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Rev. Alban Butler (1711–73). Volume I: January. The Lives of the Saints. 1866.

February 20

St. Eleutherius, Bishop of Tournay, Martyr

A.D. 532.

HE was born at Tournay, of Christian parents, whose family had been converted to Christ by St. Piat, one hundred and fifty years before. The faith had declined at Tornay ever since St. Piat’s martyrdom, by reason of its commerce with the heathen islands of Taxandria, now Zeland, and by means of the heathen French kings, who resided some time at Tournay. Eleutherius was chosen bishop of that city, in 486; ten years after which King Clovis was baptized at Rheims. Eleutherius converted the greater part of the Franks in that country to the faith, and opposed most zealously certain heretics who denyed the mystery of the Incarnation, by whom he was wounded on the head with a sword, and died of the wound five weeks after, on the first of July, in 532. The most ancient monuments, relating to this saint, seem to have perished in a great fire which consumed his church, and many other buildings, at Tournay, in 1092, with his relics. See Miræus, and his life written in the ninth century, extant in Bollandus, p. 187. 1 Of the sermons ascribed to St. Eleutherius, in the Library of the Fathers, t. 8. none seem sufficiently warranted genuine, except three on the Incarnation and Birth of Christ, and the Annunciation, See Dom Rivet, Hist. Liter. t. 3. p. 154, and t. 5. p. 40, 41. Galia Christ. Nova, t. 3. p. 571. and Henschenius, p. 180.
Note 1. This author wrote before the invasion of the Normans, and the translation of the saint’s relics: but long after the saint’s death, and by making him be born in the reign of Dioclesian, yet contemporary with St. Medard, destroys his own credit. Some years after, another author much enlarged this life, and inserted a history of the translation of the relics of this saint made in 897. A third writer added a relation of later miracles, and of the translation of these relics into the city of Touruay, in 1164. All these authors deserve little notice, except in relating facts of their own time. [back]