Spirituality for Today – December 2008 – Volume 13, Issue 5

Saint of the Month

St. Eulalia – December 10

A photo of a red present with a white bowOne of the youngest saints to be martyred for Christianity was a girl named Eulalia, who was born in Spain late in the third century. According to legend, Eulalia was a modest girl from a noble family who lived in Merida. Educated as a Christian, she rejected the simple pleasures of childhood. Instead, she worshiped God with the austerity and seriousness of an adult.

Eulalia was only 12 when Roman Emperior Dioceltian issued his cruel edicts ordering every man, woman and child to offer sacrifice to the pagan gods. The defiant Eulalia was ready to become a martyr for her beliefs. Her distraught mother could see how earnest Eulalia was and quickly took her away to the country. But Eulalia managed to escape and returned to Merida.

Eulalia went before the local governor and accused him of trying to destroy souls by forcing people to renounce God. At first, the governor cajoled and flattered her, and then he warned her of the anguish she would cause her parents. Then, he tried to frighten her by displaying his instruments of torture.

But Eulalia could not be restrained. In her youthful passion, she trampled on the sacrificial offering and spit at the governor. Enraged, the governor ordered her to be tortured and burned. Suffocated by the smoke and flames, Eulilia died praising God. Legend says that snow fell over her body in the courtyard where she lay. Over the centuries, hymns and poems have been written and monasteries and churches have been dedicated in honor of the young, ever-faithful Eulalia.

Heavenly Father,
You created me and most lovingly care for me.
I accept all my sufferings most willingly,
and as a truly obedient child
I resign myself to Your holy will.
Grant me the strength to accept generously
Your loving visitation,
and never let me grieve Your faithful heart
by giving into impatience and discouragement.
I offer You all my pains;
and in order that they may be acceptable to You
and fruitful for my salvation,
I untie them with the most bitter pains
of Your beloved Son Jesus.

From Ordinary People, Extraordinary Lives