October 9—St. Dionysius And His Companions, Martyrs—St. Louis Bertrand
OF all the Roman missionaries sent into Gaul, St. Dionysius carried the Faith the furthest into the country, fixing his see at Paris, and by him and his disciples the sees of Chartres, Senlis, Meaux, and Cologne were erected in the fourth century. During the persecution of Valerian he was arrested and thrown into prison, and after remaining there for some time was beheaded, together with St. Rusticus, a priest, and Eleutherius, a deacon. ST. LOUIS BERTRAND was born at Valencia, in Spain, in 1526, of the same family as St. Vincent Ferrer. In 1545, after severe trials, he was professed in the Dominican Order, and at the age of twenty-five was made master of novices, and trained up many great servants of God. When the plague broke out in Valencia he devoted himself to the sick and dying, and with his own hands buried the dead. In 1562 he obtained leave to embark for the American mission, and there converted vast multitudes to the Faith. He was favored with the gift of miracles, and while preaching in his native Spanish was understood in various languages. After seven years he returned to Spain, to plead the cause of the oppressed Indians, but he was not permitted to return and labor among them. He spent his remaining days toiling in his own country, till at length, in 1580, he was carried from the pulpit in the Cathedral at Valencia to the bed from whence he never rose. He died on the day he had foretold—October 9, 1581. Reflection.—The Saints fasted, toiled, and wept, not only for love of God, but for fear of damnation. How shall we, with our self-indulgent lives and unexamined consciences, face the judgment-seat of Christ?