Feast Day 30 July: Inca.
Martyrs c. 250
Accused of befriending Christians, and collecting the bodies of martyrs
for Christian burial, they were said to have been tortured and beheaded
during the persecution by Decius. Another version is that they were scourged
before being turned out, naked, in the Coliseum to face wild animals. Three
lions were meant to attack them but lay down at their feet instead.
Valerian, eventual successor to Decius, interpreted this as a sign of the
devil and ordered them chopped to pieces.
They were buried in the house of Quirinius, a subdeacon, although their
bodies were later moved to the Pontianus Cemetery on the Via Pontianus
in Rome. This, incidentally, was the first dual carriageway in the world!
In the ninth century, during the time of Gregory IV, their remains were
transferred to St Marks. Although their bones can be seen in the crypt
beneath their tomb, Florence and Soissons also claim possession of their bodies.
They are the patron saints of burying the dead, and protection against hail.