Saint Zoe of Rome

St. Zoe of Rome (d. 286 A.D.) was a noblewoman married to a Roman court official during the reign of the infamous Emperor Diocletian. For six years she suffered from a condition that left her unable to speak; when she met St. Sebastian she fell at his feet so that he would heal her. St. Sebastian made the Sign of the Cross over her, and from that moment her speech miraculously returned. As she was being healed she had a vision of an angel standing next to St. Sebastian holding a book in which was written everything that St. Sebastian preached. Her first words were ones of thanks and praise to God, and many witnesses of the miracle were brought to faith in Christ. Zoe and her husband then received baptism at the hands of St. Polycarp, along with many others who had come to believe in Christ through St. Sebastian's miracles. Of this new group of Christians, St. Zoe was the first to be martyred for her faith. She was greatly devoted to St. Peter the Apostle, and was arrested while praying at his tomb. She was martyred by being hung from a tree by her hair, with a fire lit under her feet. After her death her body was thrown into the Tiber River. She then appeared in a vision to St. Sebastian, who was in prison awaiting his execution, to tell him of her martyrdom and subsequent glory. St. Zoe of Rome's feast day is July 5th.
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