SS. Chrysanthus and Daria, Martyrs
In the Third Century.
CHRYSANTHUS and DARIA were strangers, who came from the East to Rome, the first from Alexandria, the second from Athens, as the Greeks tell us in their Menæa. They add, that Chrysanthus, after having been espoused to Daria, persuaded her to prefer a state of perpetual virginity to that of marriage, that they might more easily, with perfect purity of heart, trample the world under their feet, and accomplish the solemn consecration they had made of themselves to Christ in baptism. The zeal with which they professed the faith of Christ distinguished them in the eyes of the idolaters; they were accused, and, after suffering many torments, finished their course by a glorious martyrdom, according to their acts in the reign of Numerian; Baillet thinks rather in the persecution of Valerian, in 237. Several others who, by the example of their constancy, had been moved to declare themselves Christians, were put to death with them. St. Gregory of Tours says, 1 that a numerous assembly of Christians, who were praying at their tomb soon after their martyrdom, were, by the order of the prefect of Rome, walled up in the cave, and buried alive. SS. Chrysanthus and Daria were interred on the Salarian Way, with their companions, whose bodies were found with theirs in the reign of Constantine the Great. This part of the catacombs was long known by the name of the cemetery of SS. Chrysanthus and Daria. Their tomb was decorated by Pope Damasus, who composed an epitaph in their honour. 2 Their sacred remains were translated by Pope Stephen VI. in 866, part into the Lateran basilic, and part into the church of the Twelve Apostles. 3 This at least is true of the relics of their companions. Those of SS. Chrysanthus and Daria had been translated to the abbey of Prom, in the diocess of Triers, in 842, being a gift of Sergius II. In 844, they were removed to the abbey of St. Avol, or St. Navor, in the diocess of Metz. 4 The names of SS. Chrysanthus and Daria are famous in the sacramentaries of St. Gelasius and St. Gregory, and in the Martyrologies both of the western and eastern churches. The Greeks honour them on the 19th of March and 17th of October: the Latins on the 25th of October. 1
Note 1. L. de Glor. Mart. c. 38 and 83.
Note 2. Damas. Carm. 36.
Note 3. Bosius and Aringhi Roma subterr. l. 3, c. 24, and Anastasius the Librarian in his authentic relation of this translation.
Note 4. See Mabill. Sæc. 4, Ben. p. 611.
Rev. Alban Butler (1711–73). Volume X: October.
The Lives of the Saints. 1866.