Sunset - Larnaca

Sunset - Larnaca

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Saint Eulalia of Barcelona

After returning from an enjoyable trip to Spain and Italy, posts will resume throughout the summer; including a selection of articles on Saints, as well as holy sites, discovered on my recent travels. 

The first stop, on my recent travels, was the Spanish city of Barcelona, capital of Catalonia. St Eulalia (290AD), a thirteen year old Christian Martyr, is the city's patron saint, commemorated on August the 22nd. During the time of persecution under the emperors Diocletian and Maximian, the governor Dacian arrived in Barcelona to get rid of the faithful Christian population. Hearing this news, Saint Eulalia left her home, travelled to the city centre and made a bold denunciation of the judge, who had been forcing people to renounce the Christian faith in God, asking them to offer sacrifices to false idols. After her courageous public denunciation, Dacian gave the judge orders to strip the blessed girl, and brutally beat her. Eulalia refused to recant her belief, and so the romans continually subjected her to several tortures, leading to crucifixion and finally decapitation. Saint Eulalia steadfastly endured the torment, and assured her torturers that 'God helps me, and the Lord is the defender of my soul' (Ps 53/54:4). She fervently prayed that the Lord would take her from this life, to Heaven, and with this strong prayer she passed away into God's open arms. Tradition tells us that a snowstorm hit the area after her death, covering the holy martyr's naked and tortured body like a white garment.

The Sequence of Saint Eulalia (known as the Canticle of Saint Eulalia) is the earliest surviving piece of french haghiography and one of the earliest pieces of french text. This historical document describes the Saint resisting pagan threats, bribery and torture from the emperor Maximian - recounting her miraculous survival after being burned, followed by her decapitation. According to this Saint's biography, and Holy Tradition of the Church, a white dove flew from her body following her death, as she ascended into Heaven to be united with the Triune God;  Who she adored, faithfully worshipped, and loved.

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