Fabiola of Rome

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Saint Fabiola, painting by Jean Jacques Henner

Fabiola of Rome (* 4th century Rome ; † December 399 ibid) was a Roman widow , benefactress and saint .


Fabiola of Rome came from the noble Fabier family . She divorced her first husband, who was her equal but vicious, which resulted in her expulsion from the Christian community in Rome. She remarried, but after the death of her second husband she publicly repented and was accepted back into the parish. Fabiola used their wealth to help the poor and the sick and set up with the support of Senator Pammachius a hospice in Rome, which can be seen as the first hospital in the western world. She got to know the church father Jerome , followed him on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land and lived there for some time in the church of St. Paula founded the community of Christian virgins and widows. St. Fabiola returned to Rome after the invasion of the Huns in 395 and resumed her work in health care by building a pilgrims' hospice.


The feast day of St. Fabiola is celebrated in the Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches on December 27th .

In iconography , the saint is shown in a penitential robe and praying, usually with the head turned to the left and in a red robe, occasionally also in a green one.

The Belgian artist Francis Alÿs conceived an exhibition about Saint Fabiola, in which he brought together around 300 portraits in Europe and America in fifteen years. Among other things, the exhibition was shown in the National Portrait Gallery (London) . In 2011 the collection was on view in Basel as an exhibition by the “ Schaulager ” in the “ Haus zum Kirschgarten ” (March 12th - August 18th).


Individual evidence

  1. ^ Francis Alÿs: Fabiola , Press Release, National Portrait Gallery, April 2009
  2. Schaulager ( Memento of the original from September 24, 2015 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.schaulager.org