Sts. Eustachius and Companions
FREE Catholic Classes
Martyrs under the Emperor Hadrian, in the year 188. Feast in the West, 20 September; in the East, 2 November. Emblems: a crucifix, a stag, an oven.
The legend relates that Eustachius (before baptism, Placidus), a Roman general under Trajan, while still a heathen, saw a stag coming towards him, with a crucifix between its horns; he heard a voice telling him that he was to suffer much for Christ's sake. He received baptism, together with his wife Tatiana (or Trajana, after baptism Theopista) and his sons, Agapius and Theopistus. The place of the vision is said to have been Guadagnolo, between Tibur and Praeneste ( Tivoli and Palestrina ), in the vicinity of Rome. Through adverse fortune the family was scattered, but later reunited. For refusing to sacrifice to the idols after a victory, they suffered death in a heated brazen bull. Baronius (Ann. Eccl., ad an. 103, 4) would identify him with Placidus mentioned by Josephus Flavius as a general under Titus.
The Acts are certainly fabulous, and recall the similar story in the Clementine Recognitions. They are a production of the seventh century, and were used by St. John Damascene , but the veneration of the saint is very old in both the Greek and Latin Churches. He is honoured as one of the Holy Helpers, is invoked in difficult situations, and is patron of the city of Madrid and of hunters. The church of Sant' Eustachio in Rome, title of a cardinal-deacon, existed in 827, according to the Liber Pontificalis , but perhaps as early as the time of Gregory the Great (d. 604). It claims to possess the relics of the saint, some of which are said to be at St-Denis and at St-Eustache in Paris. An island in the Lesser Canilles and a city in Canada bear his name.
Copyright 2020 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2020 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.
Catholic Online is a Project of Your Catholic Voice Foundation, a Not-for-Profit Corporation. Your Catholic Voice Foundation has been granted a recognition of tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Federal Tax Identification Number: 81-0596847. Your gift is tax-deductible as allowed by law.