Thursday, May 13, 2010

St. Martina of Rome (? to c.228)

"Be sure to throw a coin in the Trevi Fountain," so many people told me when they knew I was going to Rome, Italy.
Always having a mind of my own, I've never liked to be told what to do. So, I have never thrown a coin in the Trevi Fountain, and miraculously, I've been to the Eternal City three times. Everyone I know who's thrown a coin in has never returned.
My first time to Rome, I arrived by train in the middle of the night. I had my face pressed against the window as we pulled up at Roma Termini, yet the city was lit up and alive with music, food, and dance. I was whisked away in a taxi to my hotel. And, when I awoke the next morning, I was in heaven.
Gelato with breakfast, gelato with lunch, gelato with dinner.
I was told that Firenze (Florence) was much nicer and to go there. But, I wanted to see Rome. My dad who was stationed at Bentwaters Air Force Base near Ipswich, England for three years, said the best time he had in the service, was the weekend he went to Rome. His name was chosen in a lottery and the then 20-year-old and some friends took a whirlwind tour of the city.
To this day, along with neighboring Assisi, it's my favorite European city. One of its patrons is St. Martina, who was martyred under Pope Urban I. She was orphaned at an early age then tortured and beheaded for her faith c.228.
In 1634, St. Martina's relics were found near Mamertine prison at the Roman Forum. Her feast day is January 30 and the church in her honor is Santi Luca e Martina in Rome.

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