PORTUGAL OF MY HEART
The 9 Saints nonuplet sisters Virgin-Martyrs of Portugal:
Saints Wilgefortis (Liberata) the crusified, Marina, Quiteria, Genibera, Eufemia, Marciana, Germana, Basilia & Victoria the Virgin-Martyrs in Mediterranean (+139)
& Saint Ovidius 3rd Bishop of Braga, Portugal (+135)
Saint Virgin-Martyr Wilgefortis or Liberata the crusified
in some icons show her with a beard in a memory of Virgin Mary’s miracle
to avoid to marry the pagan king
The names of the 9 Virgin-Martyrs from Portugal:
Saint Wilgefortis or Liberata or Eutropia the crucified, Virgin-Martyr in Aguas Santas, Spain (July 20, +139)
Saint Marina or Margarida, Virgin-Martyr in Aguas Santas, Spain (January 18, +139)
Saint Quiteria, Virgin-Martyr in Aire-sur-l’Adour, France (May 22, +139)
Saint Eufemia or Eumelia, Virgin-Martyr in Braga, Portugal (September 16, +139)
Saint Marciana or Marica, Virgin-Martyr in Toledo, Spain (January 9, +139)
Saint Germana Virgin-Martyr and the Saints Paul, Gerontius, January, Saturninus, Suxessus, Julius, Katus and Pia, Martyrs in Numidia, North Africa (January 19, +139)
Saint Victoria / Vitoria / Rita, Virgin-Martyr from Braga, Portugal (November 17, +139)
Saint Genibera / Genebra / Gemma, Virgin-Martyr from Braga, Portugal (+139)
Saint Basilia or Basilissa, Virgin-Martyr from Braga, Portugal (July 12, +139)
Feast days: Jan 9, 18 & 19, May 22, June 3, July 12 & 20, Sep 16
The Saints 9 Virgin-Martyrs of Portugal were born in the year 119 A.D. in Braga, Portugal. They were the daughters of pagan Castelius Lucius Severus and Calsia.
Her mother, Calsia was disgusted at the fact that she went through nine childbirths and not one of them was male. She called on her maid Sila to dispose of them by drowning the nine infants. Sila was a follower of Christianity so she ended up giving the babies to a Christian monk to be raised in the Christian community. Their father King Lucio was completely unaware of their birth.
Saint Ovidius the Bishop of Braga in Portugal, took care of the girls, baptized them Christian, and taught them all about Christianity. St Quiteria was the most dedicated out of her sisters when it came to their faith. She was fascinated with the Virgin Mary and the words of Christ. The monk eventually told the girls that their biological parents were the Royal Rulers of the country, but none of them had the desire to live a luxurious life.
St Wilgefortis (Liberata), St Quiteria and their seven other sisters around breaking Christians out of jail. This lasted for a few years until they were caught and brought to the King. Once the King realized who they were he asked them to live in the palace. While the sisters lived there they praised Jesus everyday and eventually turned their room into a prayer hall. When the King realized they were Christians he told them to give it up and marry Roman pagans. They refused and were locked up in jail. In jail they praised and glorified Jesus, and eventually an angel came and told St Quiteria “Happy and fortunate you are, for you deserved to find grace in front of God, so that God has chosen you as his spouse. It is God’s will, that you are to live in solitude in the mount Oria and there you will exercise in oration and contemplation”. The angel released them from jail and they escaped all going in different directions. St Quiteria followed the angel and lived on the top of a mountain, where she was eventually captured. Once she again declined the marriage offer, she was imprisoned. Again she was freed by an angel, and returned to the mountain along with a group of other women whom she converted to Christianity. Along the way she had received the crown of martyrdom, and met Prosen Lastiano the ruler of the city Aufragia. She converted him to Christianity, but then a few days later he gave it up and became a pagan again. Prosen and his soldiers reached the mountain with intentions to kill her, but as the were ascending he fell down suddenly and lost all feeling in his hands and legs. Through the prayer of St Quiteria he regained his senses, and became full of faith. King Lucio was infuriated at the fact that his daughter converted women from his palace and one of his good friends to Christianity. Lucio and his soldiers left the palace so they could hunt her down. When they finally found her at the Aire-sur-l’Adour church in Gascony, France, he again tried to force her into marriage, and she declined because she wanted to remain a virgin for Jesus. Her father then ordered one of his soldiers to behead her, and it was done instantly. They also beheaded all of the other Christian women she was with. Αfter she was beheaded she walked to the Church of the Virgin Mary with her head in her hands.
Saint Marina was condemned to die in an oven. But she was rescued from this fate by St. Peter, who brought her out of the oven and water to cool her off. Later she was beheaded, but her head bounced around three times causing three fountains to spring from the ground.
In the place where she martyred there are:
-The prison of Saint Marina
-The church of Ascension: The oven of torture
-“Piocas”: The pond, where she was refreshed by St. Apostle Peter
-The sacred Fountains of Saint Marina: The places where her head bounced
-Saint Marina’s Oaks: Places with miraculous properties
-Vacariza carving stones
A parallel archaeological excavation and study of the local church has shown that the earliest layer of the present Church was built in the 6th century (AD 502 – 593).
Saint Wilgefortis, or Liberata, was martyred after Saint Marina in Aguas Santa in Spain. She was promised by her father to a pagan king. She took a vow of virginity and tried to stave off the wedding through prayer; she hoped to become repulsive and thus undesirable. Her prayers were answered in an odd way. She sprouted a beard.Her father, furious, had her crucified.
Saint Euphemia, or Eumelia, another sister, threw herself from a cliff to avoid capture. When she fell, the rock opened and swallowed her whole; a spring immediately appeared on the spot. This idea of being swallowed by rock and a subsequent spring echoes the Galician legends around St. Jacques and legends around Saint Fris, whose cult is centered in Gascony….where a lot of the 9-sisters action was said to have taken place.
Their sister Saint Marciana arrested in Toledo in Spain, where she was martyred.
Their sister Saint Victoria arrested in Cordoba in Spain, where she was martyred.
Their sister Saint Germana arrested and martyred in Numidia in North Africa, with the Saint Martyr Paul and 17 other Holy Martyrs.
Their sisters Saint Genibera and Saint Basilia arrested and martyred in Mediterranean Sea.
Saint Ovidius, also Saint Auditus, is a Portuguese saint. Saint Ovidius was a Roman citizen of Sicilian origin. Tradition states that he was sent to Braga by Pope Clement I, where he served as the city’s third bishop around 95. He baptized Saint Wilgifortis (Liberata) and her sisters after they were abandoned by their mother.
He was martyred for his Christian faith in 135.
The Portuguese call him Santo Ovídio, and sometimes, by the folkloric São Ouvido (literally “he who is heard” or “ear”), a folk-etymological translation of the Latin name Auditus; this name was then rendered as Ovídio. Because of his name, Saint Auditus or Ovidius was traditionally invoked against auditory diseases.
His feast day is June 3.