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Saint Euphemia was the daughter of noble Christian parents, the senator Philophronos and his wife Theodosia in Chalcedon, across the Bosphorus from Byzantium, later renamed Constantinople, and now called Istanbul. She was a virgin from her youth and remained so until her death. Saint Euphemia was a part of the Christian community being persecuted by the Emperor Diocletian and his governors. When a pagan festival was held in the city, she and 48 other Christians hid themselves to avoid pollution of the worship of idols at this riotous carnival.
They were caught and brought before Priscus, the proconsul, who tortured them for 19 days. On the twelfth day, he singled out the beautiful maiden Saint Euphemia and tried to induce her through flattery to sacrifice to idols, but she remained unmoved. Maddened, Priscus ordered her killed, but God preserved her three separate times in miraculous ways. Two soldiers, Victor and Sosthenes, seeing these miracles, confessed their own faith in God and Christianity, and were thrown to the wild beasts. Saint Euphemia followed them to the arena and was martyred in a.d. 303.
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20th c. (Late)