AFRA, SAINT: An
early female martyr, concerning whom all that can be confidently asserted
is that she suffered at Augsburg. This fact is attested by Venantius Fortunatus
(Vita Martini, iv. 642-643) and the mention of her name in the older
martyrologies, and there is no reason to question it since the importance
of Augsburg makes the early introduction of Christianity there probable.
Her Acta (ed. B. Knusch, MGH, Script., Rer. Merov., iii.,
1896,41-64) consist of two independent parts, Conversio and Passio,
of which the latter is the older. It is said that she was dedicated
by her mother to the service of Venus and lived an immoral life in Augsburg
until she was converted by a bishop and deacon, who, in time of persecution,
took refuge in her house, not knowing her character. She boldly confessed
her faith in a general onslaught on the Christians and died by fire Aug.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: Rettberg. KD, i. 144-149; Friedrich, KD,
i. 186 -199, 427-40, ii. 653-654; L. Duchesne, Ste. Afra d' Augsbourg,
in Bulletin critique, ii. (1897) 301-305.