, “La Diocesi di Spoleto tra Tardoantico e Medioevo”, in 
“Umbria Cristiana: dalla Diffusione del Culto al Culto dei Santi (secc. IV-X): Atti del XV Congresso Internazionale di Studi sull' Alto Medioevo”, (Spoleto, 23-28 Ottobre 2000)”, Spoleto (2001) pp 833-81 
The sections on Massa Martana are at pp 839-41 and pp 859-60.  There is information on the catacomb at Villa San Faustino in the section on Mevania, at pp 835-6 
Return to the Home Page on Massa Martana.