8 Nov: Four Holy Crowned Martyrs. An object lesson about fooling around with demonic idols (aka Pachamama)

Today is the Feast of the Four Holy Crowned Martyrs.  They were sculptors in ancient Rome who refused to carve pagan demon idols.  Hence, they were killed by the Emperor Diocletian.

Their remains are in the Roman church of St. Marcellinus and Peter.  Greatly venerated by the Romans there is an interesting Basilica dedicated to them on the street that goes up the side of the Caelian Hill from the Colosseum to the Lateran Basilica (of which Dedication we celebrate soon).  I used to walk by this church, and San Clemente, every day on the way to university and often stopped in.

These martyrs refused to carve idols.

I wonder what they would think of Pachamama.  The garden adulation.  Setting up shop in a church.  Being carried around in St. Peter’s.  A demon idol cult bowl put on the altar of St. Peter’s.

Ponder that.

Meanwhile, these sculptors, as patron of sculptors, were highly regarded in the lofty days of Florence.  At the Church of Orsanmichele there is a statue group of them in a niche on the outer wall (the originals are inside, in a museum).  A friend in Florence sent pics:

In the museum…

In the Philadelphia Museum of Art you find a terrific Medieval collection, including a 15th c. altar piece from the same Orsanmichele.  Note that the one in charge over the torturers is being strangled by a demon.

The martyrs refused to have anything to do with idols.

Fool around with demons… you won’t win.   And if people on high fool around with demons, lots of people suffer.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  3. Chuck4247 says:

    If they are called “The Four Holy Crowned Martyrs”, why are none of their statues crowned?

  4. Suburbanbanshee says:

    The Latin name for them was “Sancti Quatuor Coronati,” which literally means Four Holy Crowned-Ones. The implication is that they were martyrs, because martyrs have crowns. (And you may know that Stephen (“Stephanos”) was the first martyr, and stephanos means “wreathed-one” with the implications of “victor, rewarded” in Greek.)

    So basically they’re “the Four Martyrs,” and that’s not terribly distinctive except in their immediate neighborhood; so when the word stopped being common in Latin, people still called them “the Four Crowned,” and tacked on “Martyrs” in English.

  5. Venerator Sti Lot says:


    William Caxton’s 1483 English translation (as edited by F.S. Ellis) of Jacob de Voragine’s Golden Legend says, “Melchiades, the pope, ordained these four saints to be honoured and to be called the four crowned martyrs before that their names were found. And though their names were afterward found and known, yet for the usage they be always called the four crowned martyrs.” I suppose the nimbuses in the 15 c. altar piece are the equivalent of Martyrs Crowns.

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  7. monstrance says:

    “…lots of people suffer.”
    5 million dead from COVID.
    More importantly – how many souls ?

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  9. JonPatrick says:

    @monstrance that doesn’t include the number that are dying and will die from the “vaccine”, which will now be given to children as young as 5, who have a bigger chance of dying from being struck by lightning that from the virus, in spite of the evidence of myocarditis and other adverse reactions in young people. Oh and the “vaccine” was never tested on pregnant women and there is evidence that it may cause sterility. But that is all part and parcel of the global predatory elite’s desire to reduce the “surplus” population. All from a virus whose creation was funded by Dr. Fauci and Bill Gates in a lab controlled by the Chinese Military that had already had 7 releases of harmful viruses, what could go wrong?

  10. xavier says:


    What are their names?



  11. Venerator Sti Lot says:


    If I may volunteer as response, when I looked to Caxton and Jacob de Voragine above, I thoroughly failed to appreciate what a complicated ‘matter’ this was. Maya Maskarinec has a 64-page 2017 article entitled “Hagiography as History and the Enigma of the Quattro Coronati” in which she looks at the written sources concerned with them, and the discussions by learned men down the centuries: it is available to read online, linked at the “Four Crowned Martyrs” Wikipedia article. I have not read it right through, but reading around in it a fair bit convinces me just how complicated the ‘matter’ is, taken altogether.

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