Neither are the souls of the pious dead separated from the Church which even now is the kingdom of Christ. Otherwise there would be no remembrance of them at the altar of God in the communication of the Body of Christ. -- Saint Augustine of Hippo from “The City of God

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Saint Saturninus of Toulouse

Saint Saturninus of Toulouse ( also known as Sernin; Saturnin) was a third century missionary from Rome to Gaul, the Pyrenees ( mountain range in southwestern Europe, forming a natural boundary between France and Spain), and the Iberian peninsula (peninsula in southwestern Europe, divided into Spain and Portugal, together with Gibraltar).

He made many converts including the farmer now known as Saint Honestus who joined him in the missions. Saint Saturninus and two companions were imprisoned at Carcassone by the prefect Rufinus, but they were freed by an angel. He was the first bishop of Toulouse, where he performed miraculous healings. He converted and baptized Saint Firminus who was later bishop of Amiens.

When Saturninus began his work in Toulouse, the local pagan priests stopped receiving oracles from their “gods”. The devils were struck dumb by the presence of the saint as he passed that way. One day in 257, when the priests were hopelessly frustrated, Saturninus passed by in the street. The priests blamed the bishop, and ordered the crowd of heathens to seize him and force him to offer sacrifice to their gods. The idols fell to pieces in front of the bishop. The crowds abused him, then tied his feet to a wild bull which was to be sacrificed, and then drove the bull out of the temple. He was dragged to death.

The martyrdom of this saint probably happened in the reign of Valerian, around 257 A.D.  


 "I adore one only God, and to him I am ready to offer a sacrifice of praise. Your gods are devils, and are more delighted with the sacrifice of your souls than with those of your bullocks. How can I fear them who, as you acknowledge, tremble before a Christian?" -- Saint Saturninus

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