29 Nov Saint Saturninus, Bishop and Martyr
Today is the feast day of Saint Saturninus. Ora pro nobis.
Saint Saturninus was a contemporary and a disciple of Our Lord Jesus Christ; he came to Palestine from Greece, attracted by the reputation of Saint John the Baptist. He then followed our Saviour, heard His teaching, and was a witness to many of His miracles. He was present in the Cenacle when the Holy Spirit descended at Pentecost upon the Mother of Christ, the Apostles and Disciples assembled in the number of 120. (Acts of the Apostles 1:15)
He departed to teach Christianity under Saint Peter’s authority, evangelizing the lands east of Palestine, and going as far as the region of the Persians and Medes and their neighboring provinces. He cured the sick, the lepers, and the paralytics and delivered souls from the demons; and before he left, he gave written instructions to the new Christians concerning what they should believe and practice.
He was consecrated Bishop by St. Peter and was sent as a missionary from Rome to the Pyrenees Mountain area. He became the first Bishop and Apostle of Toulouse, France.
In Toulouse there was a temple dedicated to the pagan gods. Everyday St. Saturninus used to have to pass in front of it to go to the church where the Christians would gather. The devils, unable to bear the presence of the man of God, abandoned the idols, which stopped giving the counsels and prophecies they used to speak. The pagan priests offered all kinds of sacrifices, but the idols remained mute.
One day they seized him and on his unshakeable refusal to sacrifice to the idols they condemned him be tied by the feet to a bull which dragged him about the town until the rope broke. Two Christian women piously gathered up the remains and buried them in a deep ditch, that they might not be profaned by the pagans. His successors, Sts. Hilary and Exuperius, gave him more honourable burial. A church was erected where the bull stopped. It still exists, and is called the church of the Taur (the bull). The body of the saint was transferred at an early date and is still preserved in the Church of St. Sernin (or Saturninus), one of the most ancient and beautiful of Southern France. His feast was entered on the Hieronymian Martyrology for 29 November; his cult spread abroad.
Image: San Saturnino de Tolosa, patrón de Pamplona.(7)
Research by Ed Masters, REGINA Staff