St. Bibiana was a native of Rome. Flavian, her father, was apprehended, burned in the face with a hot iron, and banished to Acquapendente, where he died of his wounds a few days after; and her mother, Dafrosa, was some time after beheaded. Bibiana and her sister Demetria, after the death of their parents, were stripped of all they had in the world and suffered much from poverty. Apronianus, Governor of Rome, summoned them to appear before him. Demetria, having made confession of her faith, fell down and expired at the foot of the tribunal, in the presence of the judge. Apronianus gave orders that Bibiana should be put into the hands of a wicked woman named Rufina, who was to bring her to another way of thinking; but Bibiana, making prayer her shield, remained invincible. Apronianus, enraged at the courage and perseverance of a tender virgin, ordered her to be tied to a pillar and whipped with scourges loaded with leaden plummets till she expired. The Saint underwent this punishment cheerfully, and died in the hands of the executioners.
Pray for a fidelity and patience like Bibiana’s under all trials, that neither convenience nor any worldly advantage may ever prevail upon you to transgress your duty.
The parents of this saint were both martyrs. A wise and prudent virgin, St. Bibiana feared the loss of her innocence more than the deprivation of all her wealth. Tied to a pillar she was scourged to death.
Again the kingdom of heaven is like to a merchant seeking good pearls. Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went his way, and sold all he had had, and bought it. — Gospel, Matthew 23