St. Crescentia suffered for Christ during the reign of Emperor Diocletian along with the holy martyrs Vitus and Modestus. She was St. Vitus’ governess, and tried to save the boy when his father wanted to kill him because he would not abandon his faith in Christ.
St. Crescentia and the boy’s tutor, St. Modestus, were both Christians, and secretly took the child from his home. They found a boat at the river, and an angel entered the boat with them. They reached the Italian district of Lucanium, where they lived quietly, hiding from their persecutors. St. Vitus healed the sick and converted pagans to Christianity. His fame soon spread throughout the region.
Ss. Vitus and Modestus were arrested and thrown into prison and then tortured upon the orders of Emperor Diocletian. St. Crescentia came out of the crowd of spectators and confessed herself a Christian and reproached the emperor for his cruelty. She was thereafter sentenced to be tortured.
St. Vitus called out to God, “O God, save us by Thy power and deliver us.” An earthquake then struck the city, and the pagans perished beneath the collapsed buildings. Diocletian fled to his chambers in fear. An angel released Sts. Vitus, Modestus and Crescentia from the pillars and took them to Lucanium.
St. Vitus prayed that God would accept their souls in peace and not deprive those who kept their memory of His benefaction. A Voice came from Heaven, “Thy prayer is heard.” The saints then joyfully surrendered their souls to God.
St. Crescentia is also commemorated on May 16.
By permission of the Orthodox Church in America (www.oca.org )