|Saints Gervase and
Protasius, Martyrs, 1st or 2nd Century
The twin brothers Gervase and Protasius are considered the first martyrs in Milan. Not much more than that is known of them. According to the Golden Legend, a Roman general named Astacius was told the gods would not answer his prayers unless the twins would sacrifice to them. They refused, so Gervase was beaten to death with a leaden scourge and Protasius was beheaded. The Legend says St. Ambrose discovered the bodies of the martyrs after a vision in which he saw them "in white vestments with one coat and mantel with their hands holden up" and accompanied by St. Peter, as in the image at left and in this example.
Feast day: June 19
At left, "SS. Gervase and Protase appearing to St. Ambrose," Philippe de Champaigne, 1658
15th century manuscript illuminationHagiography: