February 20th - St Eleutherius of Tournai
- From: "Traudel" <richarra@xxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Sat, 20 Feb 2010 11:50:09 -0600
February 20th - St Eleutherius of Tournai
(Also known as: Eleuthere)
Bishop of Tournai at the beginning of the sixth century. Historically there
very little known about St. Eleutherius, but he was without doubt the first
Bishop of Tournai. Theodore, whom some give as his immediate predecessor,
either a bishop of Tours, whose name was placed by mistake on the episcopal
list of Tournai, or simply a missionary who ministered to the Christians
scattered throughout the small Frankish Kingdom of Tournai. Before he
bishop, Eleutherius lived at court with his friend Medardus, who predicted
he would attain the dignity of a count and also be elevated to the
After Clovis, King of the Franks, had been converted to Christianity, in
with more than 3000 of his subjects, bishops took part in the royal
St. Remigius, Bishop of Reims, organized the Catholic hierarchy in Northern
Gaul, and it is more than likely that St. Eleutherius was named Bishop of
Tournai at this time.
The saint's biography in its present form was really an invention of Henri
Tournai in the twelfth century. According to this, Eleutherius was born at
Tournai towards the end of the reign of Childeric, the father of Clovis, of
Christian family descended from Irenaeus, who had been baptized by St.
His father's name was Terenus, and his mother's Blanda. Persecution by the
tribune of the Scheldt obliged the Christians to flee from Tournai and take
refuge in the village of Blandinium. The conversion of Clovis, however,
the small community to reassemble and build at Blandinium a church, which
dedicated to St. Peter. Theodore was made bishop of Tournai, and
succeeded him. Consulted by Pope Hormisdas as to the best means of
the heresy which threatened nascent Christianity, Eleutherius convened a
and publicly confounded the heretics. They vowed vengeance, and as he was
his way to the church, one day, they fell on him and, after beating him
unmercifully, left him for dead. He recovered, however, but his days were
numbered. On his death-bed (529) he confided his flock to his lifelong
The motive underlying this biography invented by Canon Henri (1141), was to
prove the antiquity of the Church of Tournai, which from the end of the
eleventh century had been trying to free itself from the jurisdiction of the
bishops of Noyon. The sermons on the Trinity, Nativity, and the feast of the
Annunciation (Bibliotheca Patrum, vol. XV), sometimes attributed to St.
Eleutherius, are also of a more than doubtful authenticity. His cult,
is well established; there is record of a recovery of his relics during the
episcopate of Hedilo in 897 or 898, and a translation of them by Bishop
in 1064 or 1065, and another in 1247. Relics of this saint were also
in the monastery of St. Martin at Tournai, and in the cathedral at Bruges.
feast is given in martyrologies on 20 or 21 July, but is usually celebrated
the former date. The translation of his relics is commemorated 25 August.
L. VAN DER ESSEN
St. Eleutherius of Tournai B (RM)
Born in Tournai, France; died July 1, 532. Eleutherius, born of parents who
been converted to the Christian faith by Saint Platon, became bishop of
in 486, ten years before the baptism of Clovis at Rheims. Many Frankish
and heretics were converted to the faith by his preaching. Once, a young
fell in love with him. The bishop would have nothing to do with her. In
she fell ill, and then passed into a coma. Eleutherius told her father that
could restore her to health, but would do so only if the father promised to
become a Christian. Once the girl was cured, her father reneged on his vow.
this Eleutherius is said to have brought a plague on the land--an action
soon forced the recalcitrant father to repent and believe. He died from
inflicted by the Arian heretics of the district. Most of the early evidence
Eleutherius, including his relics, perished in a great fire which consumed
church in 1092. Of the sermons ascribed to St. Eleutherius, in the Library
the Fathers, none seem sufficiently warranted genuine, except three on the
Incarnation and Birth of Christ, and the Annunciation (Benedictines,
Saint Eleutherius is portrayed in art as a bishop with a monstrance.
he is shown (1) being blessed by Christ as he carries the monstrance among
and wounded soldiers; or (2) as an angel frees him from stripes (Roeder).
Resist your impatience faithfully, practicing, not only with reason, but
against reason, holy courtesy and sweetness to all, but especially to those
weary you the most.
-St. Francis de Sales
14 Now when the apostles, who were in Jerusalem, had heard that Samaria had
received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John. 15 Who, when
were come, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost. 16 For
was not as yet come upon any of them; but they were only baptized in the
of the Lord Jesus. 17 Then they laid their hands upon them, and they
the Holy Ghost. (Acts 8:14-17)
Ask Our LORD'S BLESSING
Taken from JESUS, MARY, JOSEPH NOVENA MANUAL:
Before leaving the Blessed Sacrament.
BLESS ME, O God of bounty! Bless me, Thou Who art holy and good! Bless me as
Thou didst bless the patriarchs and prophets; as Thou didst bless Thy
beloved Mother; as Thou didst bless Thy disciples before ascending into
BLESS MY EYES. Never permit them to behold vanity.
BLESS MY EARS. Set around them a hedge of thorns to guard them from hearing
BLESS MY MOUTH. Surround it with a guard of truth and kindness.
BLESS MY BODY. Grant that chastity may clothe it as with a garment of glory.
BLESS MY MIND. Grant that my thoughts may be like Thine.
BLESS MY HEART. Kindle in it the fire of love which Thou didst bring on
earth. Make it the sanctuary of every virtue.