Primus and Felician

(d. c. 297)

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(d. c.297),

martyrs. These were Romans who suffered at Nomentum (12 miles from Rome) during the persecution of Diocletian and Maximian. A church was built over their tombs on the Via Nomentana. In 640 Pope Theodore brought their relics to the church of San Stefano Rotundo, and a mosaic, which still survives, was set up in the apse. Their legendary Acts make them patrician brothers who became Christians and whose commitment took the form of visiting the confessors in prison. After their arrest they were tortured and the judge tried to convince Felician that his brother, now eighty years old, had conformed. But Felician was not taken in, and the two brothers faced execution together. The translation of their relics from outside the walls of Rome to a church inside them is usually regarded as the first of its kind. Feast: 9 June.

AA.SS. Iun. II (1698), 149–54 with C.M.H., p. 311; H. Delehaye, Étude sur le légendier romain (1936), pp. 14–31.

Subjects: Christianity.

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