Eulalia of Mérida (Augusta Emerita in 292 - Augusta Emerita 10 December, 304) was a young Roman Christian martyred in Augusta Emerita, the capital of Lusitania (actually Mérida, Spain), during the Persecution of Christians under Diocletian. Other views place her death at the time of Trajan Decius (AD 249-51). There is debate whether Saint Eulalia of Barcelona, whose story is similar, is the same person. Up till the proclamation of James, son of Zebedee, Eulalia was invoked as the protector of Christian troops in the Reconquista and was patron of the territories of Spain during their formation.
Saint Eulalia of Mérida
Image of Santa Eulalia in Merida Cathedral
|Born||c. AD 290|
|Died||c. AD 304|
|Venerated in||Roman Catholic Church, Orthodox Catholic Church|
|Major shrine||Cathedral of San Salvador|
|Attributes||cross, stake, and dove|
|Patronage||Mérida, Spain; Oviedo, Spain; runaways; torture victims; widows; inclement weather|
Eulalia was a devout Christian virgin, aged 12–14, whose mother sequestered her in the countryside in AD 304 because all citizens were required to avow faith in the Roman gods. Eulalia ran away to the law court of the governor Dacian at Emerita, professed herself a Christian, insulted the pagan gods and emperor Maximian, and challenged the authorities to martyr her. The judge's attempts at flattery and bribery failed. According to the Spanish-Roman poet Prudentius of the fifth century, who devoted book 3 of his Peristephanon ("About martyrs") to Eulalia, she said:
Eulalia was then stripped by the soldiers, tortured with hooks and torches, and burnt at the stake, suffocating from smoke inhalation. She taunted her torturers all the while, and as she expired a dove flew out of her mouth. This frightened away the soldiers and allowed a miraculous snow to cover her nakedness, its whiteness indicating her sainthood.
A shrine over Eulalia's tomb was soon erected. Veneration of Eulalia was already popular with Christians by 350; Prudentius' poem increased her fame and relics from her were distributed through Iberia. Bishop Fidelis of Mérida rebuilt a basilica in her honor around 560. Her shrine was the most popular in Visigothic Spain. Around 780 her body was transferred to Oviedo by King Silo. It lies in a coffin of Arab silver donated by Alfonso VI in 1075. In 1639, she was made patron saint of Oviedo. She appears in Thieleman J. van Braght, Martyrs Mirror: An account of Those who Suffered in the Fourth Century (1660).
Often linked with Eulalia is Saint Julia of Mérida, as in the double dedication to Saints Eulalia and Julia. Julia is also said to have been a young girl martyred at Mérida in 304, in the same persecution by Diocletian, and her feast day is also celebrated on 10 December.
"Athleta Christi" (Latin: "Champion of Christ") was a class of Early Christian soldier martyrs, of whom the most familiar example is one such "military saint," Saint Sebastian.Balazar
Balazar (or Balasar) is one of the seven parishes of the municipality of Póvoa de Varzim. The population in 2011 was 2,543, in an area of 11.61 km².Each year thousands of pilgrims and many other tourists visit the Sanctuary of Blessed Alexandrina of Balazar.Confessor of the Faith
The title Confessor, the short form of Confessor of the Faith, is a title given by the Christian Church to a type of saint.Dalua of Tibradden
Saint Dalua of Tibradden (Irish: Do-Lúe, Latin: Daluanus), also called Dalua of Craoibheach, was an early Irish saint who is said to have been a disciple of St. Patrick. He founded a church that became known as Dun Tighe Bretan (Tibradden) which is located today in the townland of Cruagh, Co. Dublin.Eulalia of Barcelona
Saint Eulalia (Aulaire, Aulazia, Olalla, Eulària) (c. 290–12 February 303), co-patron saint of Barcelona, was a 13-year-old Roman Christian virgin who suffered martyrdom in Barcelona during the persecution of Christians in the reign of emperor Diocletian (although the Sequence of Saint Eulalia mentions the "pagan king" Maximian). There is some dispute as to whether she is the same person as Saint Eulalia of Mérida, whose story is similar.
For refusing to recant her Christianity, the Romans subjected her to thirteen tortures; including:
Putting her into a barrel with knives (or shards of glass) and rolling it down a street (according to tradition, the one now called Baixada de Santa Eulalia "Saint Eulalia's descent").
Cutting off her breasts
Crucifixion on an X-shaped cross. She is depicted with this cross, the instrument of her martyrdom.
A dove is supposed to have flown forth from her neck following her decapitation. This is one point of similarity with the story of Eulalia of Mérida, in which a dove flew from the girl's mouth at the moment of her death. In addition, Eulalia of Mérida's tortures are sometimes enumerated among the Barcelona martyrs, and the two were similar in age and year of death.
Eulalia is commemorated with statues and street names throughout Barcelona. Her body was originally interred in the church of Santa Maria de les Arenes (St. Mary of the Sands; now Santa Maria del Mar, St. Mary of the Sea). It was hidden in 713 during the Moorish invasion, and only recovered in 878. In 1339, it was relocated to an alabaster sarcophagus in the crypt of the newly built Cathedral of Santa Eulalia. The festival of Saint Eulalia is held in Barcelona for a week around her feast day on February 12.Great martyr
Great Martyr or Great-Martyr (Greek: μεγαλομάρτυς or μεγαλομάρτυρ, megalomartys or megalomartyr, from megas, "great" + "martyr") is a classification of saints who are venerated in the Eastern Orthodox Church and those Eastern Catholic Churches which follow the Rite of Constantinople.
