12 Jun Saint Basilides & Companions, Martyrs
Today is the feast day of Saint Basilides & Companions, Martyrs. Orate pro nobis.
Sts Basilides, Cyrinus, Nabor, and Nazarius were all soldiers martyrs at Rome. On the Aurelian Way, during the persecution of Diocletian and Maximian, and under the prefect Aurelius, the birthday of the holy martyrs Basilides, Cyrinus, Nabor, and Nazarius was June 12. All these soldiers were cast into prison for the confession of the Christian name, scourged with knotted whips, and finally beheaded. (1)
In the Roman Martyrology and that of Bede for 12 June mention is made of four Roman martyrs, Basilides, Cyrinus, Nabor, and Nazarius, who suffered death under Diocletian. Their names were taken from the “Martyrologium Hieronyanum”, in the Berne manuscript of which (ed. De Rossi-Duschesne, Acta SS., Nov. II ) we read: Romæ, via Aurelia miliario V, Basiledis, Tribuli, Nagesi, Magdaletis, Zabini, Aureli, Cirini, Nabori, Nazari, Donatellæ, Secundæ. (2)
The quartet is mentioned in the sacramentaries of Pope Saint Gelasius and Saint Gregory the Great as interred on the Aurelian road. Their unreliable acta states that they were four soldiers in the army of Maxentius. It seems, however, more likely that this group is the result of a confusion of names in the martyrologies. Basilides is probably the Roman martyr of June 10, who died in the late 3rd century; Cyrinus (Quirinus), the martyr of June 4; and Nabor and Nazarius, two Milanese martyrs of whom nothing reliable is known. All four were venerated together on June 12 until 1969, when their feast was suppressed because of this confusion.
In 756, Saint Chrodegang, bishop of Metz procured the relics of several martyrs from Rome. He placed those of Nazarius in the abbey of Lorch in the diocese of Worms and those of Nabor in that of Saint Hilary (now corrupted to Saint Avol’s) in the diocese of Metz (Benedictines, Farmer, Husenbeth). (1)
Research by Ed Masters, REGINA Staff