Pancras ST. (Ital. San Pancrazio; Fr. St. Pancrace), a noted Italian ecclesiastic who suffered martyrdom for the Christian cause, flourished near the opening of the 4th century. When only a boy of fourteen he boldly offered himself as a martyr, and most valiantly defended the Christian faith before the emperor Diocletian, who punished Pancras's audacity by executing him. His remains were buried by Christian women. French kings formerly confirmed their treaties in his name. for he was regarded as the avenger of false swearing, and it was believed that all who swore falsely in his name were immediately and visibly punished. A church dedicated to this saint was built at Rome in A.D. 500. He is commemorated by the Roman Catholic Church May 12. See Butler, Lives of the Saints, vol. i.