Spirituality for Today – Winter 2017/2018 – Volume 22, Issue 2

Saint for December
St. Eligius – December 1

Born round 588, Eligius was the son of Eucherius and Terrigia, Roman Gauls who lived in the region of Hatue-Vienne in central France. When he was still a boy or young man, Eligius was apprenticed to a goldsmith who also served as master of the royal mint at the town of Limoges. Then, he learned a trade and became a master jeweler and metalworker.

After his apprenticeship, Eligius moved to Paris and began making ornamental metal pieces for King Clotaire II's court and for churches and monasteries in France. He is credited with having fashioned the gold and silver reliquaries for the bones of St. Martin at Tours and St. Denys in Paris as well as other saints. Many gold coins struck during Clotaire's reign also bear Eligius's name.

Eligius won Coltaire's trust when he made two thrones from gold and jewels that were meant just for a single throne. Impressed by Eligius's honesty, Clotaire began seeking out Eligius for advice not related to his work as an artist. After Clotaire died, Eligius served as an adviser to Clotaire's son and successor, Dagobert I.

Eligius's work made him a wealthy man. He became known for his generosity and it was said one could find his house because "it's where you will see a crowd of poor people." As he grew older, Eligius became increasingly concerned with spiritual matters. With the king's help, he founded a monastery near Limoges and a nunnery in Paris. In 641, he was chosen as Bishop of Limoges. An excellent bishop and powerful preacher the fair minded Eligius also ransomed slaves and gave them their freedom. He died in 660.

help us understand that those refusing
to be ruled by God's gentleness will have
the misfortune of being ruled by their own selves;
that whoever voluntarily throws off the gentle yoke
and light burden of charity will be obliged
to carry the unbearable burden of their own will.
In your name we pray.


For Ordinary Lives, Extraordinary People.