Felicitas and her seven sons were put to death for the Faith, about the year 162, under Marcus Aurelius. The sons preceded their mother to heaven; she followed them four months afterwards. In order to strike terror into the hearts of the Christians the death sentences were not all carried out in the same place, for Januarius was beaten to death with leaden scourges and was buried in the Cemetery of Praetextatus, Felix and Philip died under the whip and received burial in that of Priscilla, Silanus was thrown from a precipice and was interred with his mother in the Cemetery of Maximus, Alexander, Vitalis and Martial were beheaded and were given the honor of sepulture in the Cemetery of the Giordani.
Under the Emperors Valerian and Gallienus, a hundred years later, two sisters Rufina and Secunda, rather than lose their consecrated virginity accepted martyrdom. The forest in which they were put to death, hitherto called the dark wood, soon was called the bright wood in their honor.
(Source: The New Roman Missal, Rev. F. X. Lasance)
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