“Was the Emperor ever converted? Even after she [Philomena] died?” -Anne, age 19
Great question, thanks Anne!
Diocletian became very sick soon after St. Philomena’s martyrdom. He became the first ever Roman emperor to willingly abdicate (step down) from the throne. He believed someone else could do the job better than he could.
After he “retired,” he moved to the countryside where he lived for four more years. His successors tore apart everything he had established during his reign and he despaired for his country and empire. It is very possible that he committed suicide, but it is hard to say for sure.
I don’t think Diocletian ever converted, but we don’t know for sure! I’m sure St. Philomena (and all of the other Christians he marytred) interceded for him in Heaven. If he did undergo conversion, it is always possible that could have occurred in his last moments.
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