Martyr with Amantius, Caerealis, and Primitivus. He was the husband of St. Symphorosa. An officer in the Roman army, he resigned when he became a Christian and returned to his estates near Tivoli, Italy. There he converted Caerealis, an imperial legate sent to arrest him. With his brother Amantius and with Caerealis and Primitivus, Getulius was tortured and martyred at Tivoli.
According to his legend, Getulius was a native of Gabii in Sabina. Getulius was an officer in the Roman army who resigned when he became a Christian. He retired to his estates near Tivoli. Caerealis was an imperial legate sent to arrest him but was converted to Christianity by Getulius. Primitivus was another officer sent to arrest him, but he was also converted. Amantius was Getulius’ brother.
According to his Passio, all four men were tied to a stake and set alight. However, the fire did not harm them, so they were brutally clubbed and then beheaded.
According to the Roman Martyrology, Getulius was killed on the Via Salaria and is called the father of the Seven Martyrs and the husband of Symphorosa. His companions are called Caerealis, Amantius, and Primitivus. They were imprisoned, thrown into the flames but emerged unharmed, and then beaten to death with clubs. The legend further states that Saint Symphorosa buried them in an arenarium on her estate.
Their seven sons (not to be confused with the seven sons of Felicity of Rome) are named specifically. According to their legend, each of them suffered a different kind of martyrdom. Crescens was pierced through the throat, Julian through the breast, Nemesius through the heart, Primitivus was wounded at the navel, Justinus was pierced through the back, Stracteus (Stacteus, Estacteus) was wounded at the side, and Eugenius was cleft in two parts from top to bottom.
The Martyrology of Ado states: consumati sunt beati Martyres Gethulii in fundo Capriolis, viam Salariam, ab urbe Romam, plus minus miliario decimotertio, supra flumium Tiberim, in partem Savinensium. By Capriolis, viam Salariam, Ado is referring to a place on the Tiber River later known in the Middle Ages as the Corte di San Getulio (today part of Montopoli di Sabina), because a church was built here that originally held some of the saint’s relics. In 867, Abbot Peter of Farfa moved these relics to his abbey in a solemn ceremony. However, Getulius’ relics are also considered to lie in Rome.