Catholic Saints

Saint Denis

  • Short, concise biography of Denis
  • History, Life, Biography, Facts and Information about Denis
  • Fast, concise facts and information about Saint Denis
  • What is Saint Denis the patron of?
  • Date of Death
  • How Saint Denis is represented in Christian Art
  • Feast Day

The Patron Saint Denis

What is the definition and the meaning of the Patron Saints and why were these people chosen to become patrons of causes, professions and countries?

The term 'Patron' is used in Christian religions, including the Roman Catholic religion, to describe holy and virtuous men and women who are considered to be a defender of a specific group of people or of a country.

There is a patron for virtually every cause, country, profession or special interest.

There are two categories of saints: martyrs and confessors.

Fast, concise facts and information about Saint Denis
The following provides fast and concise facts and information:

  • The patron of France and Headaches
  • Born in Italy
  • Memorial Day / Feast Day: October 9th
  • Date of Death: Saint Denis died in A.D. 272
  • Cause of Death: Beheaded at Montmarte, which means the mount of martyrs

Who or what is Saint Denis the patron saint of?
Saint Denis is the patron of France and Headaches. Meanings, definition and origins - a patron is considered to be a defender of a specific group of people or of a nation. There is a patron for virtually every cause, profession or special interest. Prayers are considered more likely to be answered by asking a patron for intercession on their behalf.

The Story and History of Denis
The story and history of Denis. St. Denis (aka St. Denys) is the patron of France, where he preached the Gospel, and in whose capital city he suffered martyrdom. Denis (or Denys) was born and raised in Italy.  Pope St. Clement sent Denys as a missionary to France. He made his base of missionary activity on an island (Île de la Cité) in the Seine near the city of Lutetia Parisorium, which what eventually become the city of Paris. His number of conversions led to his arrest and he was executed, martyred, by beheading. The legend of St. Denis expressly states that after he was beheaded he rose and carried his head off in his hand to the summit of Mont Mars (now Montmartre), the angels singing hymns along the way. When King Dagobert I removed his relics to the famous Abbey of St. Denis, founded by him in his honour, the saint became the patron of the French monarchy, and his name the battle-cry of the French armies. The sacred banner of France, had its origin in being consecrated on his tomb.

Death of Saint Denis
There are two categories of saints: martyrs and confessors. A Christian martyr is regarded as one who is put to death for his Christian faith or convictions. Confessors are people who died natural deaths. Date of Death: Saint Denis died in A.D. 272. Cause of Death: Beheaded. 

Why is Saint Denis the patron of France and Headaches?
Why is Saint Denis is the patron of France and Headaches? France is where he preached the gospel and headaches due to his form of death.

How Saint Denis is represented in Christian Art
It is helpful to be able to recognise Saint Denis in paintings, stained glass windows, illuminated manuscripts, architecture and other forms of Christian art. The artistic representations reflect the life or death of saints, or an aspect of life with which the person is most closely associated. Saint Denis is represented in Christian Art carrying his head in his hand. Occasionally, too, we find him with his mitred head on his shoulders, and another, a bared one, in his hand. This is to show that he is making an offering of his head to the Church.

Feast Day of Saint Denis
The Feast Day of Saint Denis is October 9th. The origin of Feast Days: most saints have specially designated feast days and are associated with a specific day of the year and these are referred to as the saint's feast day. The feast days first arose from the very early Christian custom of the annual commemoration of martyrs on the dates of their deaths at the same time celebrating their birth into heaven.

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Patron Saints

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