Sts. Primus And Felician June 9

Sts. Primus and Felician

St. Primus and FelicianSuffered martyrdom about 304 in the Diocletian persecution. The constancy of Felician was first put to the test. Nailed by his hands and feet to the trunk of a tree, he remained hanging there for three days, without eating or drinking. They then tried to make his brother believe that he had sacrificed to the idols, but Primus declared that he knew Felician was happy in the midst of his sufferings and that he would remain united to him in martyrdom. “This is,” as the Alleluia sings, “the true brotherhood which has triumphed over the criminal world.” The praetor then ordered that molten lead should be poured into his mouth, in the presence of his brother.

They were led to the amphitheatre, but the lions who were to devour them crouched at their feet. Finally they were beheaded (286).

The “Martyrologium Hieronymianum” (ed. De Rossi-Duchesne, 77) gives under 9 June the names of Primus and Felician who were buried at the fourteenth milestone of the Via Nomentana (near Nomentum, now Mentana). They were evidently from Nomentum. This notice comes from the catalogue of Roman martyrs of the fourth century. In 648 Pope Theodore translated the bones of the two saints to the Roman Church of San Stefano, under an altar erected in their honour (Liber Pontificalis, I, 332), where they remain. Their feast is still observed on 9 June.