New Catholic Dictionary – Saints Denis, Rusticus, and Eleutherius

detail of a stained glass window of Saint Denis of Paris; date and artist unknown; cemetery chaple of the Croix-Bouessée, Piré-sur-Seiche, Ille-et-Villaine, France; photographed on 13 December 2013 by François GOGLINS; swiped from Wikimedia CommonsArticle

Martyrs, died Paris, France, 258. Saint Denis, Bishop of Paris, often wrongly confused with Dionysius the Areopagite, was born in Italy according to Saint Gregory of Tours. About 240 he was sent by Pope Fabian with other missionary bishops into Gaul. With his intimate companions Rusticus, a priest, and Eleutherius, his deacon, he settled on an island of the Seine in the vicinity of Paris; there he built a church and was untiring in his efforts to propagate the Faith. He made Paris his principal see and established several others, among them Chartres, Senlis, Meaux, and Cologne. Denis, Rusticus, and Eleutherius suffered atrocious tortures, and were beheaded. According to the legend, Denis arose after his execution and carried his head for some distance; for this reason he is usually portrayed carrying his head in his hand. Other emblems: a furnace, and a city. Saint Denis is patron of France; invoked as one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers, against headache, and rabies; relics at the monastery of Saint Denis. Feast, Roman Calendar, 9 October.

MLA Citation

  • “Saints Denis, Rusticus, and Eleutherius”. New Catholic Dictionary. CatholicSaints.Info. 26 November 2016. Web. 13 June 2021. <>