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Saint Anatolia of Thora

Saint

Martyr
Saint Anatolia of Thora

Feast Day: July 10

Saint Anatolia of Thora, also known as Anatolia of Thyrum or Anatolia of Thurium, was a beautiful Roman Christian noblewoman. She was the sister of another saint, Saint Victoria. Born in the 3rd century, Anatolia and Victoria were both destined for arranged marriages with noble Roman pagans. However, they were hesitant about going through with these marriages. In their discussions about marriage, Victoria argued that it would be acceptable to marry as the patriarchs in the Old Testament did. But Anatolia presented other examples from the lives of holy people, emphasizing the importance of devoting oneself to God and remaining single. Eventually, Victoria was convinced by her sister's reasoning, and she sold her jewelry, giving the money to the poor and refusing to proceed with her wedding to a man named Eugenius. Despite their refusal, the suitors persisted in their desire for marriage. They accused Anatolia and Victoria of being Christians during the period of the persecutions under the Roman Emperor Decius. In an attempt to break their faith and change their minds, the suitors obtained authority to imprison them on their estates. However, instead of succumbing to pressure, the sisters managed to convert their servants and even the guards sent to watch over them. Anatolia's suitor, Titus Aurelius, eventually gave up and returned her to the authorities. However, Eugenius continued to make efforts, alternating between kindness and harsh treatment towards Victoria. Despite his long-lasting efforts, he too eventually gave up and returned Victoria to the authorities. Their persistence in remaining steadfast in their faith was so impressive that it led to the conversion of Anatolia's guard, Audax. Audax converted to Christianity but was himself martyred shortly afterward. The story of Anatolia and Victoria is widely recognized and highly revered. However, modern research suggests that their tale is likely a pious fiction that was mistakenly taken as historical fact. Despite this, Saint Anatolia of Thora remains an important figure in Christian history. Anatolia was martyred by order of Julian, the prefect of the Capitol and count of the temples, around the year 250. She was stabbed with a sword in Thora, located near Lake Velino in the diocese of Rieti, Italy. In the mid-10th century, her relics were moved to an area behind the altar in the Basilica of Sainte Scholastica in Subiaco, Italy. Although Saint Anatolia of Thora has not been officially canonized by the Catholic Church, she is venerated as a saint. She is particularly honored in the town of Santa Anatolia in Borgorose, Italy. Her feast day is celebrated on July 10th, though some calendars also observe it on December 23rd. In the past, her feast day was commemorated on July 9th. Despite the doubts surrounding the historical accuracy of her story, Saint Anatolia of Thora continues to be revered as a faithful and courageous woman who remained devoted to God throughout her life.