31 MayFacade spire-G12
Symbol: Palm, Laurel Wreath
Saints Cantius, Cantian and Cantianilla are traditionally believed to be three Christian siblings who were martyred near Aquileia under Diocletian, and are worshiped by the Roman Catholic Church. Related to the noble and powerful Anicia family, the three siblings were brought up under the Christian faith by their pedagogue Protus. Following the death of the emperor Carinus, who was probably related to them, and the intensification of persecution against Christians, the three decided to leave Rome and take refuge in Aquileia, where their family probably owned lands and their friend, the bishop Chrysogonus, lived. Before leaving Rome, they freed all their slaves after having baptized them, sold all their possessions and distributed the proceeds among the poor. When they reached Aquilea, they were informed of Chrysogonus’ martyrdom, which had taken place at Aquae Gradatae, approximately twelve miles from Aquileia (the current location of San Canzian d’Isonzo). During the night, Christ appeared to them and urged them to go to the place of the martyrdom. The following day, together with Protus, the three siblings set out on a mule wagon. When they arrived in Aquae Gradatae, they knelt and prayed on the tomb of Chrysogonus, but were arrested by the Aquileia magistrate guards Dulcitius and Sissinius. When invited to recant their Christian faith, Cantius, Cantian, Cantianilla and Protus refused and were immediate decapitated. The monk Zoilus, the same who had earlier recovered and buried the body of Chrysogonus, gave them a common burial in a grave lined with marble slabs. The body of Protus was also buried nearby. They are celebrated on May 31st, according to tradition the day of their passion.