Saturday, June 4, 2011

Saintly Saturday: Sts. Frontasius, Severinus, Severianus, and Silanus

Today is the feast day of the Holy Martyrs Frontasius, Severinus, Severianus, and Silanus. Theirs is a story that almost has a Grindhouse-kind of sensibility about it. They were sent into Southern Gaul to preach the Gospel during the reign of Emperor Claudius (A.D. 41-54). Arrested by the local governor, they refused to renounce Christ and were martyred.

This is when, according to tradition, things get a bit strange. During their martyrdom, Frontasius, Severinus, Severianus, and Silanus were tied to pillars outside the city, had nails thrust into their heads in the form of a crown of thorns and then were beheaded. The story does not end there, however. It is said that the four did not die. They picked up their heads and made their way into the city until they came to the Church where they placed their severed heads. After crossing themselves, they finally did die.

The Thorned Nails of Metopo

These macabre items appear as large iron nails wrapped in iron thorns and caked in dried blood. Though they radiate of magic, they have no effect upon the living. When driven into the head of a corpse, however, the magic with which they are embued becomes manifest. The corpse will animate and proceed to be unstoppably and undyingly driven to complete the one last earthly task that they had wanted to accomplish before they died. Once this task is complete, the corpse dies permanently. Spells such as Raise Dead, Reincarnation and Resurrection have no effect upon the body, no matter how well preserved or how long it has been dead.

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