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Faustinus and Jovita

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Saints Faustinus and Jovita
Pala della mercanzia (vincenzo foppa).jpg
Virgin Mary and Christ Child with Saints Faustinus and Jovita, by Vincenzo Foppa.
Born Brescia
Died 120 AD, Brescia
Venerated in Roman Catholic Church
Major shrine Relics at Rome, Bologna, Verona, Brescia
Feast February 15
Attributes depicted as two knightly brothers holding the palms of martyrdom. Sometimes only Faustinus is shown, richly dressed and on horseback; an angel may be shown saving them from drowning; sometimes shown with Faustinus of Brescia
Patronage Brescia

Saints Faustinus and Jovita were said to be Christian martyrs under Hadrian. Their traditional date of death is 120. They are patron saints of Brescia.

"Jovita" is a woman's name. In some accounts the saints were instead Faustinus and Jovinus, brothers.

Traditional vita

Tradition states that they were members of a noble family of Brescia in Lombardy (northern Italy). Faustinus, the older brother, was a preacher; Jovinus, a deacon. For their fearless preaching of the Gospel, they were arraigned before the Roman Emperor Hadrian, who at Brescia, Rome and Naples, subjected them to frightful torments, after which they were beheaded at Brescia in the year 120, according to the Bollandists, though Allard (Histoire des Persécutions pendant les Deux Premiers Siècles, Paris, 1885) places the date as early as 118.

Saint Faustinus of Brescia, a bishop of Brescia and an alleged descendant, compiled their Acts.

Doubts and veneration

The many "Acts" of these saints are chiefly of a legendary character. The Jesuit Fedele Savio questioned nearly every fact related of them except their existence and martyrdom, which are too well attested by their inclusion in so many of the early martyrologies and their extraordinary cult in their native city, of which from time immemorial they have been the chief patrons.

Their common feast day on February 15, the traditional date of their martyrdom, was inserted into the Roman Catholic calendar of saints to be venerated wherever the Roman Rite is celebrated. It was removed in 1969 because their "Acts are completely fabulous, treating Jovita as a deacon, although she was a woman."[1] However, because the saints are not to be identified with the fabulous figures in the Acts, the two saints remain listed in the Roman Martyrology, the official, through professedly incomplete, list of the saints recognized by the Roman Catholic Church. The cities of Rome, Bologna and Verona share with Brescia possession of their relics.


  1. Calendarium Romanum (Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1969), p. 117

Sources and external links

This article incorporates text from the Catholic Encyclopedia of 1913, a publication now in the public domain.

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