FOUR CROWNED MARTYRS – Nov 8

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Two sets of Four Martyrs (c. 305 A.D.)

On November 8th, Holy Mother Church commemorates the Four Holy Crowned Martyrs. There were actually two sets of four martyrs who are grouped together, all of whom refused to worship false idols, both groups being martyred by approximately 305 A.D, though in different places. For some time the names of these martyrs were not known, and so they were collectively referred to as the "crowned martyrs." (Sadly, their feast day was stripped from the calendar during the liturgical revolution of the 1960s that devastated the Traditional Latin Mass.)

The second group was martyred near Rome, in Albano, Italy. They were four brothers whose names were Carpophorus, Secundius, Severian, and Victorinus. They were scourged to death with whips loaded with lead. Their bodies were thrown out to be eaten by the dogs, but as they remained untouched for a long while, the Christians took them away, and gave them a holy burial next to where the first group of Four had been buried. In Rome, a basilica was erected in their honor.

This first group had been tortured and martyred in Pannonia (modern-day Croatia / Slovenia). They had been excellent sculptors who not only refused to worship the false idols, but also refused to carve figures of these idols. Their names were: Castorius, Claudius, Nicostratus, and Symphorian. A martyr named Simplicius, also died with them, and was added to their number. The Emperor Diocletian ordered them to be placed alive in lead coffins and thrown into the River Sava. This happened around 287 AD and their bodies were then translated to Rome.