Butler’s Lives of the Saints – Saints Eusebius, Nestablus, Zeno, and Nestor, Martyrs

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In the reign of Julian the Apostate, Eusebius, Nestablus, and Zeno, three zealous Christian brothers at Gaza, were seized by the pagans in their houses, where they had concealed themselves: they were carried to prison, and inhumanly scourged. Afterwards the idolaters, who were assembled in the amphitheatre at the public shows, began loudly to demand the punishment of the sacrilegious criminals, as they called the confessors. By these cries the assembly soon became a tumult; and the people worked themselves into such a ferment that they ran in a fury to the prison, which they forced, and hauling out the three brothers, began to drag them, sometimes on their bellies, sometimes on their backs, bruising them against the pavement, and striking them with clubs, stones, or any thing that came in their way. The very women, quitting their work, ran the points of their spindles into them, and the cooks took the kettles from off the fire, poured the scalding water upon them, and pierced them with their spits. After the martyrs were thus mangled, and their skulls so broken that the ground was smeared with their brains, they were dragged out of the city to the place where the beasts were thrown that died of themselves. Here the people lighted a fire, burned the bodies, and mingled the bones that remained with those of camels and asses, that it might not be easy for the Christians to distinguish them. This cruelty only enhanced the triumph of the martyrs before God, who watches over the precious remains of his elect, to raise them again to glory. With these three brothers there was taken a young man, named Nestor, who suffered imprisonment and scourging as they had done; but as the furious rioters were dragging him through the street, some persons took compassion on him on account of his great beauty and comeliness, and drew him out of the gate. He died of his wounds, within three days, in the house of Zeno, a cousin of the three martyrs, who himself was obliged to fly, and, being taken, was publicly whipped. See Theodoret, Hist. l. 3, c. 7, and Sozomen, l. 5, c. 9.

MLA Citation

  • Father Alban Butler. “Saints Eusebius, Nestablus, Zeno, and Nestor, Martyrs”. Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs, and Principal Saints, 1866. Saints.SQPN.com. 27 August 2014. Web. 28 August 2014. <>

Butler’s Lives of the Saints – Saint Sidronius, Martyr

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He was crowned at Rome in the persecution of Aurelian; his principal festival is kept on the 11th of July. Baldwin IV, surnamed of Lille and the Pious, founded the collegiate churches of canons at Harlebeck, near Courtray, at Aire, and at Lille, in which last he was buried. His widow, Adela, after his death in 1067, went to Rome, received the religious veil from the hands of Pope Alexander II, and, bringing back with her the relics of Saint Sidronius, enriched with them the Benedictin nunnery of Meessene, two leagues from Ipres, which she had founded, and in which she died. See Miræi, Annales Belgici, p. 609. Adela, the foundress, is honoured among the saints in this famous monastery on the 8th of January. See Gramaye, p. 182. Lubin in Martyr. Rom.

MLA Citation

  • Father Alban Butler. “Saint Sidronius, Martyr”. Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs, and Principal Saints, 1866. Saints.SQPN.com. 27 August 2014. Web. 28 August 2014. <>

Butler’s Lives of the Saints – Saint Adrian, Martyr

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This saint was an officer in the Roman army, who, having persecuted the Christians in the reign of Maximian Galerius, was so moved by their constancy and patience, that he embraced their faith, and suffered many torments and a glorious martyrdom for the same at Nicomedia, about the year 306, in the tenth or last general persecution. His relics were conveyed to Constantinople, thence to Rome, afterwards into Flanders, where they were deposited in the Benedictin abbey of Decline, dedicated in honour of Saint Peter, in the time of the first abbot, Severald. Baldwin VI, earl of Flanders, surnamed of Mons, because he married the heiress of that county, bought of a rich lord, named Gerard, the village of Hundelghem, in which stood a famous chapel of our Lady. The count founded there, in 1088, the town now called Geersbergen or Gerard’s Mount, on which, by a famous charter, he bestowed great privileges. Besides many pious donations made to that place, he removed this abbey of Saint Peter, which has since taken the name of Saint Adrian, whose relics, which it possesses, have been rendered famous by many miracles. Geersberg, called in French Grammont, stands upon the Dender, in Flanders, near the borders of Brabant and Hainault. Saint Adrian is commemorated in the Martyrologies which bear the name of Saint Jerom, and in the Roman, on the 4th of March, and chiefly on the 8th of September, which was the day of the translation of his relics to Rome, where a very ancient church bears his name. See on the translation of his relics to the abbey of Geersberg, Gramay’s Antiquitates Gerardi-montii, p. 40. Sanderus in Flandria Illustrata, etc., Stilting, p. 231.

