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

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Rebecca Frech is a Catholic author, speaker, CrossFit coach, and the Managing Editor of The Catholic Conspiracy website. She is the author of the best-selling books Teaching in Your Tiara: A Homeschooling Book for the Rest of Us and Can We Be Friends? She is a co-host of the popular podcast The Visitation Project, and is a columnist for The National Catholic Register. She and her husband live just outside Dallas with their eight children, a German Shepherd named Dave, and an ever-multiplying family of dust-bunnies.