Sabina of Rome (feast day 29 August)
Probably born late in the first century CE, Sabina of Rome is said to have been the daughter of a man named Herod Metallarius and the widow of a Roman senator named Valentinus. She was converted to Christianity by her slave, Serapia--who has her own complicated story.
Sabina's slave, Serapia of Syria, was born in Antioch and had come to Rome with her parents--after their death, she had given everything she owned to the poor and then had sold herself into slavery, thus entering Sabina's household.
St. Sabina, detail of a fifteenth-century altarpiece
showing the life of Saint Sabina,
Church of Saint Zaccaria, Venice
After Serapia's martyrdom in 119 (stories about the circumstances vary--she had either been denounced and executed as a witch, or she was arrested after she had refused to honor the Roman gods), Sabina retrieved Serapia's remains and buried them in her family's tomb.
Sabina of Rome was denounced as a criminal and accused of being a Christian. She was executed in 125 and later canonized as a saint. In 430, Sabina's remains were transferred to a basilica on the Aventine Hill, built on the site of her house in Rome.
|Basilica of Saint Sabina at the Aventine,|