St. Saturninus is said to have been one of the most illustrious martyrsthat have been given to the church by France. He was a committed andfaithful leader as the first bishop of Toulouse.
We talk briefly about his life, death, and canonization below.
Early Life of St. Saturninus
According to the lost acts of the saint, he was the son of Aegeus, Kingof Achaea, and Cassandra. His birth was in Patras, Greece around the 3rdcentury.
Much isn’t known about his childhood, but he was clearly from a royallinage as his father was a King, and his mother before marriage was thedaughter of Ptolemy, King of the Ninevites.
Bishopric of St. Saturninus
St. Saturninus was one of the seven bishops sent out by St. Fabian at atime when persecutions of Christians were very high, and the smallChristian communities had all but dissolved.
Assumed to be the first bishop of Toulouse, St. Saturninus soon arrivedin Toulouse where he was able to build a small church community. Hischurch community was located some distance from where the pagan priestsworshipped and received oracular messages.
It is recorded that his presence there caused the pagan gods to be upsetand so the priests no longer received messages from them.
Works of St. Saturninus
The only records of his works are the lost acts of Saturninus. But whilehe served as a bishop, he was able to convert many pagans including thefarmer who joined him as a missionary, known as St. Honestus.
He also served as a missionary to Gaul, Pyrenees, and the IberianPeninsula. St. Saturninus teamed with St. Martial and together, theywere able to perform many miracles, healing different diseases andailments.
It was St. Saturninus who converted and baptized St. Firminus of Amiens.
Records also have it that he and his group were one time arrested andimprisoned in Carcassonne by the prefect, Rufinus, and were miraculouslyfreed by an angel.
Death and Canonization of St. Saturninus
St. Saturninus died as a martyr sometime in 257 A.D. His martyrdom wasbecause of him refusing to make a sacrifice to the pagan gods. The paganpriests accused him of being responsible for the silence of their godsand thought it good punishment for him to make a sacrifice to them.
He vehemently refused, saying he worshipped the only true God. To thisend, he was insulted greatly and tied to the feet of a bull. The saintwas dragged down a steep hill by the bull so roughly, that his skull gotbroken and his brains gushed out, while his remains were strewn allover.
His remains would later be picked up by two devout Christian women andburied in a ditch. His successors would later give him a proper burialand build a church at the point where the bull stopped called “The Taur”(bull).
His canonization was by pre-congregation and his feast day is on the29th of November. He is greatly patronized by Toulouse and France. He isalso the patron saint for bullfighters.
He is also patronized against ants and diseases such as mad cow disease,smallpox, syphilis, anxiety, fraud.
When next you see a picture of a bishop being dragged by a bull, or abishop with a bull at his feet, or
a bull with a cross and a mitre, then you are most likely looking uponthe picture of St. Saturninus.
5 Interesting Facts About St. Saturninus
- St. Saturninus was a prince by birth as both his parents were of
- He was amongst the 72 disciples that worked with Christ.
- St. Saturninus was also present at the last supper with the other
- He was consecrated as a bishop by St. Peter, the first pope of the
- He and his companions were freed from imprisonment by an angel.
Prayer to St. Saturninus
O God, Who grantest us to be gladdenedby the Heavenly birthday of blessed Satruninus, Thy Martyr,vouchsafe that we may be helped by his merits.Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son,Who liveth and reigneth with Theein the unity of the Holy Ghost,one God, world without end.Amen.