SAINT DENIS (DIED CIRCA 250)
First Bishop of Paris, and Martyr
Also known as Denys, Dennis, and Dionysius
Many legends have grown from the life of St. Denis, who, along with Deacon Eleutherius and Father Rusticus, undertook a perilous mission to the persecuted Church in Gaul, now France. They worked at Paris, where they founded a Christian community and converted many pagans before pressure from pagan priests culminated in the imprisonment, torture, and execution of St. Denis and his companions. Legends include the tale that the deceased St. Denis picked up his severed head, held it, walked two miles to his burial site, and delivered a sermon along the way. Ironically, Catholic hagiographers have long encouraged the faithful to invoke the headless Patron Saint of France against headaches.
Such a tale, just one part of a contradictory corpus of lore, is needless and obviously fictitious. Denis, Eleutherius, and Rusticus gave their lives for Jesus, the crucified and resurrected one. Each received the crown of martyrdom after taking up his cross and following his Lord. What more need one say to justify sainthood in these cases?
KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR
SEPTEMBER 16, 2011 COMMON ERA
THE FEAST OF SAINT LUDMILLA, DUCHESS OF BOHEMIA
THE FEAST OF SAINT NINIAN, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP OF GALLOWAY
Common of a Martyr II
From Holy Women, Holy Men: Celebrating the Saints (2010), of The Episcopal Church
Almighty God, by whose grace and power your holy martyrs Denis, Eleutherius, and Rusticus triumphed over suffering and were faithful even to death: Grant us, who now remember them in thanksgiving, to be so faithful in our witness to you in this world, that we may receive with them the crown of life; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Sirach (Ecclesiasticus) 51:1-12
Psalm116 or 116:1-8