St. Bibiana was a Roman who was martyred during the time of Julian the Apostate. A legend states that Bibiana's parents, Flavian and Dafrosa, were devout Christians as well. Dafrosa was beheaded, and Flavian, who was a former Roman prefect, had his face burned with a hot iron and was exiled. Bibiana and Demetria, her sister, were forced to remain in their house after all their possessions had been taken from them. For five months the two sisters fasted and prayed. When they appeared in court, Demetria died on the spot, and the judge handed Bibiana over to a woman named Fufina. This woman tried to tempt Bibiana to be unfaithful to Christ, but her efforts were in vain. Bibiana was scourged to death with whips that were loaded with lead. Her corpse was left out in the open for dogs to eat, but no dogs touched it, and fter two days a priest named John took the body at night and buried it. St. Bibiana is one of the three virgin martyrs particularly venerated in Rome, the other two being St. Cecilia and St. Agnes.
Patron: Diocese of Los Angeles, California; epilepsy; epileptics; hangovers; headaches; insanity; mental illness; mentally ill people; single laywomen; torture victims.
Symbols: pillar; branch of a tree; dagger; scourge; column and scourge with leaded thongs.