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St. Petronille

Little is known of Petronille (Petronilla). She was virgin martyred in Rome, probably near the end of the first century. Sixth and seventh century lists of the tombs of the Roman martyrs mention that her grave is on the Via Ardeatina. Her sarcophagus was transferred to the original St. Peter’s Basilica during the reign of Pope Paul I. The sarcophagus no longer exists, but from the inscription reported to have been inscribed on it, scholars believe that Petronilla may have been a relative of the Flavii family, a prominent Roman family who were Christians. A latter legend says that Petronilla was the daughter of St. Peter, but this has no historical basis. The remains of St. Petronilla were transferred to the present St. Peter’s Basilica when it was built. Her feast is May 31.

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