Peter, Andrew, Paul, and Denise

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Saints Peter, Andrew, Paul, and Denise
Died~250 AD
Venerated in Roman Catholic Church
Eastern Orthodox Church
Major shrine Abbey of Flône (St. Denise)
Feast Roman Catholic: May 15 [1]
Eastern Orthodox: May 18 [2]
Patronage Denise is invoked against bicycle and motorcycle accidents [3] and headaches [4]

Saints Peter, Andrew, Paul, and Denise (Dionisia, Dionysia) are venerated as martyrs by the Orthodox [5] and Catholic Churches. They were killed in the 3rd century at Lampsacus, Mysia (in present-day Turkey) on the Hellespont. [6]

Veneration the act of honoring a saint, a person who has been identified as having a high degree of sanctity or holiness

Veneration, or veneration of saints, is the act of honoring a saint, a person who has been identified as having a high degree of sanctity or holiness. Angels are shown similar veneration in many religions. Philologically, "to venerate" derives from the Latin verb, venerare, meaning to regard with reverence and respect. Veneration of saints is practiced, formally or informally, by adherents of some branches of all major religions, including Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Islam, and Buddhism.

Martyr person who suffers persecution and death for advocating, refusing to renounce, and/or refusing to advocate a belief or cause, usually a religious one

A martyr is someone who suffers persecution and death for advocating, renouncing, refusing to renounce, or refusing to advocate a belief or cause as demanded by an external party. This refusal to comply with the presented demands results in the punishment or execution of the martyr by the oppressor. Originally applied only to those who suffered for their religious beliefs, the term has come to be used in connection with people killed for a political cause.

Catholic Church Christian church led by the Bishop of Rome

The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with approximately 1.3 billion baptised Catholics worldwide as of 2017. As the world's "oldest continuously functioning international institution", it has played a prominent role in the history and development of Western civilisation. The church is headed by the Bishop of Rome, known as the pope. Its central administration, the Holy See, is in the Vatican City, an enclave within the city of Rome in Italy.



According to tradition, Denise was martyred during the persecution of Christians by the Emperor Decius, along with three men named Andrew, Paul, and Nichomachus. [7] Nichomachus, "presumptuous and over-confident", [8] denied that he was a Christian after he was tortured and was asked to perform a sacrifice to the Roman gods. However, as he was about to perform this task, he suffered a convulsion and fell dead. [7] Andrew and Paul refused to apostatize and were tortured on the rack and then imprisoned. [8]

Christians people who adhere to Christianity

Christians are people who follow or adhere to Christianity, a monotheistic Abrahamic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. The words Christ and Christian derive from the Koine Greek title Christós (Χριστός), a translation of the Biblical Hebrew term mashiach (מָשִׁיחַ).

Decius Roman Emperor

Decius, also known as Trajan Decius, was Roman Emperor from 249 to 251.

Apostasy in Christianity repudiation of the Christian faith

Apostasy in Christianity is the rejection of Christianity by someone who formerly was a Christian. The term apostasy comes from the Greek word apostasia ("ἀποστασία") meaning defection, departure, revolt or rebellion. It has been described as "a willful falling away from, or rebellion against, Christianity. Apostasy is the rejection of Christ by one who has been a Christian...." "Apostasy is a theological category describing those who have voluntarily and consciously abandoned their faith in the God of the covenant, who manifests himself most completely in Jesus Christ." "Apostasy is the antonym of conversion; it is deconversion."

Denise was a sixteen-year-old [9] Christian girl who vocalized her unhappiness regarding Nichomachus' apostasy. [7] She was brought before the proconsul Optimus, and refused to abjure her faith. Optimus condemned her to be raped by several soldiers; however, according to tradition, she was "subjected to the approaches of three libertines, but was protected by an angel." [8] Paul and Andrew were finally led to their execution, and were stoned to death in the local arena. [8]

Proconsul governor of a province in the Roman republic

A proconsul was an official of ancient Rome who acted on behalf of a consul. A proconsul was typically a former consul. The term is also used in recent history for officials with delegated authority.

Libertine person who rejects common moral or sexual restraints which they see as unnecessary or undesirable

A libertine is one devoid of most moral principles, a sense of responsibility, or sexual restraints, which are seen as unnecessary or undesirable, especially one who ignores or even spurns accepted morals and forms of behaviour sanctified by the larger society. Libertinism is described as an extreme form of hedonism. Libertines put value on physical pleasures, meaning those experienced through the senses. As a philosophy, libertinism gained new-found adherents in the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries, particularly in France and Great Britain. Notable among these were John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester and the Marquis de Sade.

