Of St. Regina, mentioned in the Roman Martyrology as having been martyred in the territory of Autun, the true history is not known. French legends represent her as the daughter of Clement, a pagan citizen of Alise, in Burgundy. Her mother died at the child's birth, and Regina was handed over to the care of a Christian woman, who brought her up in the faith. When Clement discovered this, he refused to receive his daughter, and she went back to live with her nurse, earning her bread as a shepherdess. She attracted the desire of the perfect Olybrius who, when her good birth was told to him, wanted to marry her. Regina refused him, nor would she listen to the persuasions of her father who, now that his daughter had attracted a distinguished suitor, was willing to own her. She was therefore locked up in a dungeon, and when her spirit remained unbroken Olybrius vented his rage by having her cruelly tortured. That night she was consoled in her prison by a vision of the cross and a voice telling her that her release was at hand. The next day Olybrius ordered her to be tortured again and then that she should be beheaded; the appearance of a shining dove hovering over her converted many of the onlookers.
Though no trust can be placed in what purports to be the passio of St. Regina (printed in the Acta Sanctorum, September, vol. iii), the cultus is certainly early, as is vouched for by the fact of the inclusion of her name in the "Hieronymianum". The foundations of a basilica dedicated in her honour at Alise have been discovered in comparatively recent times; see e.g. J. Toutain in Bulletin archéologique du Comité des Travaux historiques, 1914, pp. 365-387. The legend has been set out at length, with pictorial illustrations by F. Grignard, La Vie de Ste Reine d' Alise (1881); and by Quillot, Ste Reine d' Alise (1881).
Butler's Lives of The Saints, Herbert J. Thurston, S.J. and Donald Attwater
Nihil Obstat: PATRICIVS MORRIS, S.T.D., L.S.S., CENSOR DEPVTATVS.
Imprimatur: E. MORROGH BERNARD, VICARIVS GENERALIS
WESTMONASTERII: DIE XXIII FEBRVARII MCMLIII