Friday, October 9, 2020

St. Denis of Paris

The flourishing Church of Gaul, in present-day France, suffered terribly under the persecution of Emperor Decius, and Pope Fabian sent the Italian-born Denis and other missionary bishops to encourage and restore the Faith there.

Denis and two inseparable companions, the priest Rusticus, and Eleutherius, a deacon, arrived in the neighborhood of Paris and settled on the island in the Seine River. On this island Denis set about building a church. His fearless and tireless preaching made many converts, but also excited the anger and envy of the heathen priest. Inciting the people against the new preachers, he prevailed upon Governor Fescenninus Sissinnius, to forcibly put a stop to their teaching. Denis and his two companions were seized, tortured, and beheaded. Legend has it that St. Denis’ body stood up, and before the astonished onlookers, picked up his head, and walked six miles.

At the burial site of the three martyrs, a small shrine was erected, later to be replaced by a great basilica which became the burial place of the French kings.

1 comment:

  1. The patron Saint of the French knights who called upon San Denis before each battle.