The Origin story of St. Bibiana
If you are a fan of True crime podcasts and gory serial killer documentaries (the gorier the better), than you must check out the book, The Lives of the Saints. Murder, torture, incest. Seriously, some deeply disturbing stuff.
St. Bibiana’s origin story is no exception.
The story goes that Bibiana was a stunningly beautiful girl who lived in 4th century Rome. She and her family were deeply committed to their Christian faith. This was frowned upon by the governing parties of the day. So much so that they took it upon themselves to beat it out of people. Sometimes they might take the beatings just a little too far, as was the case for poor Bibiana’s Mother, Father, and sweet sister Demetria, who all died at the hands of their tormentors.
It is said that no matter what they threw at our Bibiana; beatings, starvation, forcing her to drink hot molten lead (this is what it says!!!) she would not die, nor would she renounce her faith.
Enraged at the commitment and constancy of this saintly virgin the Governor handed her over to a ruthless lesbian royal named Ruffina (as one does) and told her to use any means necessary to break the child.
Ruffina, in vain, endeavored to first seduce Sweet B and then attempted to force her into a life of prostitution. Frustrated by the thwarted attempts and failures to sully the steadfast spirit, Ruffina fell into a rage and devised ever more horrendous torture devices until poor dear Bibiana succumbed and died a true martyr’s death, joyfully committed to the end.
Ruffina, being truly evil, ordered Bibiana’s body be left out in the open for wild animals to feast upon, but none would touch it.
Crazy story, right!?!?
But surely, by now, you are wondering why in the world a chaste, teetotaling, lesbian thwarting, Christian zealot and martyr came to be crowned the patron saint of hangovers?
Well, the story gets even better!!!
Bibiana’s body was buried in haste days later and it is said that upon her grave “mysterious and magical herbs” grew all around it.
Now Rome was a raucous place at the time, and it didn’t take long for locals to discover the true magic of these herbs; They helped hangovers!!!
In the Middle Ages a church was built over her grave and it is said that pilgrimages were made to the holy site to scrape dust from its walls and columns believing it worked the same magic as the original herbs (do not fear…I stuck with just the herbs, no ancient church dust in this tea.)
And that, dear readers, is the story of our patron, Saint Bibiana.
For a far less gruesome tale, read on for the story of our founder…or skip it, it’s far less exciting.