Saint Crescentia suffered for Christ during the reign of Emperor Diocletian (284-305) with the holy martyrs Vitus and Modestus. She was the governess of St Vitus, and tried to save the boy when his father wanted to kill him because he would not abandon his faith in Christ.
St Crescentia and the boy’s tutor St Modestus, who were Christians, secretly took him from his parental home. They found a boat at the river, and an angel entered the boat with them. They reached the Italian district of Lucanium, where the saints lived quietly, hiding from those who would persecute them. The holy youth continued to heal the sick and convert pagans to Christianity. His fame soon spread throughout the region.
Sts Vitus and Modestus were arrested and thrown into prison, then Diocletian had them tortured. St Crescentia came out of the crowd of spectators and confessed herself a Christian. She reproached the emperor for his cruelty, and he also sentenced her to torture.
St Vitus called out to God, “O God, save us by Thy power and deliver us.” Then an earthquake struck, and many pagans perished beneath the collapsed buildings. Diocletian fled to his chambers in fear. An angel released the martyrs from the pillars and took them to Lucanium.
St Vitus prayed that God would accept their souls in peace and not deprive those who kept their memory of His benefaction. A Voice came from Heaven, “Thy prayer is heard.” Then the saints joyfully surrendered their souls to God.
St Crescentia is also commemorated on May 16.