MLA Citation

  • Father Alban Butler. “Saint Adrian, Martyr”. Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs, and Principal Saints, 1866. Saints.SQPN.com. 27 August 2014. Web. 28 August 2014. <>

Butler’s Lives of the Saints – Saint Faith or Fides, Virgin, and Companions, Martyrs

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Among those Christians whose invincible constancy triumphed over the malice of Dacian, prefect of Gaul under Dioclesian and Maximian, none was more illustrious than Saint Faith. She was born at Agen in Aquitain, and, though of exquisite beauty, was insensible to all the allurements of the world. When she was apprehended and brought before Dacian, making the sign of the cross on different parts of her body, she uttered this prayer: “Lord Jesus, who art always ready to assist thy servants, fortify me at this hour, and enable me to answer in a manner worthy of you.” The tyrant, assuming an air of mildness, asked her: “What is your name?” she answered: “My name is Faith, and I endeavour to support in reality what that name signifies.” Dacian: “What is your religion?” Faith: “I have from my infancy served Christ, and to him I have consecrated my whole soul.” Dacian: “Come, child, have some regard for your youth and beauty; renounce the religion you profess, and sacrifice to Diana who is a divinity of your own sex, and who will bestow on you the most precious gifts.” Faith: “The divinities of the Gentiles are devils: how then can you advise me to sacrifice to them?” Dacian in a rage, said: “What! do you presume to call our gods devils; you must resolve instantly to offer sacrifice, or expire under torments.” The saint calling to mind the courage of the martyrs and the glorious crown promised to those who persevered to the end, far from being terrified at the menaces of the tyrant, felt herself inflamed with a new desire to die for her Lord: “No,” cried she, “I not only am prepared to suffer every torment for Christ, but I burn with impatience to die for him.” Dacian, more enraged than ever, ordered a brazen bed to be produced, and the saint to be bound on it with iron chains. A great fire was kindled under it, the heat of which was rendered still more intolerable by the addition of oil, and other inflammable matter. The spectators, struck with pity and horror, exclaimed: “How can the tyrant thus torment an innocent young virgin only for worshipping God!” Hereupon Dacian apprehended numbers of them; and as these refused to sacrifice, they were beheaded with Saint Faith. See the genuine acts of the saint, which are very short. Surius and Labbe give other acts which are longer, but in these there are interpolations, and an account of miracles not sufficiently warranted. See also the commentaries of F. Ghesquier, one of the continuators of Bollandus, 6 Oct. t. 3, p. 263. 1

Saint Dulcitius, bishop of Agen, about the middle of the fifth century, deposited the relics of Saint Faith in a church which he built at Agen, and translated those of her companions, and Saint Caprais, to another church in that city. The history of this translation, which seems to have been written by an eye-witness, may be seen in the acts of Saint Faith, published by Surius and Labbe. The place where the bodies of these holy martyrs were concealed for fear of the persecutors, is still held in veneration. About the year 886, the relics of Saint Vincent of Agen, martyr, and of Saint Faith were removed to the abbey of Conques in Rouergue, and thence to the new church of that abbey in 1050: a portion of those of Saint Faith was given by Pope Urban V., to the monks of Cucufat in Catalonia, in 1365, and an arm of the saint was formerly kept at Glastenbury. Saint Faith is titular saint of several churches in France, particularly that of Longueville in Normandy, which was enriched by Walter Gifford, earl of Buckingham in England. She was also patroness of the priory of Horsham in the county of Norfolk, founded by Robert Fitzwalter and his wife Sybila, and endowed with great privileges by Henry I. The subterraneous chapel of Saint Faith, built under Saint Paul’s in London, was also very famous, as Dugdale remarks in his history of this church.

