St. Mercurius - Tortured with Sharp Nails and Burned before being BeheadedMercurius fought under the Roman Emperor Decius in 250 and defeated the Berbers, an indigenous people of North Africa, after the Archangel Michael, aka heaven's Wizard of Oz, gave him courage.
A guy named Decius appointed him prince after his victory because of his achievement as a warrior and also because their names rhymed.
Apparently, they weren't good enough buddies, though, because Decius then began persecuting Christians, which was cool back then.
He invited Mercurius to the palace to worship the Gods but the Archangel's dose of courage had worn off and Mercurius took a sick day off from Christianity and decided to take a load off.
The next day he disappeared into a crowd to avoid Decius. When the emperor finally caught on that Mercurius refused to worship the gods, he threw him in jail.
Mercurius endured numerous tortures, from being hung between two poles to being stabbed with sharp nails and burned, in complete silence. Braveheart (at first) style.
The Archangel healed him and Decius denounced the miracle as witchcraft.
The people of the area loved Mercurius, though, so Decius sent him away to be beheaded so the people wouldn't rise up and cause too much trouble at the site of his duress.
When Mercurius had a vision of Jesus finally inviting him to heaven after all that torture (tough man to please) Mercurius begged his executioners to carry out his sentence, at which point he was beheaded.
St. Valentine - Beaten with Clubs and Stones, BeheadedFebruary's romantic holiday is not really based on love at all.
St. Valentine was a Christian priest in Rome during the third century who married couples and aided persecuted Christians in finding love, cause he was a badass and getting married at some point was a rebellious thing to do. And he didn't even dress up as Elvis.
But for these ceremonies and his cause, he was imprisoned by the Roman Emperor Claudius II, who took a liking to him until Valentine tried to convert him to Christianity -- which is always when conversations go South, isn't it?
Anyway, he was beaten with clubs and stones.
But when he wouldn't renounce the faith in his Christian God, he was beheaded on February 14 around 270 A.D.
St. Dymphna - Flees from Incest, Pays for ItPassed on through oral tradition, this story is about an Irish girl living in the 7th century whose Christian mother died when she was 14.
What happened next involves a sick mix of necrophilia and incest.
Dymphna's pagan father wanted to find a new wife who looked like his previous one, kind of like most families do with dogs.
When he got around to realizing that no one could look exactly like his wife, he went for his next best option: his daughter. So, she fled with her servants to Belgium. When he found her hiding place, he tried to convince her to return to Ireland with him. She refused and he decapitated her on the spot, cause everyone was really good at doing that back then for some reason. If he couldn't have her, no one could.
Dymphna is the patron saint of people with mental illnesses, incest victims and runaways.
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