Fructuosus, Augurius, and Eulogius

(d. 259)

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(d. 259),

martyrs. Fructuosus was bishop of Tarragona; Augurius and Eulogius, his deacons, were arrested and imprisoned with him. The governor Aemilianus presided at their examination. He asked if they knew of the emperor's orders to worship the gods. Fructuosus answered: ‘I worship the one God who has made heaven and earth.’ On being asked if he knew that the gods exist, he answered: ‘No, I do not.’ The governor replied: ‘These are obeyed, these are feared and these are adored; if the gods are not worshipped, then the images of the emperors are not adored.’ He then told Augurius not to listen to Fructuosus and asked Eulogius if he worshipped Fructuosus. He answered: ‘No, but I worship the one whom he worships.’ Aemilianus then asked Fructuosus if he was a bishop. ‘Yes, I am’, said Fructuosus. ‘You were’, replied Aemilianus, and sentenced him to be burnt alive.

As he was being taken to the place of execution, both Christians and pagans showed him sympathy; some offered him drugged wine. But he jokingly refused it because Wednesday was a fast day. One of his readers asked if he could take off his sandals for him, but again he refused. One Felix came to shake hands with him and ask his prayers. He answered aloud: ‘I must have in mind the whole Catholic church both east and west.’ The three martyrs were burnt alive: the writer of their Acts said that to each at his post the Father was present, the Son gave help, and the Holy Spirit walked in the midst of the fire. They knelt down and spread their arms in memory of the crucifixion, ‘in joy assured of the resurrection’.

At nightfall the Christians went to the amphitheatre, quenched the smouldering bodies with wine and each kept some of the ashes for themselves. But Fructuosus was said to have appeared to them and asked them to restore the relics to one place. Feast: 21 January.

A.C.M., pp. xxxii, 176–85; P. Delehaye, Origines du culte des martyrs (1933), pp. 66–7; Propylaeum, p. 30;Augustine, Sermo 273 (P.L., xxxviii. 1250); B.L.S., i. 139–40; H.S.S.C., ii. 158–60.

Subjects: Christianity.

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