Good example is one of the strongest incentives to virtue. Woe to us, if we harden our hearts against the salutary impressions, which the heroic virtue and examples of so many saints ought to make upon us. The companions of the martyrdom of Saint Faith, fired by seeing the glorious conflict and trophies of the holy virgin, arrived themselves at an equal crown. And can we read the lives of so many illustrious saints, without reproaching ourselves for our base ingratitude to God, and repeated abuse of divine grace, and without aspiring to an imitation of their zeal, devotion, charity, humility, compunction, and fervour?

MLA Citation

  • Father Alban Butler. “Saint Faith or Fides, Virgin, and Companions, Martyrs”. Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs, and Principal Saints, 1866. Saints.SQPN.com. 27 August 2014. Web. 28 August 2014. <>

Butler’s Lives of the Saints – Saint Eunan, Bishop in Ireland

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[first Bishop of Raphoe in Ireland, in the Province of Ulster] The monastery founded there by Saint Columb, and restored by Saint Adamnan, being converted into an episcopal see, Saint Eunan was appointed to govern it. He is the titular saint of the Church, and a mass for his festival on the 7th of September is approved by Pope Clement XII among the masses printed for the Irish churches, at Paris in 1734.

MLA Citation

  • Father Alban Butler. “Saint Eunan, Bishop in Ireland”. Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs, and Principal Saints, 1866. Saints.SQPN.com. 27 August 2014. Web. 28 August 2014. <>

Butler’s Lives of the Saints – Saints Alchmund and Tilberht, Bishops and Confessors

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[Bishops of Hexam in Northumberland] The former was consecrated to this see in 767, and passed to eternal glory on the 7th of September, 780. Gilbert or Tilberht succeeded him in the episcopal dignity, which he held to his happy death in 789. Their eminent sanctity is celebrated by Simeon of Durham, Roger of Hoveden, the Annals of Peterborough, and all our Martyrologies. The history of the translation of their relics by a canon regular of the monastery of Hexam, an eye-witness, in the middle of the twelfth century, is published by Mabillon, Act. Saints sæc. 3, part. 1, and Suysken the Bollandist, p. 117.

MLA Citation

  • Father Alban Butler. “Saints Alchmund and Tilberht, Bishops and Confessors”. Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs, and Principal Saints, 1866. Saints.SQPN.com. 27 August 2014. Web. 28 August 2014. <>

Butler’s Lives of the Saints – Saint Madelberte, Virgin and Abbess

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Abbess of Maubeuge, niece to Saint Aldegundis, (honoured on the 30th of January,) she had the happiness to be educated in her monastery with her sister Aldetrudis, who, upon the death of her aunt, was chosen second abbess of Maubeuge, and succeeded by her sister Madelberte. This last died about the year 705. She is honoured on the 7th of September in the Belgic and other Martyrologies. Her relics were translated from Maubeuge to Liege by Saint Hubert about the year 722. See Perier the Bollandist, p. 109.

MLA Citation

  • Father Alban Butler. “Saint Madelberte, Virgin and Abbess”. Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs, and Principal Saints, 1866. Saints.SQPN.com. 27 August 2014. Web. 28 August 2014. <>

Butler’s Lives of the Saints – Saint Grimonia, or Germana, Virgin and Martyr

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He was an Irish maiden of illustrious birth who left her country to consecrate herself to God. She was martyred in defence of her chastity in the place of her retirement in Picardy in the diocess of Laon. On the spot a chapel was built which became famous for her relics and miracles, and grew into a considerable town, called from its original Capelle. In the wars in the fifteenth century her relics were translated to the abbey of regular canons of Hennin Lictard, between Douay and Lens, where she is honoured together with Saint Proba her fellow martyr. See Stilting, ad Sept. p. 80.

MLA Citation

  • Father Alban Butler. “Saint Grimonia, or Germana, Virgin and Martyr”. Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs, and Principal Saints, 1866. Saints.SQPN.com. 27 August 2014. Web. 28 August 2014. <>

Butler’s Lives of the Saints – Saint Evurtius, Bishop of Orleans, Confessor

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He flourished in the reign of Constantine the Great, and died about the year 340. His name is famous in the ancient western Martyrologies, but his history is of no authority, as Stilting complains. Three translations have been made of his relics. A famous abbey at Orleans bears his name. See Gallia Christ. Nov. t. 8, p. 1573, and Stilting.

