Saturday, December 2, 2023

The Great Cloud of Witnesses

St. Petranille
Fr. Lawrence Jagdfeld, O.F.M.

St. Petranille

May 31

St. Petronille (1st c.), also known as Petronilla, was a virgin martyr of the early Church in Rome. According to tradition she was in some way connected to St. Peter the Apostle; she may have been either his natural daughter, servant, convert (spiritual daughter), or co-laborer in the faith. It is also a tradition that St. Petronilla was cured of palsy by St. Peter. She is remembered for being beautiful, for refusing marriage to a pagan king due to her vow of chastity, and for suffering martyrdom for her unwavering faith. In the 8th century the chapel containing her relics became the burial place of French kings. This is due to the fact that she was the supposed daughter of St. Peter, and the French kings were considered the "adopted sons" of St. Peter; therefore she was invoked as an intercessor for all treaties between the Holy See and the French crown. Her relics were later moved to St. Peter's Basilica in Rome, and on her feast day Mass at St. Peter's is offered for France and attended by French residents living in Rome. St. Petronille is the patronness of the dauphins of France, mountain travelers, and against fever. Her feast day is May 31st.

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