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Daria

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Saint Daria is a virgin-martyr who was killed in the year AD 283. She is commemorated on March 19.

Life

St. Daria, in her youth, was a Greek priestess of Athena. It was arranged that she marry St. Chrysanthus in order to make him abandon Christianity. When Chrysanthus told her that he and she would live in chastity as brother and sister, she agreed, seeing as she also wished to retain her virginal status. On their wedding day she converted to Christianity. She eventually developed a large following of female monastics, which threatened the Roman emperor, Numerian. Numerian sent Daria to a brothel in order to pollute her chastity, but she was defended by a valiant lion any time a man approached her. Seeing that her virginity couldn't be polluted, Numerian had her tortured by stoning. Pagans, seeing her endurance under torture, cried out, "Daria is a goddess! Daria is a goddess!" After long hours under torture, both Daria and her chaste spouse were thrown into a large earthen pit, which was then covered with stones, slowly pressing them to death in the year AD 283.

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