VIII. Saints' Tombs to be visited. VIII St Eutrope
beginning of the Passion of St Eutropius, most holy
bishop and martyr
most glorious martyr of Christ, charming bishop
of Saintes, born to a pagan house of Persia, stepped
forth from the most distinguished family in the
whole world: the ruler of Babylon, named Xerxes,
beget him of Queen Guiva, as men do. No man could
be of more noble birth than he, nor, after his conversion,
more humble in faith and works.
his boyhood he was taught Chaldean and Greek letters,
and he equalled the greatest heroes in the whole
realm in intelligence and curiosity. Either wanting
to find out if perhaps in his court there were people
more inquisitive than he, or else to explore something
foreign, he went to King Herod in Galilee.
he had stayed some days in Herod's court, he heard
the news around the city of the miracles of the
Saviour, and searched for him in the country, following
He whom had gone away across the sea of Galilee,
which is Tiberius, with a great crowd of people
who were following Him seeing the miracles that
He was doing.
divine grace, he arrived the day the Saviour with
His boundless generosity fed 5,000 people with five
loaves and two fishes.
this miracle, and hearing stories of other miracles,
young Eutropius believed a little in him, and wanted
to talk to him, but didn’t dare, because he dreaded
the different opinion of Nicanoris, his tutor, into
whose care his respected father had handed him.
however, by the bread of divine grace, he continued
to Jerusalem, and when he had worshipped the Creator
in the temple according to the custom of the gentiles,
returned to the house of his father.
Eutropius began to tell him about everything he
had seen. ‘I saw’, he said, ‘A man called Christ,
like whom nothing else in the world can be found.
He gives life to the dead, cleansing to lepers,
sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf, restoration
to the lame, and health to all kinds of sicknesses.
more? He satisfied 5000 men with five loaves and
two fish, with me watching. His followers filled
twelve baskets with the leftovers. The famines,
storms and deaths typical in such places have no
place there. If now the creator of heaven and earth
considered it worthy to send Him to our country,
how I wish your grace would give Him honour!'
the Emir, hearing this and more from the boy, quietly
and carefully thought how he might see Him.
a short time, having just got permission from the
king, the boy went back to Jerusalem wanting to
see the Lord again, and to worship in the Temple.
With him went Warradac, the army commander, and
Nicanor, the king’s servant and the tutor of the
boy, and many other nobles whom the duke had trusted
to guard them. One day when he was returning
from the Temple, and the Lord was coming back from
Bethany where he had raised Lazasus, Eutropius met
a huge crowd flocking together from all directions
between the gates of Jerusalem. Seeing the Hebrew
boys and other phalanxes of people meeting Him,
laying out branches of olives and palms and other
trees and flowers on the His road, and singing ‘Hosanna
to the son of David’, he rejoiced more than it is
possible to say, and eagerly spread flowers before
he learned from people that He had raised Lazarus,
who had been dead four days, and rejoiced more.
then as he could not see the Saviour fully because
of the surrounding crowds, he began to feel sad.
he was of those about whom John testified in his
there were certain gentiles among them that came
up to worship at the feast day. These came to Philip,
who was in the city Bethsaida of Galilee, and said
to him, Sir, we would see Jesus. Philip, the companion
of Andrew, told the Lord.
at once, St Eutropius with his companions saw Him
openly, and secretly began to believe in Him. In
time he developed a deep companionship with Him,
but dreaded the opinion of his escorts, whom his
father had ordered to care for him strictly and
to being him back home. Then he learned from people
that the Jews were about to kill the Saviour, and
refusing to watch the death of so great a man, the
following day he left Jerusalem.
so Eutropius returned to his father, and related
to everyone in his own country what he had seen
of the Saviour in Jerusalem. Then after staying
a while in Babylon, and wanting to adhere utterly
to the Saviour, and believing Him still physically
alive, unknown to his father he returned again forty-five
days later to Jerusalem with a squire. Soon he heard
the Lord whom he had secretly held dear had been
crucified and killed by the Jews, and grieved greatly.
Eutropius learned He had risen from the dead, and
appeared to his Disciples, and ascended into heaven
in triumph, he rejoiced greatly. At last, on the
day of Pentecost, he joined with the disciples of
the Lord, and eagerly learned from them how the
Holy Spirit as tongues of fire had descended upon
them, filled their hearts and taught them every
kind of language.
with the Holy Spirit Eutropius returned to Babylon,
found the Jews in that land and, burning with zeal
for the love of Christ, killed them with a sword
because of those who had condemned the Lord in Jerusalem.
