Donatian and Rogatian were two brothers, martyred in Nantes during the reign of Roman Emperor Maximian, around 288-290, for refusing to deny their faith. They are also known as les enfants nantais. Their feast day is May 24.LifeIt seems that they were the sons of the first magistrate of Nantes, who resided in a Gallo-Roman villa outside the city. Donatian, the younger brother, was baptised, probably by St. Similian (the third Bishop of Nantes), while Rogatian, the elder brother, was a catechumen. Rogatian wished to be baptised as well, but could not due to the absence of the bishop. Emperor Maximian ordered the prefect Rictius Varus to put them to death for refusing to deny their faith. Varus imprisoned them, where they spent their last night praying together. The next day, May 24, they were tortured on the rack and decapitated. They were buried nearby, on the spot where the Basilica of Saints Donatian and Rogatian now stands. The spot traditionally considered to be their place of execution is located on Rue Dufour, the route of which corresponds to the old road leading to Paris, near the Lycée Eugène-Livet, and not far from the Basilica dedicated to them. Two stone crosses mark the spot where they were martyred.
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