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Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature

Coronati Quatuor, Legend And Festivatl of

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is the title given to four martyrs, Severus, Severianus, Carpophorus, and Victorinus, who suffered martyrdom at Rome in the reign of Diocletian.. The tradition respecting them is to the effect that they refused to sacrifice to idols, and were then, at the command of the emperor, beaten to death before the statue of AEsculapius, with scourges loaded with lead. The bodies having lain where they died for five days, were then deposited by pious Christians in a sandpit on the Via Lavicana, three miles from the city, near the bodies of five who had suffered martyrdom on the same day two years before, Claudius, Nicostratus, Symphonianus, Castorius, and Simplicius. See, e.g. the Martyrology of Ado, Nov. 8 (Migne, Patrol. 123:392), who gives the legend more fully than others.

It is stated by Anastasius Bibliothecarius (ibid. 128:699), that pope Honorius I (died A.D. 638) built a church in Rome in their honor. To this church the remains of the martyrs were subsequently transferred by pope Leo IV (died A.D. 855), who had been its officiating priest, and who, finding it in a very ruinous condition on his ascension to the pontificate, restored it with much splendor, and bestowed upon it many gifts. This church was situated on the ridge of the Caelian Hill, between the Coliseum and the Lateran; and on its site the present church of the Santi Quattro Incoronati was built bv pope Pascal II.

As to the appointment of the festival of these martyrs on November 8, which is said to be due to pope Melchiades (died A.D. 314), a curious difficulty has arisen. Thus. in the notice of the festival in the editions of the Gregorian Sacramentary (for the words would appear to be wanting in MS. authority), the remark is made that, it being found impossible to ascertain the natal day of the four martyrs, it was appointed that in their church the natal day of the five other saints, near to whose bodies they had been buried, should be celebrated, that both might have their memory recorded together (Patrol. 78:147).

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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Coronati Quatuor, Legend And Festivatl of'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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