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St. Petronille
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St. Petronille


About Saint Petronille

Saint Petronille, also known as Saint Petronilla was born between the first and third centuries.  She is believed to be the daughter of Saint Peter and her name means “little rock”.  St. Peter healed her of palsy.

During her life, it is said that Saint Peter locked her in a tower because she was so beautiful.  He tried to keep her hidden from Flaccus, the pagan king who wanted to marry her.  Saint Petronille went on a hunger strike when Flaccus persisted in the marriage.  She died within three days.

 Saint Petronille

Saint Petronille Chapel

The remains of Saint Petronilla were removed from the Via Ardentina in 757 and brought to a mausoleum near St. Peter’s.  This building was renovated and became the Chapel of St. Petronilla.  The chapel was used as the burial site for French kings. 

The reason Saint Petronille is associated with the French kings is because Charlemagne and Carloman were the adopted sons of Saint Peter.  Saint Petronille became the patron saint of the French kings.
The Feast of Saint Petronille

The feast of Saint Petronille is celebrated on May 31.  Mass is celebrated at St. Peter’s cathedral on this day and is offered for the intentions of France.  Many French people living in Rome attend the Mass in honor of Saint Petronille.

Many Catholics, especially French Catholics wear a Saint Petronille medal or a Saint Petronille pendant on her feast day.  They pray to this early Christian martyr for strength in answering the call of Jesus.

 Pictures of Saint Petronille
Pictures of Saint Petronille often depict her in the following ways:
  • Her healing by Saint Peter the Apostle
  • An early Christian girl with a broom
  • Lying in her coffin with flowers in her hair.  The coffin is open during renovations on the chapel.  Her body is incorrupt.
  • Welcoming the newly dead into Heaven.
  • With a set of keys
  • Refusing a marriage proposal with a king offering her a ring.
  • Standing with St. Peter
  • A woman with a dolphin because her coffin had a dolphin painted on the side
 St. Petronille Medal Pendant


Saint Petronilla by Sano di Pietro
Saint Petronilla by Sano di Pietro
St. Petronilla and the sick, French Manuscript
Saint Petrionilla and the sick, French Manuscript
The Burial of St Petronilla by Guercino 1621-22
The Burial of St Petronilla by Guercino 1621-22



Saint Petronille


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