FEAST OF SAINT EULOGIUS OF CÓRDOBA, PRIEST AND MARTYR
FEAST DAY – 11th MARCH
Saint Eulogius of Córdoba (born before 819, died March 11, 857) was one of the Martyrs of Córdoba. He flourished during the reigns of the Cordovan emirs Abd-er-Rahman II and Muhammad I (mid-9th century). In the ninth century, the Muslim conquerors of Spain made Cordoba their capital. Christians were accorded a subaltern status, and subject to a monthly tax. Though restricted, they were permitted to worship. Some rose to high positions in the government.
St. Eulogius was of a senatorian family of Córdoba, at that time the capital of the Moors in Spain. He was educated among the clergy of the Church of St. Zoilus, a martyr who suffered with nineteen others under Diocletian. He distinguished himself, by his virtue and learning, and, being made priest, was placed at the head of the chief ecclesiastical school at Córdoba.
He joined assiduous watching, fasting, and prayer to his studies, and his humility, mildness, and charity gained him the affection and respect of every one. During the persecution raised against the Christians in the year 850, St. Eulogius was thrown into prison and there wrote his Exhortation to Martyrdom, addressed to the virgins Flora and Mary, who were beheaded on 24th of November, 851. Six days after their death Eulogius was set at liberty.
In the year 852 several others suffered martyrdom. St. Eulogius encouraged all these martyrs to their triumphs, and was the support of that distressed flock. The Archbishop of Toledo died in 858. St. Eulogius was elected to succeed him; but there was some obstacle that hindered him from being consecrated. A virgin, by name Leocritia, of a noble family among the Moors, had been instructed from her infancy in the Christian religion by one of her relatives, and privately baptized.
Her father and mother abused her very much, and scourged her day and night to compel her to renounce the Faith. Having made her condition known to St. Eulogius and his sister Anulona, intimating that she desired to go where she might freely exercise her religion, they secretly procured her the means of getting away, and concealed her for some time among faithful friends.
But the matter was at length discovered, and they were all brought before the cadi, who threatened to have Eulogius scourged to death. The Saint told him that his torments would be of no avail, for he would never change his religion. Whereupon the cadi gave orders that he should be carried to the palace and be presented before the king’s council. Eulogius began boldly to propose the truths of the Gospel to them.
But, to prevent their hearing him, the council condemned him immediately to lose his head. As they were leading him to execution, one of the guards gave him a blow on the face; he turned the other cheek, and patiently received a second. He received the stroke of death with great cheerfulness, on the 11th of March, 859. St. Leocritia was beheaded four days after him, and her body thrown into the river Guadalquivir, but taken out by the Christians.
Paul Alvarus’ ‘Life of Eulogius’ records that a dove was seen flying above his martyred body, portraying his peacefulness and innocence, which could not be killed despite the attempts of the angered Muslims. St. Eulogius was chosen to fill the vacant Archepiscopal See of Toledo, but could not be consecrated as Archbishop of Toledo, owing to his imprisonment shortly before his execution by beheading.
St. Eulogius left a perfect account of the orthodox doctrine which he defended, the intellectual culture which he propagated, the imprisonment and sufferings which he endured; in a word, his writings show that he followed to the letter the exhortation of St. Paul: “Imitatores mei estote sicut et ego Christi”. St. Eulogius is buried in the Cathedral of Oviedo. His feast day is March 11.
(Excerpted from Lives of the Saints)
Almighty God, through the intercession of Saint Eulogius, grant us the crowning gift of perseverance, by living a simple and virtuous life, renouncing the world and the devil once for all at our Baptism.
Help us to unhesitatingly look forward, not listening to suggestions against faith or virtue; but advancing day by day, along the road which you have chosen for us, in Jesus’ Name. Amen
Saint Eulogius, pray for us, that we may be ever mindful that all our gifts come from God, that we not be proud, but willing always to follow His lead. Amen