Then after time had passed,
and the Disciples of the Lord had gone to different
parts of the world, two golden candlesticks, shining
with faith by divine grace, that is, Simon and Thaddeus,
Apostles of the Lord, were sent to Persia.
they entered Babylon, they ejected the mages Zaroen
and Arfaxat who had been turning away the people
from the faith with empty words and signs. Dispensing
to everybody the seed of eternal life, the Apostles
began to shake with all kinds of miracles.
the sainted boy Eutropius, rejoicing at their arrival,
persuaded the king to abandon the errors of the
pagans and their idols, and to adopt the Christian
faith, through which he would be worthy of reaching
the kingdom of heaven.
more? Immediately the Apostles preached, the king
and his son with many other Babylonian citizens
were reborn by baptism at the hands of those very
Apostles. Finally when the whole city was converted
to the Lord’s faith, the Apostles set up a church
with a full hierarchy, and they ordained Abdias,
a man of great faith imbued with the teaching of
the gospels whom they had brought with them from
Jerusalem, with Eutropius as archdeacon, and they
went to other cities to preach the word of God.
when not many days afterwards in another place they
finished their present lives through the triumph
of martyrdom, St Eutropius committed their passion
to writing, in Chaldean and Greek letters.
hearing the fame of the miracles and virtues of
St Peter, Prince of the Apostles, who now discharged
his duties in Rome, Eutropius renounced worldly
things and with the consent of the bishop, and the
ignorance of his father, he went to Rome.
was well received there by St Peter who imbued him
with the teachings of the Lord, and having stayed
some time with him, was ordered and advised by him
to undertake preaching in Gaul, with other brothers
they entered the city called Saintes, he saw that
from all sides it was well surrounded with ancient
walls and high towers, situated in the best place,
equally broad and long, with all good things and
a profusion of foods, the best meadows, clear springs,
protected by a huge river, with gardens and orchards
and vineyards all around the city, with healthy
air, open spaces and streets, charming in many ways.
good disciple began to think whether God would think
it worthy to convert that beautiful and distinguished
city from the errors of pagans and the culture of
idols, to be submitted to Christian laws.
so, going through the streets broad and narrow,
he insistently preached the word of God.
soon as the citizens found out he was a foreigner
and heard him preach the word about the Holy Trinity
and baptism, which they had not heard before, they
threw him out of the city, burning him with torches
and beating him with great sticks.
bore this persecution patiently, and built a wooden
shack on a mountain near the city, where he stayed
for a long time. He preached by day in the city,
and spent the night in the hut, in vigils, in prayer
and in tears.
after a long time he had been able by his preaching
to convert only a few to Christ, he recalled the
precept of the Lord:
does not receive you, or listen to your words, leave
the doors of the house or the city, and shake the
dust from your feet’.
that he went to Rome again, where St Peter had by
now been crucified, and was admonished by St Clement,
now pope, to return to the city and to preach the
doctrines of the Lord and await his martyrdom there.
ordained bishop by this Pope, along with St Denis,
who had come to Rome from Greece, as well as other
brothers directed by Clement to preach in Gaul,
he reached as far as Auxerre. There, parting with
embraces of divine goodwill and tearful good wishes,
Denis with his companions went to the city of Paris,
and St Eutropius went back to Saintes. Bravely spirited
to endure martyrdom, and filled with the zeal of
Christ, he strengthened himself, saying,
Lord is my helper, I will not fear what man will
do to me;
persecutors kill the body, they cannot kill the
must give all his being, hide for a hide, for his
resolutely enter the city, like a man in love, he
preached the faith of the Lord, at times that were
convenient, and times that were not, showing everyone
the incarnation, passion, resurrection, ascension
of Christ and everything else He allowed himself
to suffer for the good of humanity. And he openly
preached that no one could enter the kingdom of
God, if not reborn from water and the Holy Spirit.
before, he stayed at night in the shack.
that preaching, with diving grace coming down from
above, many gentiles in the city were baptised,
among whom was a daughter of the king of the city,
called Eustella, who was regenerated by the spring
of baptism. When he father learned thus, he detested
her and banished her from the city.
seeing herself banished for the love of Christ,
began to live near the hut of the holy man. However
her father, stung by the love of his daughter, often
sent messengers to her asking her to return home.
answered that she would rather live outside the
city for Christ, than return to the city to be contaminated
her father, moved by anger, called the murderers
of the whole city to him, of which there were 150,
and ordered them to kill St Eutropius and to bring
back the virgin with them to her father’s house.
the 30th April, joined by a crown of pagans, they
went to the hut and first they stoned the most holy
man of God, then they beat him, naked, with sticks
and leaded whips, and only then did they cut off
his head with axes.
girl, along with other Christians, buried him by
night in his hut, and as long as she lived she observed
a lamplight vigil with divine deference. When her
life came to its hold end, she instructed that she
be buried near the tomb of the master in her own
an enormous basilica of wonderful workmanship was
built by Christians above the body of St Eutropius,
in the name of the Holy and Indivisible Trinity,
in which time after time people with all kinds of
illnesses were cured, the crippled were raised,
the blind were given sight, the deaf were restored
to hearing, and the possessed were liberated. To
all those who ask with a sincere heart, help is
given, and iron chains and manacles and other such
instruments from which St Eutropius freed prisoners,
are hung there.
he obtain for us by his merits and prayers, favour
with God, wash away out sins, bring back to life
virtues in us, guide our lives, snatch us in mortal
danger from the jaws of hell, placate for us the
anger of the eternal judge at the Last Judgement
, and lead us to the lofty heights of the Kingdom,
where stands Our Lord Jesus Christ who with the
Father and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns as God,
world without end.
à Codex. Guide
at wanadoo.fr - 01/01/2013