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Icon of St. Olivia of Palermo

Feast of Saint Olivia of Palermo

(9th Century)

St. Olivia was the beautiful daughter of a noble family living near Palermo on the island of Sicily. She desired to serve God through her life as a consecrated virgin, and gave her wealth to the poor. When the King of the Vandals invaded Italy and came to Palermo, many Christians were martyred at his hands. The young Olivia would visit and encourage the Christians in prison. Her piety, which was greatly admired, caused the local authorities to send her to Tunis to face the governor. There she converted many to the Christian faith, and as punishment she was banished into the wilderness to starve to death or be devoured by wild beasts. She was later found alive by hunters, and upon being brought back to civilization she continued to convert many pagans with her zeal. She was again sent to the governor for punishment and was cruelly tortured. After being dipped in a vat of hot oil and miraculously suffering no harm, she was finally beheaded. In Tunisia there was an ancient Christian basilica dedicated in her honor and built on the site of her tomb; today a mosque rests on the site, yet it retains her name and the memory of her relics. St. Olivia is a virgin martyr venerated especially in Sicily and Tunisia.

Her feast day is June 10th.

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Saint Olivia is held in esteem by Christians and Muslims today.”

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Palermo Cathedral, Italy

 

The name Olivia is a symbol of peace, fruitfulness, dignity, and beauty.”

St. Olivia of Palermo, pray for us.

Be not afraid!  And may the peace of Christ be with you and your loved ones today and always.  Holy Family pray for us.  Amen.

The Holy Family, Murillo
The Heavenly and Earthly Trinities (c. 1675-82) by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo (1617 – 1682)

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