A Garner of Saints – Saint Eloi

detail of a stained glass window of Saint Eloi, church of Saint-André in Boissy-l'Aillerie, France, date and artist unknown; photographed on 27 March 2012 by Reinhardhauke; swiped from Santi e BeatiArticle

(Latin: Eligius, Italalian: Lo, Eligio) Born at Chatelas about 588, and sent to school at Limoges. His father put him to the trade of a goldsmith, and he soon learned all that was to be known. He proceeded to Paris and joined himself to an artificer who worked for the king. It happened that King Clotaire II required a magnificent throne of gold and silver. His master replied that he knew who could make it, and receiving a large quantity of gold delivered it to Eloi. The skilful goldsmith made two thrones with this material, presented one to the king, and kept the other back. The king rewarded him liberally, and whilst all were admiring the throne Eloi produced the other one. The king was astonished, and asked Eloi how he could make both from the same mass. “By the grace of God,” replied Eloi. His fame increased at the court. He was kind to the poor, and stripped himself to clothe them. The King, seeing him ill clothed, gave him some of his own garments; but Eloi gave everything which he received to the poor. He frequently expended his money in redeeming captives, and on one occasion released a hundred together. On the death of Clotaire in 628, his son Dagobert succeeded him, and renewed to Eloi the favours which he had enjoyed from the late King. At this time he founded the Monastery of Solignac on land given by the King, and soon after he founded another community at Paris. Dagobert, being desirous to employ Eloi on important affairs, wished him to take the oath of allegiance, as was customary, but Eloi had scruples, fearing to ofl’end God, and when the King heard this, he only honoured him the more. He is said to have cut the dies for the coins of Clotaire and Dagobert. In 639 Eloi was elected Bishop of Noyon. Every day he fed twelve paupers with his own hands. Here also he made many tombs with his own hands, notably those of Saint Martin of Tours and of Saint Denis, the cost being defrayed by Dagobert. After this Eloi devoted himself to the conversion of the Pagans of the provinces of Ghent and Courtrai. After much labour the barbarians were touched by his piety, and converted. When he had ruled his diocese for nineteen years, his approaching end was revealed to him by God; calling his disciples about him, he informed them that his death was near, and after six days of fever he expired, A.D. 659. He is the patron of goldsmiths, locksmiths, blacksmiths, and all workers in iron and also of farriers and horses. 1st December.

Attributes

  • Holds a goldsmith’s hammer in his hand and wears the habit of a bishop.

MLA Citation

  • Allen Banks Hinds, M.A. “Saint Eloi”. A Garner of Saints, 1900. CatholicSaints.Info. 19 April 2017. Web. 16 December 2017. <>