Executions · Italy · Religion

Teenaged Christian beheaded for his faith (304 AD)

May 12, 304
Italy
Saint Pancras (also spelled Pancratius), a 14-year-old Roman citizen who converted to Christianity, is beheaded for his refusal to convert back from Christianity

Pancras’ mother died in childbirth and his father died when Pancras was 8, and so he was adopted by his uncle. When his uncle converted to Christianity, so too did Pancras. He was zealous in his faith, and when asked to sacrifice to the Roman gods he refused. Emperor Diocletian was impressed by his resolve, and promised him wealth and power if the boy were to reconsider his old faith. Again he refused and was sentenced to beheading.

His body was retrieved by a Roman woman named Octavilla, preserved, and buried. The skeleton pictured within armor is allegedly that of Saint Pancras, who is the patron saint of children, jobs, and health. His name is also invoked against cramps, headaches, false witness, and perjury.

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