January 7 -- St. Marciana
At the time of the Diocletian persecutions in the third century, a young virgin named Marciana overthrew a marble statue of the goddess Diana.
The idol broke into pieces and this angered the pagan mob. Marciana was brought before the imperial magistrate who gave her up to gladiators to be abused. Nonetheless, she remained calm praying and confiding in the One True God.
After three hours, Marciana remained untouched and because of this miracle, one of her persecutors converted. Being unsuccessful, the pagan judge then condemned her to be eaten by wild beasts. Again, Marciana prayed and confided and the lion retreated.
Although the watching crowd was moved by these miracles and asked for her freedom, a certain group of Christ-haters called for death by a wild bull. The bull and then a leopard was unleashed and they attacked her with beastly ferocity. At last, St. Marciana died giving her virginal soul to God with joy.
God worked incredible miracles through St. Marciana to bear witness to the truth of the Catholic Faith and thereby convert many people. She and the numerous martyrs of the early centuries gave indisputable testimony to the truth of the Faith, a testimony that stands for all time.
Let us pray to St. Marciana to help us fulfill our vocation as she did and to give us the conviction she had so that we will be willing to face whatever God wants of us, even if it be martyrdom.