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An army of barbarians ravaging part of Gaul plundered the city of Rheims. Nicasius, the Bishop, had foretold this calamity to his flock in consequence of a vision, and urged them to prepare for the visitation by works of penance. When he saw the enemy at the gates and in the streets, forgetting himself and solicitous only for his spiritual children, he went from door to door encouraging all to patience and constancy. When the people asked him whether they should yield or fight to the end he, knowing that the city must fall, replied, "Let us abide the mercy of God and pray for our enemies. I am ready to give myself for my people." Standing at the door of his church, in endeavoring to save the lives of some, he exposed himself to the swords of the infidels, who cut off his head. St. Florentius, his deacon, and St. Jucundus, his lector, were massacred by his side. His sister, St. Eutropia, seeing herself spared in order that hers might be another fate, threw herself upon her brother's murderer and kicked and scratched him till she too was cut down and killed. Feast day - December 14.
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