Today is the feast of St. Aurea (in Greek Chryse, “Golden Girl”) of Ostia. She is an ancient martyr. You can read about here in these ancient Acta, HERE.
There is on the edge of Ostia Antica, the fascinating ruins of Rome’s ancient seaport, a little church dedicated to St. Aurea. It has been of special interest to me because St. Monnica, the mother of St. Augustine of Hippo, was for a time interred there.
You remember the story of Monnica dying in Ostia. Augustine and his family were travelling back to North Africa after his baptism in Milan. There was civil unrest at the time and Ostia was blockaded. While they were waiting, Monnica became ill and died. She famously told her son, (conf. 9):
“Ponite, inquit hoc corpus ubicumque: nihil vos eius cura conturbet; tantum illud vos rogo, ut ad Domini altare memineritis mei, ubiubi fueritis…. Lay this body anywhere, she said: let the care for it trouble you not at all; I ask only this, that you will remember me at the Lord’s altar, whersoever you may be.”
She was buried there in Ostia. In the 6th century she was moved to the little church of St. Aurea. In 1430 her remains were translated by Pope Martin V to the Roman Basilica of St. Augustine near the Piazza Navona.
If you are in Rome and you have some time, a trip out to the ruins of Ostia Antica is worth while, especially if you don’t have time or energy to go all the way to Pompeii.
Also, for you who are in London, go to the Sainsbury wing of the National Gallery and find the beautiful Virgin and Child with Sts. Dominic and Aurea by one of my favorites among the Sienese painters, Duccio di Buoninsegna.
So, perhaps today you might ask for St. Golden Girl’s intercession for something you need help with or for someone else who has a burden.