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Saint Saturninus

Saint Saturin or Saint Saturninus in Latin was born sometime in the third century AD and was sent from Rome to Gaul by Pope Fabian. In the year 250 AD, while Decius and Gratus were consuls of Rome, Saint Saturninus placed his episcopal see at the village of Toulouse and began converting great numbers of pagans and idolaters.

Each day he had to walk past the capital building in the city where the pagan priests had enacted a temple to Roman gods. When the oracles there began finding it more and more difficult to commune and see the future (and eventually found only silence at their altar) they blamed Saint Saturninus. For every time he walked past the altar, the oracles would go completely silent and had confusion grow in their minds. One day as Saint Saturninus walked past, they grabbed him and dragged him into the temple, demanding he make sacrifice to the pagan gods there. He replied with:

"I adore one only God, and to him I am ready to offer a sacrifice of praise. Your gods are devils, and are more delighted with the sacrifice of your souls than with those of your bullocks. How can I fear them who, as you acknowledge, tremble before a Christian?"

In a fit of rage, the roman government and the pagan priests had his feet tied to a wild bull and made to run through the streets of the town, breaking Saint Staurninus's body and skull. The bull continued dragging his body throughout the town until the cord was finally broken and the Saint's body left at the city gates. Two Christian women in secret hid the body before they buried it in a deep ditch to keep hidden from any further insult.

Hilary, Bishop of Toulouse, built a chapel over the spot during the reign of Constantine the Great before converting it into a grand church to hold the relics.

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