The Martyr Eulalia lived in Spain, near the city of Barcionum
(now Barcelona), and she was raised by her parents in piety and the
Christian Faith. Already at fourteen years of age, the maiden spent a
solitary life in her parental home with others of her own age, occupied
in prayer, the reading of Holy Scripture, and handicrafts.
a persecution against Christians under the emperors Diocletian
(284-305) and Maximian (305-311), the governor Dacian arrived in the
city of Barcionum to rid it of Christians. Hearing of this, the maiden
secretly left her home at night, and by morning had made her way into
the city. Pushing her way through the throng of people, the girl made a
bold denunciation of the judge for forcing people to renounce the True
God in order to offer sacrifice to devils instead.
orders to strip the girl and beat her with rods, but she steadfastly
endured the torment and told the judge that the Lord would deliver her
from the pain. They tied the martyr to a tree and tore her skin with
iron claws, and they then burned her wounds with torches.
her torment, Dacian asked the saint, “Where then is your God, Whom you
have called upon?” She answered that the Lord was beside her, but that
Dacian in his impurity could not see Him. During the saint’s prayer:
“Behold, God helps me, and the Lord is the defender of my soul” (Ps.
53/54:4), the flames of the torches turned back upon the torturers, who
fell to the ground.
The Martyr Eulalia began to pray that the
Lord would take her to Heaven to Himself, and with this prayer she died.
People saw a white dove come from her mouth and fly up to Heaven. Then a
sudden snowstorm covered the martyr’s naked body like a white garment
(the saint’s commemoration is sometimes given as December 10, which may
be more correct, in view of the snow).
Three days later, the
martyr’s parents came and wept before her hanging body, but they were
also glad that their daughter would be numbered among the saints. When
they took St Eulalia from the tree, one of the Christians, named Felix,
said with tears of joy: “Lady Eulalia, you are the first of us to win
the martyr’s crown!”
St Felix himself soon suffered death for Christ, and is also commemorated on this day.