St. Dionysius of Augsburg, Martyr

Saint Dionysius was born in late 3rd century Germany, which was part of the vast Roman Empire at the time. Initially, called Augusta Vindelicorum, Augsburg was a Roman colony established by the Emperor  Hadrian, of Hadrian’s Wall fame.  Christianity took root in Augsburg under Saint Narcissus of Gerona.  Saint Dionysus succeeded St. Narcissus and is regarded today as the first Bishop of Augsburg.  St. Dionysius was martyred in 303 under the brutal persecution of Christians by Emperor Diocletian between the years 303-305, where churches were destroyed, and Christians were rounded up, imprisoned and given the choice to sacrifice to pagan Roman gods or be killed.  

St. Dionysius is also believed to be the uncle of Saint Afra, a more famous German Catholic Martyr who, also converted to the faith by Saint Narcissus, turned from a life of prostitution to a life of piety and holiness.  Saint Afra also refused to burn incense to pagan Roman gods and was burned at the stake in 304.   We sure could use a few Saints like this in the modern German Church!

This weeks cartoon is inspired by the painting behind the High altar in the parish church of St. Dionysius in  F├╝nfstetten, Germany.

Feast day: February 26

St. Dionysius of Augsburg, pray for us!

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