|Saint Justina, Virgin and
The St. Justina of Italian medieval art is a merger of two virgin martyrs.
The first of them, St. Justina of Damascus, was the object of the attentions of the magician Cyprian, who sent a devil to fetch her but converted to Christianity when the devil finally confessed his inability to prevail against someone protected by Christ. This Justina was martyred on the same day as Cyprian, September 26, 304. Her body was said to have been taken to Rome and then to Piacenza.
The other was St. Justina of Padua, converted to Christianity in the first century by St. Prosdocimus, first bishop of Padua. She is a patron saint of Padua and Venice.
The merged iconography involves the palm of martyrdom, a knife in the breast or neck (although the Golden Legend says she was beheaded), and a unicorn symbolizing virginity.
Feast day: September 26
At left, a panel from Mantegna's San Luca Altarpiece
Moretto, St. Justina with the Unicorn, 1530
Veronese, The Martyrdom of St. Justine, 1573