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St. Dennis

Dennis is usually called Denis. He was born in Italy, but the date and exact place of his birth is unknown. Pope Fabian (236-250) sent Denis to be bishop of Paris to strengthen the faith of the Church in Gaul (France), which had recently undergone persecutions. Rusticus, a priest and Eleutherius, a deacon assisted Denis in his missionary work. The three built a church on an island in the Seine River which runs through Paris and attracted converts, but the pagan priests were jealous. The three were arrested for their faith, tortured, and beheaded. A devout woman named Catulla buried the martyrs and shrine was raised over their graves. Denis is often pictured with his head in hands, because a legend says that his beheaded corpse picked up his head and carried it for a distance. His feast day is October 9. He is the patron of Paris and is invoked against demonic possession, rabies, and strife.

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