St. Sabina, Martyr, Feast Day August 29th
Very little is known about our Patron Saint. She was a Roman noblewoman who suffered martyrdom about 126 A.D. According to the Acts of Martyrdom, St. Sabina was the widow of Valantenius and daughter of Herod Metallarius. She was martyred in the city of Vendena in the district of Umbria under Emperor Hadrian.
Sabina was converted to Christianity by her female slave, Seraphia. Seraphia, a virgin, was delivered to some libertines because she refused to honor the state god, Trajan. Before she could be harmed, God struck the libertines with a horrible sickness and she was later accused of witchcraft and hanged.
Sabina gathered her remains and buried them in her own mausoleum and since this was reputed to be a crime, Sabina was beheaded.
In 430 A.D. her relics were brought to Aventine hill in Rome where a Basilica was built in her honor. It was built during the pontificate of Celestine I and consecrated by Sixtus III sometime between 432 and 440 A.D.
In 1586 Pope Sixtus V made some alterations, but the church retains most of its ancient features, and for this reason is one of the most interesting of the ancient Roman basilicas. The nave is divided by 24 fluted columns of Parian marble brought to the temple of Juno by the ancient pagans. The high altar encloses the remains of SS. Sabina and Seraphia, in addition to other priests and martyrs. The Feast of St. Sabina is on August 29th.