Angel Supernatural being in various religions and mythologies

An angel is generally a supernatural being found in various religions and mythologies. In Abrahamic religions, angels are often depicted as benevolent celestial beings who act as intermediaries between God or Heaven and humanity. Other roles of angels include protecting and guiding human beings, and carrying out God's tasks. Within Abrahamic religions, angels are often organized into hierarchies, although such rankings may vary between sects in each religion. Such angels are given specific names or titles, such as Gabriel or Michael. The term "angel" has also been expanded to various notions of spirits or figures found in other religious traditions. The theological study of angels is known as "angelology." Angels who were expelled from Heaven are referred to as fallen angels.

Denise managed to escape from prison and locate the bodies of the two men. She publicly expressed her desire to share their martyrdom, was carried away by force, and was promptly ordered to be beheaded by Optimus. [7]

Decapitation separation of the head from the body

Decapitation is the complete separation of the head from the body. Such an injury is always fatal to humans and animals, since it deprives all other organs of the involuntary functions that are needed for the body to function, while the brain is deprived of oxygenated blood and blood pressure.

Feast day

The feast day of these saints is observed in the Roman Catholic Church on May 15, and in the Eastern Orthodox Church on May 18 (for those churches which follow the traditional Julian Calendar, May 18 falls on May 31 of the modern Gregorian Calendar).

Eastern Orthodox Church Christian Church

The Eastern Orthodox Church, officially the Orthodox Catholic Church, is the second-largest Christian church, with approximately 200–260 million baptised members. It operates as a communion of autocephalous churches, each governed by its bishops in local synods, although roughly half of Eastern Orthodox Christians live in Russia. The church has no central doctrinal or governmental authority analogous to the Bishop of Rome, but the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople is recognised by all as primus inter pares of the bishops. As one of the oldest religious institutions in the world, the Eastern Orthodox Church has played a prominent role in the history and culture of Eastern and Southeastern Europe, the Caucasus, and the Near East.

May 18 (Eastern Orthodox liturgics) day in the Eastern Orthodox liturgical calendar

May 17—Eastern Orthodox Church calendar—May 19


Relics attributed to Denise were brought to the Abbey of Flône in Belgium in 1922, and placed within a statue of wax; the relics included a vase associated that contains her crystallized blood. [4] [10] A second vase contains earth said to have been drenched with the blood of Christian martyrs. [4] On the sarcophagus is embedded a marble tablet said to come from Roman catacombs; it carries the inscription: DIONISE, V.M..I.IN.P VIX. AN. XXIX. ("Denise, celebrated virgin martyr rests in peace. She lived 29 years"). [4]

Belgium Federal constitutional monarchy in Western Europe

Belgium, officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a country in Western Europe. It is bordered by the Netherlands to the north, Germany to the east, Luxembourg to the southeast, France to the southwest, and the North Sea to the northwest. It covers an area of 30,688 square kilometres (11,849 sq mi) and has a population of more than 11.4 million. The capital and largest city is Brussels; other major cities are Antwerp, Ghent, Charleroi and Liège.

The relics are visible through small openings; in the modern era this saint is invoked for protection against bicycle and motorcycle accidents [3] and headaches. [4]

See also

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  1. Martyrologium Romanum (Libreria Editrice Vaticana 2001 ISBN   88-209-7210-7)
  2. Saint Herman Calendar 2009, St. Herman of Alaska Brotherhood, Platina, CA, page 42
  3. 1 2 "L'Abbaye de Flône". Cyberliege. September 2001. Retrieved February 19, 2009.
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 ? (2003). "Le site officiel du Comité des Fêtes de Yernawe". Le Comité des Fêtes de Yernawe. Archived from the original on April 3, 2009. Retrieved February 19, 2009.
  5. (in Greek) Οἱ Ἅγιοι Πέτρος, Διονύσιος, Ἀνδρέας, Παῦλος, Χριστίνα, Ἡράκλειος, Παυλίνος καὶ Βενέδιμος οἱ Μάρτυρες. 18 Μαΐου. ΜΕΓΑΣ ΣΥΝΑΞΑΡΙΣΤΗΣ.
  6. Ambrasi, Domenico (April 5, 2000). "Santi Pietro, Andrea, Paolo e Dionisia". Santi e beati. Retrieved February 19, 2009.
  7. 1 2 3 4 Félix Amat, Tratado de la Iglesia de Jesucristo (Madrid: S.N., 1806), Lib. IV, Cap. II.
  8. 1 2 3 4 Campbell, Thomas. "St. Andrew." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 1. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1907. 5 Apr. 2013
  9. Some sources say 29-year-old (see below)
  10. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-03-02. Retrieved 2009-02-20.