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March 27

St. Augusta of Treviso - March 27

Saint Augusta of Treviso
Virgin, Martyr
(Around 410 – 5th Century)

“Wildflowers for the poor, sir.”

Saint Augusta of Treviso’s response to her father asking her what is in apron

Her Life

Augusta (also known as Augusta of Ceneda, Augusta of Tarvisium, or Augusta of Serravalle) was born around 410 in the fortress on Mount Marcantone to Matrucus, a pagan chief of the Alemanni, a confederation of Germanic tribes that lived on the upper Rhine river. The Alemanni had recently captured Friuli, a territory of northern Italy home to the Christian Friulians. The Alemanni themselves, however, were strict pagans and her father was no exception. Sadly, the legend goes that her mother died during Augusta’s birth and her faithful housekeeper, Cita, was entrusted in raising Augusta.

Convert to Christianity

One day, Cita secretly took Augusta to visit the holy old hermit dedicated to prayer and penance who lived in a deep cave carved into the rock. He, of course, exhorted Augusta to love the Lord and to practice the Christian virtues with courage, especially charity towards the poor, as the Gospel taught. Other visits to the hermit followed. With his instructions, he prepared Augusta. She was baptized and thus become a Christian forever.

Loaves Became Flowers

Augusta used to collect leftover bread from her father’s table – especially on the occasion of feasts and banquets – to give it to the poor who were waiting for alms, “Giving more to the poor”; it is the Gospel that speaks. One day, as she had done so many times before, Augusta, all thoughtful and solicitous, because the hungry poor do not have to wait, interrupted her occupations and filled her apron with bread. Then it starts down the steep path that leads to the plain towards the Serravalle strait.

Then, halfway through, she suddenly finds himself in front of her father, who, gruff and grumpy as usual, is riding his horse with his guard up towards the castle.

His daughter’s attitude makes him suspicious.

“What’s the matter, Augusta, inside the apron?” And she, not at all perturbed, replies: “Wildflowers for the poor, sir.” And he thinks to himself: “Is this not a lie: is not charity given to the poor a flower in the eyes of God?”

But Matrucus, suspicious and incredulous, wants to make sure: he opens his daughter’s apron, and, to his confusion, sees only wildflowers. Even the humble princess is startled: those pieces of bread that the friend of the poor of the good Lord hid, with so much love, in her apron have really turned into wildflowers.

Spied on His Daughter

Matrucus tried to educate the child according to the customs and traditions of the barbarian people to which he belonged. But Matrucus began to suspect that the Christian Friulians were influencing Augusta with their faith, he sent spies to watch her day and night.

The spies and returned and confirmed his worst fears – she had indeed become Christian and had been caught praying at night. In a fit of rage, he had her arrested and subjected her to sundry tortures. Viciously, he and his men beat her, yelling at her to recant her faith and return to their pagan ways. Between blows she struggled to pray to Christ, refusing to recant. Eventually, he kicked Augusta so hard that he knocked out all of her teeth. Through crying eyes, she held on in prayer. The, Augusta was suspended over a fire between two trees. The fire failed to injure her.

Her Martyrdom

Finally outraged beyond control, Matrucus took her outside the building and decapitated her with his sword at Serravalle (today a district of Vittorio Veneto) Italy in the 5th
century. This brutal act of violence was a testament to Augusta’s steadfastness in the face of adversity. Immediately afterward, he repented of this heinous act, but by all accounts never again found peace.

Following her execution, Augusta was buried in the city of Treviso, situated in northern Italy. Some years after her death, Saint Augusta’s remains were found on the hill that overlooks Serravalle, a hill now named Santa Augusta. The church dedicated to this martyr was built sometime in the fifth century and her story was recorded in a volume titled De probatis sanctorum historiis, written by the German scholar Laurentius Surius. She is represented on a funeral pile holding a sword.

Born :                  Around 410 in an unknown exact location mostly likely in Italy

Died:                   5th century in Serravalle, Vittorio Veneto, Italy

Beatified:           Pre-Congregation

Canonized:        Pre-Congregation

Feast Day:          March 27

Patron Saint:    Ceneda, Italy; Serravalle, Italy

Source:

Reflection 

Saint Augusta of Treviso’s father would not accept her conversion to the Christian faith. In fact, her father was so enraged that he ended up beheading his own daughter because she refused to recant her beliefs. While we may get angry at our children for things that they do, most of us would not go so far as to actually murder our own children.

Next time, instead of getting angry at your loved ones for their actions, pray for them (and you) as God’s plan may be pointing them to act and do something that does not match your own thoughts?

Prayers

Saint Augusta of Treviso,

You who shine in heaven with the twofold glory of virginity and martyrdom and whose short years of your earthly life were dedicated entirely to God and to works of charity, we confidently address our prayers.

Grant that we may be, following your example, strong in the faith, consistent in the witness of Christian life, generous in opening our hearts to welcome and love for every brother and sister.

We trust in your help to overcome trials and sufferings while blessing our families and church parish.

Grant that one day we may contemplate with you the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, with all our loved ones, in the homeland of heaven.

Saint Augusta of Treviso, pray for us. Amen.

 

Saint Links 

AnaStpaul – Saint of the Day – 27 March – Saint Augusta of Treviso (Died 5th Century) Virgin Martyr

Catholic Online – St. Augusta

CatholicSaints.Info – Saints of the Day – Augusta of Treviso, Virgin, Martyr – by Katherine I Rabenstein

Diocesi di Vittoro Veneto – Santa Augusta Virgin and martyr, Patron Saint of Serravalle (translated from Italian)

Little with Great Love – St. Augusta of Treviso Virgin, Martyr, and Hardcore Servant of Christ

Melanie Rigney – Wednesday’s Woman: St. Augusta of Treviso

Prayers and Petitions – Feast of Saint Augusta of Treviso, Virgin and Martyr – 27th March

The Path to Sainthood – Saint Augusta of Treviso

Video Link

Saint Augusta of Treviso – YouTube (Hanburycross)