Sainte Christine de Tyr-RELICS

Saint Christina of Tire

Saint Christina of Tyre's father, Urban, was an opulent Roman magistrate who worshiped pagan idols. He had an imposing collection of golden statues, all worshiped as deities. However, his daughter, at a very young age, embraced Christianity and, animated by her new faith, broke these precious idols to distribute them to the poor. An action which provoked his father's fury.

Saint Christine relic
Reliquary containing a relic of Saint Christine on

In response to this daring act, Urban had his rebellious daughter whipped and imprisoned. Despite the cruelties inflicted, Christine remained fearless in her Christian faith. Faced with his obstinacy in not denying Christ, his father resorted to extreme torture. He used iron hooks to tear Christine apart, and finally threw her into the flames. Amazingly, she survived this ordeal, leaving her father stunned and overcome by pain until he succumbed.

However, Christine's ordeal was not over Christine was then entrusted to Judge Dion who plunged her into boiling oil but she felt no pain. Then they cut off her hair and led her naked (which was a terrible insult to a virgin woman) to the temple of Apollo. At his entrance, the statue of the idol was reduced to ashes.

Judge Julien, Dion's successor, placed her in an oven for five days, but again Christine came out unscathed. We then tried venomous snakes which did him no harm. Her tongue was cut out but she continued to speak. Finally she was tied to a tree where she died pierced by arrows on July 24, 300.

The relics of Saint Christina of Tire

In 1880, an exceptional discovery shed light on the history of Saint Christina of Tyre: part of her relics was exhumed from a sarcophagus nestled in the catacombs under the Basilica of Saint Christina in Bolsena. This event reignited admiration and devotion to the saint, providing the faithful with a tangible connection to her sacred heritage.

During a tumultuous period in 1099, a fragment of Saint Christina's arm was stolen by two French pilgrims as they made their way to the Holy Land. However, their quest was interrupted at Sepino, where the lack of available ships forced them to remain in the city. Unable to resume their journey with their precious burden, the pilgrims had to give this relic to the local community. In Sepino, the saint is honored in four separate celebrations throughout the year, highlighting her spiritual importance to the community.

The quest to preserve the relics of Saint Christina gave rise to controversies between different cities. Between 1154 and 1166, these disputed relics were moved from Rome to Palermo Cathedral, where they still rest today. This place of veneration has become a sanctuary for the faithful, symbolizing the continued presence of the saint in the spiritual life of the region.

In addition to these major holy places, other places bear witness to the spread of devotion to Saint Christine. A precious relic rests in the Sainte-Christine chapel, erected on the heights of Solliès-Pont, offering the faithful a sacred space to honor the saint. A patronal festival, held every July, celebrates the life and legacy of Saint Christine, thus strengthening the spiritual ties between the community and the saint.

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