The Shrine of Saints Magnus and Bonosa

Magnus and Bonosa

St. Magnus, Centurion and Martyr, 207 A.D.

St. Bonosa, Virgin and Martyr, 207 A. D.

Emperor Diocletian put Magnus, a Roman centurion, and Bonosa, a virgin, to death in the third century A.D. during the persecution of Christians.  The martyrs’ remains were interred in the catacombs of Pontiani, Italy, and rested there until 1700, when the Cardinal-Custodian of Holy Relics entrusted them to the Cistercian Nuns of Agnani, near Rome.  The relics were venerated there for nearly two centuries, until the Italian government confiscated the monastery and forced the Sisters to leave.

With the permission of Pope Leo XIII, the bones were carefully packed and shipped to Msgr. Francis Zabler, pastor of St. Martin of Tours Church, who had petitioned the Holy Father for relics.  They arrived at the customs office in Louisville on December 31, 1901 and were taken to St. Martin’s, where they were placed in glass fronted reliquaries beneath the side altars.

To Rome, the pastor sent a letter of gratitude, saying, “We thank God and His Saints for these great treasures, which are more to us than gold and silver and diamonds.  May St. Bonosa and St. Magnus, in their third resting place at St. Martin’s, rest in peace until the great Resurrection morning.  Let us, as children of St. Martin’s, honor these relics, emulate their example, beseeching them to assist us to profess our faith heroically until death.”

St. Bonosa’s feast is celebrated on July 15th, and St. Magnus’ feast is celebrated on August 19th.

As the shrine of these two Roman martyrs, the Church of St. Martin of Tours is entrusted with their care.  Please consider making a donation toward their upkeep and that of the parish either online or to the parish office:

St Martin of Tours
639 S. Shelby Street
Louisville, Kentucky 40202

Watch the reinterment Mass for the relics of Ss. Magnus and Bonosa.

Ss. Magnus and Bonosa, pray for us!

St. Bonosa