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Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature


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Saint and Martyr, was a pious and noble widow who had been converted to Christianity by Serapia, a virgin of Antioch who lived in her house (in what station is not known). Serapia was required to sacrifice to the gods, but refused; and when the presiding judge commanded her to offer to Christ instead, she replied, "I sacrifice to him continually, and pray to him day and night." To the inquiry, "Where is the temple of your Christ, and what sacrifices do you offer?" she responded, "I offer myself in chastity and purity, and endeavor to persuade others to the same course; for it is written, Ye are the temple of the living God.'" Thereupon the judge delivered her up to two Egyptians that they might violate her chastity; but they were smitten by divine power with blindness and terror, and were unable to accomplish their purpose. This result was attributed to the magical arts of Serapia, and she was subjected to various tortures, and finally beheaded. Sabina had the remains of her sainted teacher interred in her own tomb, and was soon called to suffer a similar fate. She endured joyfully for Christ, and was laid by the side of her companion. The year of their martyrdom was about A.D. 125, as both Tillemont and the Bollandists assume; the place, according to Tillemont, some town in Umbria, but according to the Bollandists, the city of Rome. Roman Catholic scholars are not agreed respecting the character of such ancient "Acts" of this saint as still exist; some, like Baronius, regarding them as "sincerissima," while others, like Tillemont (Monumenta, vol. 2), acknowledge them to be ancient, but doubt whether their antiquity reaches back to the time when these martyrs suffered, and also whether interpolations have not been added. The Bollandists. decide, "nobis non videntur fide indigna, etiamsi non careant omni naevo" (see the Bollandists, in Act. SS. MM. Secrapioe et Sabinoe ad 29 Augusti). The relics of the two confessors were transferred in A.D. 430 to a new church erected in their honor at Rome.

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

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