Sunday, March 19


In light of the Gospel assigned to the third Sunday of Lent in Year A (we used it today at my home parish for the Scrutiny rather than the Year B readings), this entry in The Book of Saints compiled by the Benedictine Monks of Ramsgate is particularly intriguing. The feast-day given is March 20, tomorrow:

Photina, Joseph, Victor, Sebastian, Anatolius, Photius, Photis (Photides), Parasceve and Cyriaca (SS) MM.
[Date unknown]. This group of martyrs constitutes a historical puzzle. The Greek tradition identifies Photina with the Samaritan woman of St. John's gospel (ch. 4) and makes Joseph and Victor her sons. They are alleged to have been martyred with other Christians at Rome under Nero. Baronius may have put them in the RM [Roman Martyrology] because he believed that the head of St. Photina was preserved at St. Paul's outside the Walls.

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