Conspirator Spotlight – St Quiteria and Her Sisters


St Quiteria was one of a set of nontuplets (that’s nine babies all at once – named Eumelia, Liberata, Gema, Genebra, Germana, Basilissa, Marina, Vitoria, and Quiteria) born to noble Roman parents in what is now Portugal. Upset by the idea of having given birth to a litter of children, and even more so that none was a boy, Quiteria’s mother told her nurse to drown the girls in the local river. The nurse, a good Catholic woman, instead took the girls to the local village where they were raised by members of the local parish.

When they reached adulthood, Quiteria and her sisters joined a local band dedicated to breaking Christians out of prison and waging guerilla warfare against the local government, which was run by their father.

The girls were arrested and presented to their father who recognized them on sight, and attempted to arrange marriages for his daughters with pagan husbands. The girls were imprisoned in an attempt to force them to accept their betrothals. They broke out of jail instead and continued their raids against the Roman Empire. Eventually they were recaptured and beheaded on the orders of their father.

Quiteria, Marina, and Liberata were eventually recognized as saints and martyrs. (No clue why the other girls weren’t.

image credit: Anonymous, Virgin Martyr Saint Quiteria, 18th century, Arquidiocese de Olinda e Recife, Convento de Santo Antônio from Public Domain


  1. It’s possible that the others were not considered as saints because according to one account, only Quiteria, Marina, and Liberata broke out of prison, and continued their work in guerrilla warfare. Lord knows what happened to the other 6 sisters!


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