Genesius of Rome
Saint Genesius of Rome (died c. 286 or c. 303) was an actor hired to work in a play that made fun of Christian baptism.
Genesius, during a stage performance in Rome, before the Roman emperor Diocletian, suddenly converted during the play. He proclaimed that he saw visions of angels and announced his new found allegiance to Jesus. Enraged, Diocletian had him turned over to Plautia, prefect of the praetorium, who tortured him in an effort to force him to sacrifice to the pagan gods. When Genesius persisted in his faith, he was beheaded.
He was buried on the Via Tiburtina. His relics are said to be partly in San Giovanni della Pigna, partly in S. Susanna di Termini and in the chapel of St. Lawrence. The legend was dramatized in the fifteenth century; embodied in later years in the oratorio "Polus Atella" of Löwe, and still more recently in a work by Weingartner. The historic value of the Acts, dating from the seventh century, is very doubtful, though defended by Tillemont (Mémoires, IV s. v. Genesius). The very existence of Genesius is called into question, and he is held to be a Roman counterpart of St. Gelasius (or Gelasinus) of Hierapolis (d. 297). He was venerated, however, at Rorne in the fourth century: a church was built in his honour very early, and was repaired and beautified by Pope Gregory III in 741.
He is the patron saint of actors, attorneys, barristers, clowns, comedians, comediennes, comics, converts, dancers, epilepsy, epileptics, lawyers, musicians, printers, stenographers, and torture victims.
His Feast day is 25 August.