Generally speaking, a Great Martyr is a martyr who has undergone excruciating tortures—often performing miracles and converting unbelievers to Christianity in the process—and who has attained widespread veneration throughout the Church. These saints are often from the first centuries of the Church, before the Edict of Milan. This term is normally not applied to saints who could be better described as hieromartyrs (martyred clergy) or protomartyrs (the first martyr in a given region).Judas Barsabbas
Judas Barsabbas was a New Testament prophet and one of the 'leading men' in the early Christian community in Jerusalem at the time of the Council of Jerusalem in around 50 A.D.List of Christians martyred during the reign of Diocletian
The reign of the emperor Diocletian (284−305) marked the final widespread persecution of Christians in the Roman Empire. The most intense period of violence came after Diocletian issued an edict in 303 more strictly enforcing adherence to the traditional religious practices of Rome in conjunction with Imperial cult. Modern historians estimate that during this period, known as the Diocletianic or Great Persecution and extending several years beyond the reign of Diocletian, as many as 3,000−3,500 Christians were executed under the authority of Imperial edicts.The church historian Eusebius, a Bishop of Caesarea who lived through both the "Little Peace" of the Church and the Great Persecution, is a major source for identifying Christian martyrs in this period. Martyr narratives flourished later as a genre of Christian literature, but are not contemporary with the persecutions and are often of dubious historicity. This article lists both historical and legendary figures traditionally identified as martyrs during the reign of Diocletian.Melchior (magus)
Saint Melchior, or Melichior, was purportedly one of the Biblical Magi along with Caspar and Balthazar who visited the infant Jesus after he was born. Melchior was often referred to as the oldest member of the Magi. He was traditionally called the King of Persia and brought the gift of gold to Jesus. In the Western Christian church, he is regarded as a saint (as are the other two Magi).Michael of Synnada
Michael of Synnada (Michael the Confessor) (died 818) was a bishop of Synnada from 784. He represented Byzantium in diplomatic missions to Harun al-Rashid and Charlemagne. He was exiled by Emperor Leo V the Armenian because of his opposition to iconoclasm. Honored by the Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches, his feast day is May 23.Moros, Zaragoza
Moros is a municipality in the province of Zaragoza, Aragon. Its population was 478 in 2006.Quintanilla Vivar
Quintanilla Vivar (formerly known as Quintanilla Morocisla) is a municipality and town located in the province of Burgos, Castile and León, Spain.
The village of Vivar del Cid, reputed birthplace of El Cid, is included in the municipality.Saint Eulalia (Waterhouse painting)
Saint Eulalia is an oil painting on canvas in the Pre-Raphaelite style, created in 1885 by English artist John William Waterhouse, depicting the aftermath of the death of Eulalia of Mérida. It is currently housed at Tate Britain.Sequence of Saint Eulalia
The Sequence of Saint Eulalia, also known as the Canticle of Saint Eulalia (French: Séquence/Cantilène de sainte Eulalie) is the earliest surviving piece of French hagiography and one of the earliest extant texts in the vernacular langues d'oïl (Old French). It dates from around 880.
Eulalia of Mérida was an early Christian martyr from Mérida, Spain, who was killed during the Persecution of Diocletian around 304. Her legend is recounted in the 29 verses of the Sequence, in which she resists pagan threats, bribery and torture from the pagan emperor Maximian. She miraculously survives being burned at the stake, but is finally decapitated. She then ascends to heaven in the form of a dove.
The Sequence was composed in verse around 880, soon after the rediscovery of the relics of a saint of the same name, Eulalia of Barcelona, in 878.Silas
Silas or Silvanus (; Greek: Σίλας/Σιλουανός; fl. 1st century AD) was a leading member of the Early Christian community, who accompanied Paul the Apostle on parts of his first and second missionary journeys.Virgin (title)
The title Virgin (Latin Virgo, Greek Παρθένος) is an honorific bestowed on female saints and blesseds in both the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church.
Chastity is one of the seven virtues in Christian tradition, listed by Pope Gregory I at the end of the 6th century. In 1 Corinthians, Saint Paul suggests a special role for virgins or unmarried women (ἡ γυνὴ καὶ ἡ παρθένος ἡ ἄγαμος) as more suitable for "the things of the Lord" (μεριμνᾷ τὰ τοῦ κυρίου).
In 2 Corinthians 11:2, Paul alludes to the metaphor of the Church as Bride of Christ by addressing the congregation
"I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ".
In the theology of the Church Fathers, the prototype of the sacred virgin is Mary, the mother of Jesus, consecrated by the Holy Spirit at Annunciation.
Although not stated in the gospels, the perpetual virginity of Mary was widely upheld as a dogma by the Church Fathers from the 4th century.Zechariah (Hebrew prophet)
Zechariah was a person in the Hebrew Bible and traditionally considered the author of the Book of Zechariah, the eleventh of the Twelve Minor Prophets. He was a prophet of the Kingdom of Judah, and, like the prophet Ezekiel, was of priestly extraction.