MLA Citation

  • Father Alban Butler. “Saint Evurtius, Bishop of Orleans, Confessor”. Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs, and Principal Saints, 1866. Saints.SQPN.com. 27 August 2014. Web. 28 August 2014. <>

Butler’s Lives of the Saints – Saint Simon, Surnamed the Zealot, Apostle

[Saint Simon the Apostle]Article

Saint Simon is surnamed the Cananæan or Canaanite, and the Zealot, to distinguish him from Saint Peter, and from Saint Simeon, the brother of Saint James the Less, and his successor in the see of Jerusalem. From the first of these surnames some have thought that Saint Simon was born at Cana, in Galilee: certain modern Greeks pretend that it was at his marriage that our Lord turned the water into wine. It is not to be doubted but he was a Galilæan: Theodoret says, of the tribe either of Zabulon or Nepthali. But as for the surname of Cananæan, it has in Syro-Chaldaic the same signification which the word Zelotes bears in Greek. Saint Luke translated it; the other evangelists retained the original name; for Canath in Syro-Chaldaic, or modern Hebrew, signifies Zeal as Saint Jerom observes. Nicephorus Calixti, a modern Greek historian, tells us this name was given to Saint Simon only from the time of his apostleship, wherein he expressed an ardent zeal and affection for his Master, was an exact observer of all the rules of his religion, and opposed with a pious warmth all those who swerved from it. As the evangelists take no notice of such a circumstance, Hammond and Grotius think that Saint Simon was called the Zealot, before his coming to Christ, because he was one of that particular sect or party among the Jews called Zealots, from a singular zeal they professed for the honour of God, and the purity of religion. A party called Zealots were famous in the war of the Jews against the Romans. They were main instruments in instigating the people to shake off the yoke of subjection; they assassinated many of the nobility and others, in the streets, filled the temple itself with bloodshed and other horrible profanations, and were the chief cause of the ruin of their country. But no proof is offered by which it is made to appear that any such party existed in our Saviour’s time, though some then maintained that it was not lawful for a Jew to pay taxes to the Romans. At least if any then took the name of Zealots, they certainly neither followed the impious conduct, nor adopted the false and inhuman maxims of those mentioned by Josephus in his history of the Jewish war against the Romans.

Saint Simon, after his conversion, was zealous for the honour of his Master, and exact in all the duties of the Christian religion; and showed a pious indignation towards those who professed this holy faith with their mouths, but dishonoured it by the irregularity of their lives. No further mention appears of him in the gospels, than that he was adopted by Christ into the college of the apostles. With the rest he received the miraculous gifts of the Holy Ghost, which he afterwards exercised with great zeal and fidelity. Nicephorus Calixti, and some other modern Greeks, pretend, that after preaching in Mauritania, and other parts of Africa, he sailed into Britain, and having enlightened the minds of many with the doctrine of the gospel, was crucified by the infidels. But of this there appears no shadow of probability, and the vouchers, by many inconsistencies, destroy the credit of their own assertion. If this apostle preached in Egypt, Cyrene, and Mauritania, he returned into the East; for the Martyrologies of Saint Jerom, Bede, Ado, and Usuard place his martyrdom in Persia, at a city called Suanir, possibly in the country of the Suani, a people in Colchis, or a little higher in Sarmatia, then allied with the Parthians in Persia: which may agree with a passage in the Acts of Saint Andrew, that in the Cimmerian Bosphorus there was a tomb in a grot, with an inscription, importing, that Simon the Zealot was interred there. His death is said in these Martyrologies to have been procured by the idolatrous priests. Those who mention the manner of his death say he was crucified. Saint Peter’s church on the Vatican at Rome, and the cathedral of Toulouse are said to possess the chief portions of the relics of Saints Simon and Jude.

MLA Citation

  • Father Alban Butler. “Saint Simon, Surnamed the Zealot, Apostle”. Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs, and Principal Saints, 1866. Saints.SQPN.com. 27 August 2014. Web. 28 August 2014. <>