SAINT DENIS – BISHOP, AND COMPANIONS.
Born and educated in Italy, St Denis is believed to have been the first Bishop of Paris, a martyr and Patron of France. In the year 250, he was sent to Gaul with six other missionary bishops, where he suffered martyrdom. His companions, St Rusticus and St Eleutherius had joined him in Lutetia Parisorum and they together had established Christian worship on an island in the Siene.
Their preaching was so effective that they were arrested and, after a long imprisonment — during the Valerian persecution — all three were beheaded. Their bodies were thrown into the Siene, whence they were retrieved before being given an honourable burial. Later, a chapel was built over their tomb, around which arose the great abbey of St Denis. The blood of the martyrs is truly the seed of the Church; and the martyrdom of St Denis and his brethren was speedily followed by the establishment of Christianity upon the ruins of Gallic paganism.
Reflection: “They that have done good things shall come forth into the resurrection of life; but they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of judgement” (Jesus – Jn 5:29).