Willem Geets, 1883: “A martyr of the 16th Century”, Jeanette of
Santhove leaving the cathedral of Malines (Belgium) in 1526 to be buried
alive for being a Protestant.
There is another group of women—mostly unknown ones—who gave their lives for their faith, but who were never raised to the honour of the altars, nor even summarily venerated on All Saints' Day: Martyrs they were—but on the wrong side!
As soon as Christianity came to power in the Roman Empire and got organized, the church dignitaries (who automatically became officials of the Roman Empire) began to suppress and persecute the pagans or—if none were available—Christians with slightly different faiths.
This website is mostly about the sufferings of female Christian martyrs at the hand of pagans or, more generally, non-Christians. But it would be unbalanced without a section on female martyrs of Christianity.
The web pages below are dedicated to women who died for their convictions, and whose murderers saw it fit to make their deaths as unpleasant and humiliating as possible—thereby continuing the work of their pagan predecessors.
Some of these women were later regarded as saints (if they were of the appropriate Christian denomination); they have their place in the main hall of the Crypt (e.g., Dionysia and Dativa, Jeanne d'Arc, Margaret Clitherow. Others are at least known by name and inspired some artists. The majority, however, suffered anonymously.