Oil Dedicated to St Victoria
The Sts Anatolia and Victoria healing oil is dedicated to sisters that lived near the Sabine hills, north-east of Rome. An early account of their martyrdom says that they refused marriage and were martyred. The story of Victoria and Anatolia was widely known in Medieval Europe. The 8th-century English monk Saint Aldhelm praised Victoria as a model for virgins.
Their Early Life
Saint Victoria lived in Picenum, Italy during pagan Roman rule. Victoria and her sister Anatolia are remembered as beautiful Christian noble women. They were unfortunately arranged to wed noble pagan men. These men were far from pleased at having heard that they were practicing Christians. Victoria was initially content with marrying the pagan as she hoped that she would be able to convert him. However, her sister refused to marry and convinced Victoria to do the same. They both sought to devote their lives solely to God.
The noble pagan suitors both manage to strike a deal with local authorities that allow them to imprison each sister in their respective houses. This was in order to convince them to denounce their faith. Both sisters responded by selling all of their possessions. They gave all of their money to the poor, and devoted themselves to God. Both sisters, managed to convert all of the guards, maids, and servants in their respective houses.
The sisters refuse to marry
Needless to say, the suitors were both furious at the sister’s failure to denounce their faith. And the acts of converting the guards, maids, etc. angered them more. Saint Anatolis’s suitor simply could no longer stand it and therefore, hired Audax to execute her. He initially locked her in a room with a venomous snake which failed to harm her. Upon seeing this, he converted himself and was later martyred as well. Saint Anatolia’s suitor was shocked and therefore, took the initiative to martyr her by stabbing her himself.
Saint Victoria’s suitor get’s word of what happened and therefore continues to try his best to convince Saint Victoria to change her mind. He goes through periods of great kindness towards her followed with periods of extreme ill-treatment for years. Eventually he gives up on her and stabs her to death himself in a fit of rage. According to legend, he was instantly struck with leprosy and died 6 days later eaten by worms.
Saints Anatolia and Victoria’s Death
Victoria was stabbed through the heart in 250 AD at Trebula Mutuesca. Anatolia was killed, also in 250 AD, at “Thora”.
Saint Victoria is one of the few saints to have their murderer also face death and illness directly following the act. The story of Saint Victoria and her sister is one of sisterhood, conversion, martyrdom,and sacrifice.