This Thursday 12th May is the (optional) Memorial of St. Pancras, martyred in 304, and buried on Rome’s Via Aurelia. Unfortunately, what we know about him is somewhat unreliable. He is said to have been born in Phrygia, but, orphaned early in life, he came to Rome in the company of his uncle. Whilst there, both of them were converted to Christianity and although only 14 years old, Pancras was beheaded during the persecution of Diocletian. He was buried on the Via Aurelia where later a church was built and his cult increased. Later Pope Gregory the Great dedicated a monastery to him and St. Augustine built a church in his honour in Canterbury. He appears in the writings of St. Bede. About six ancient churches were dedicated to him in England, including the one in North London that gives its name to the famous railway station and cemetery. In art, he is usually represented as a boy knight, carrying the palm of a martyr and a lance with a pendant shewing the Cross.