Saint of the Day – 12 August – Saint Euplus of Catania (Died 304) Deacon Martyr. Died by being flogged to death on 12 August 304 in Catania, Sicily, Italy. Patronages – co-patron of Catania, Sicily, Italy, Francavilla di Sicilia, Italy, Trevico, Italy. Also known as – Euplio, Euplius, Euplous.
The Roman Martyrology states: “In Catania, Saint Euplous, Martyr – according to tradition, during the persecution of the Emperor Diocletian, he was thrown into prison by the governor Calvisiano because he was found with the book of the Gospels in his hands; – questioned several times, he was beaten to death for replying that he would keep the Gospel in his heart with pride.”
Euplus Deacon, who suffered Martyrdom “under the ninth consulate of Diocletian and the eighth of Maximian, on the eve of ides of August, in Catania” that is, 12 August 304. This data comes to us from an ancient document, historically reliable, the Passion of St. Euplus, exemplary for conciseness and drama. “The Deacon Euplous, finding himself in the court, shouted aloud – “I am a Christian; I wish to die for the name of Christ “ The governor of the City, Calviniano, summoned him to stand before him and after a brief preliminary, ordered him to read a passage from the books he brought with him.
Euplus read: “Happy are those who suffer persecution for justice”
Calviniano ordered that Euplus be tortured, and during the torture, the second interrogation took place and the invitation to retract the previous confession: “Euplus crossed his forehead with his free hand and replied:” “What I have confessed, I confess again – I am Christian and I read the Divine Scriptures.”
The executioners continued to rage and tortue him and he prayed: “I thank you, O Christ, save me, because I suffer for you.” The governor ordered a break and made the last attempt to persuade Euplus to sacrifice to the gods: “Wretch, worship the gods. honour Mars, Apollo and Aesculapius.” Euplus replied: “I adore the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost. I adore the Holy Trinity. Except this, there is no other God … I sacrifice but I offer myself as a sacrifice to Christ God, I have nothing more to sacrifice; your efforts are in vain, I am a Christian.”
Euplus was sentenced to be beheaded: “The Gospel he wore at the moment of his arrest was placed around his neck, in front of him a herald shouted:” Euplus, Christian, enemy of the gods and emperors!”. Euplus replied: “Thanks be to Christ God.” He hurried up as if he were going to the coronation. Arriving at the place of execution he knelt down and prayed for a long time. Then he presented his head to the executioner and was beheaded. Later, some Christians came to take away the body. Before burying it, they embalmed it.”
His relics are enshrined in Trevico, Italy.