SS. Nicasius, Ninth Archbishop of Rheims, and His Companions, Martyrs

December 14


IN the fifth century an army of barbarians from Germany ravaging part of Gaul, plundered the city of Rheims.  Nicasius, the holy bishop, had foretold this calamity to his flock. When he saw the enemy at the gates and in the streets, forgetting himself, and solicitous only for his dear spiritual children, he went from door to door encouraging all to patience and constancy, and awaking in every one’s breast the most heroic sentiments of piety and religion. In endeavouring to save the lives of some of his flock, he exposed himself to the swords of the infidels, who, after a thousand insults and indignities, (which he endured with the meekness and fortitude of a true disciple of God crucified for us) cut off his head. Florens his deacon, and Jocond his lector, were massacred by his side. His sister Eutropia, a virtuous virgin, seeing herself spared in order to be reserved for wicked purposes, boldly cried out to the infidels, that it was her unalterable resolution rather to sacrifice her life, than her faith or her integrity and virtue. Upon which they despatched her with their cutlasses. St. Nicasius and St. Eutropia were buried in the church-yard of St. Agricola. Many miracles rendered their tombs illustrious, and this church was converted into a famous abbey, which bears the name of St. Nicasius, and is now a member of the congregation of St. Maur. The archbishop Fulco, in 893, translated the body of St. Nicasius into the cathedral, which the martyr himself had built, and dedicated to God in honour of the Blessed Virgin Mary. His head is kept in the abbey of St. Vedast at Arras. See St. Gregory of Tours, and Gall. Chr. Nov. t. 9. p. 6. The Acts of St. Nicasius in Surius (14 Dec.) were written before Hincmar, probably in the seventh century, but are of small importance, as Dom. Rivet observes.


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