8 Nov: Four Holy Crowned Martyrs: don’t fool 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.   It is a Roman Station Church.

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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  1. BeatifyStickler says:

    Do we happen to know their individual names? Oh to have their fortitude and might!

  2. FrSteveHartley says:

    I wonder what they would really think about their own carved images? lol Just curious.

  3. Kentucky Gent says:

    I wonder how close America is to doing stuff like this. Already, you can be dragged to court for not making a gay “wedding” cake.

    Lord, deliver us from evil!

  4. TheCavalierHatherly says:


    “Their names were, Severus, Severianus, Carpophorus, and Victorius.” – Butler’s “Lives of the Saints”

  5. DCLex says:

    Martyrologium: Severus, Severian, Carpophorus, and Victorinus.

  6. Josephus Muris Saliensis says:

    One fails entirely to understand FrSteveHartley’s comment. The Holy Martyrs were Christians refusing to carve idols, not iconoclasts. The sculptural depiction of holy men and women is part of the Western Christian heritage. As saints they are wholly united to this holy tradition, even if it came after them.

    Putting “lol” at the end of a silly comment (thereby displaying awareness of its silliness) does not excuse it.

  7. teomatteo says:

    Josephus, I’d cut Fr SH some slack. He just saw a twist and found it funny. No biggy in by opinion. Kinda like seeing a pic of a statue of St Bernadette ‘praying’ (before) a statue of the Blessed Mother. i.e. a statue praying to a statue. Not meant to describe some deep theology.

  8. BeatifyStickler says:

    @thecavalierheatherly @dclex, thank you!

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