Saint of the Day – 15 May – Saint Euphrasius of Andujar (1st Century) Martyr, Bishop, Missionary – according to tradition, he is one of the group of Seven Apostolic Men (siete varones apostólicos), seven Christian clerics ordained in Rome by Saints Peter and Paul and sent to evangelise Spain. Besides Euphrasius, this group includes Sts Hesychius, Ctesiphon, Torquatus, Indaletius and Secundius. Patronages – diocese of Jaénin Spain, Andújar, Spain, Ajaccio in France, Corsica.
In the 7th century, King Sisebut built a church over the saint’s sepulchre at Illiturgis but during the invasion of Spain by the Moors in the 8th century, his relics were translated to the Lugo Province. He is buried in the church of Santa María do Mao, near the monastery of San Xulián de Samos in Samos.
Euphrasius is also patron of Corsica and of Ajaccio – “this seems to have been due to a secondary translation of a portion of his relics.”
A relic of a kerchief found in a chapel behind the high altar of Jaén Cathedral is associated with a legend of St Euphrasius. When Euphrasius was sent to Rome to free the Pope from Satan’s temptations, it is said that he travelled to Rome in only half an hour due to the assistance of a captive goblin who helped the saint in return for some leftovers from the saint’s supper. Euphrasius vanquished Satan and was awarded with a kerchief.
Euphrasius is also associated with the cult of Our Lady of Cabeza (la Virgen de la Cabeza). According to one legend, when Saint Euphrasius came to Spain, he brought with him an image of the Virgin Mary to which he was devoted. According to the legend, this image was given to Euphrasius by Saint Peter and is said to have been the portrait that Saint Luke painted of the Virgin Mary.
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