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October 31

St Quentin - October 31

Saint Quentin

Martyr

(Unknown – 287)

If by persevering in my faith, I am put to death by you, I will not cease to live in Jesus Christ; this is my hope, I maintain it with confidence.

Saint Quentin

Saint’s Life Story

His Unknown Early Life 

 Quentin’s birth date is unknown while his birth place was Rome, Italy. He was the son of Zeno, a Roman senator. Little is also known about his youth. It is assumed that he converted to Christainity based on his pagan father. 

Missionary with Saint Lucian of Beauvais in Gaul

Full of zeal for the kingdom of Jesus Christ, and burning with a holy desire to make his powerful name and the mysteries of his love and mercy known among the unfaithful, Quentin left Italy. With this move, he denounced all prospects of entitlement that he would get having a Roman senator as a father. Quentin decided to become a missionary in Gaul (modern day France). So, with Saint Lucian of Beauvais and others (the martyrs Saints Victoricus and Fuscian are said to have been Quentin’s followers), Quentin travelled to Gaul. Together, they preached the faith in France until they reached Amiens, where they parted. Saint Lucian went to Beauvais. Here, Saint Lucian sowed the seeds of divine faith in the hearts of many and received the crown of martyrdom in that city. Saint Quentin stayed at Amiens, endeavouring by his prayers and labours to make that country a portion of our Lord’s inheritance. 

Amiens

Saint Quentin stayed at Amiens. He gave sight to the blind, vigor to paralytics, hearing to the deaf, and agility to the infirm, in the name of Our Lord, simply by the sign of the Cross. At all hours of the day he invoked his God in fervent supplications. Quentin’s preaching and example won many converts in Amiens. But his works could not escape the notice of Rictius Varus, the Roman prefect who at that time represented Maximian Herculeus in Gaul.

Imprisoned and Tortured

Quentin was arrested at Amiens in 286, thrown into prison, and loaded with chains. Rictius Varus asked him: “How does it happen that you, of such high nobility and the son of so distinguished a father, have given yourself up to so superstitious a religion, a folly, and that you adore an unfortunate man crucified by other men?” Quentin replied: “It is sovereign nobility to adore the Creator of heaven and earth, and to obey willingly His divine commandments. What you call folly is supreme wisdom. What is there that is wiser than to recognize the unique true God, and to reject with disdain the counterfeits, which are mute, false and deceiving?”

When Quentin was found to be invulnerable to either promises or threats, Rictius Varus condemned him to the most barbarous torture. Quentin was stretched on the rack and flogged. He prayed for strength, for the honor and glory of the name of God. In two other examinations, Quentin’s limbs were stretched with pulleys on the rack until his joints were dislocated. Then, his body was torn with rods of iron wire. Finally, Quentin had boiled pitch and oil poured on his back and lighted torches applied to his sides. When the executioners who were striking him fell over backwards, Quentin was returned to the prison. The executioners told Rictius Varus they were unable to stand up and could scarcely speak. During the night, an Angel released Quentin, telling him to go and preach in the city, and that the persecutor would soon fall before the justice of God.

His Death

At the daybreak in the public square of the town, Quentin preached a most powerful sermon to the people, who came running towards him from all parts, and many of whom were converted. Rictius Varus, on hearing of it, became furious with rage and ordered the holy martyr to be stretched upon the rack, and to be beaten with clubs. When Quentin’s whole body was covered with wounds, boiling oil and melted tar were poured over him. Then, Quentin was burned with torches. Quentin showed himself not only fearless under this cruel torture, but cheerful and happy. The spectators of the terrible scene, however, began to murmur against the barbarity of the governor. So, Rictius Varus ordered Quintin to be taken from the place of execution, and led away, on the next day, to another city, whither he himself followed to torment Quentin anew. 

Rictius Varus, being ashamed to see himself vanquished by Quentin’s courage and virtue, caused his body to be pierced with two iron wires from the neck to the thighs and iron nails to be struck under his nails and in his flesh in many places, particularly into his scull. Just before Quentin was beheaded,  a voice was  heard, which coming from heaven, said: “Come, Quentin, my servant, and receive the crown you hast deserved by thy martyrdom.”  So Quenting died on October 31, 287, in Augusta Veromanduorum, Gaul (now Saint-Quentin, France). Quentin’s body was watched by the soldiers until night. Then, his body was thrown into the river Somme. But, it was recovered by the Christians some days after and buried on a mountain near the town.  Fifty-five years after, it was discovered by Eusebia, a devout lady. A certain blind woman recovered her sight by the sacred relics. The knowledge of the place was again lost in the persecution of Julian the Apostate, though a chapel which was built near it remained.  In 641, Saint Eligius, bishop of Noyon,discovered the holy relics including the great nails with which Saint Quentin’s body had been pierced. 

Saint Quentin remains in great honor in France above all, where more than fifty-two churches and as many localities were, at the beginning of the 20th century, dedicated to his memory

Born:                  Unknown in Rome, Italy

Died:                  October 31, 287 in Augusta Veromanduorum, Gaul (now Saint-Quentin, France)

Beatified:           Pre-Congregation

Canonized:        Pre-Congregation

Feast Day:          October 31

Patron Saint:    Against Coughs; Against Dropsy

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Reflection

Saint Quentin suffered many and great torments. His martyrdom was not ended all at once by the sword, or on one day. He had to suffer different torments during several days. With eyes raised to heaven, Saint Quentin thanked the Almighty for the great grace of being allowed to suffer for Christ’s sake. Let us bear in mind that the ills of this life are not worthy to be compared to the glory “God has reserved for those who love Him.”

What torments are you suffering today? While probably not as difficult or as many tortures that Saint Quentin endured, you can offer up in prayer and thanksgiving to God your sufferings for Christ’s sake. 

Prayers

Saint Quentin, you like all martyrs, demonstrate to us how to persevere in my faith, even to your death, knowing that you are living your life for Christ. May you pray for us to have the strength to preserve in our faith during whatever sufferings we are encountering today. 

Saint Quentin, pray for us. Amen.

Saint Links 

Bartleby.com – Rev. Alban Butler. Volume X: October. The Lives of the Saints. 1866. October 31 St. Quintin, Martyr

Catholic Lane – St. Quintin, Martyr

Catholic Online – St. Quentin

CatholicSaints.Info – Saint Quentin

CatholicSaints.Info – Katherine I Rabenstein’s Saints of the Day – Quentin of Amiens

CatholicSaints.Info – Weninger’s Lives of the Saints – Saint Quintin, Marty

Saints, Feast, Family – Saint Quentin’s Story

Sanctoral – Saint Quentin Apostle of Amiens, Martyr at Rome († 287)

Sensus Fidelium – St Quintin, Martyr

uCatholic – St. Quentin

Wikipedia – Saint Quentin

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