Beautiful Roman Christian noblewoman. Sister of Saint Victoria. The two sisters were set for arranged marriages to noble Roman pagans, and were hesitant. Victoria argued that it would be all right as the patriarchs in the Old Testament had been married; but Anatolia cited other examples to prove that for the holiest lives, they should devote themselves to God and stay single. Victoria was convinced, sold her jewelry, gave the money to the poor, and refused to go through with the wedding to a fellow named Eugenius.
The two suitors insisted on the weddings, and the sisters refused. The young men denouced the women as Christians during the time of the persecutions of Decius, but obtained authority to imprison them their estates, in hopes of breaking their faith and changing their minds. The women converted their servants and guards sent to watch them. Anatolia’s suitor, Titus Aurelius, soon gave up, and handed her back to the authorities. Eugenius stayed at it for years, alternating between good and harsh treatment of Victoria, but eventually even he gave up, and returned her to the authorities. She was martyred by order of Julian, prefect of the Capitol and count of the temples. Her example so impressed her guard, Audax, that he converted to Christianity and was himself soon after martyred.
Modern research indicates their story was likely pious fiction that was mistaken for history.
- in 250 at Tabulana, Italy
- she was first locked up with a poisonous snake, and when it would not bite her, she was stabbed to death with a sword
- Book of Saints, by the Monks of Ramsgate
- Catholic Encyclopedia, by T J Campbell
- Catholic Online
- Katherine Rabenstein
- Our Sunday Visitor’s Encyclopedia of Saints